Also, below you will find a beautiful book trailer for Queen Hereafter.
Queen Hereafter by Susan Fraser King
Trade Paperback, 368 pages
December 6, 2011
"Margaret, a young Saxon princess, is shipwrecked with her family on the coast of Scotland and forced to accept sanctuary from the recently widowed warrior-king Malcolm Canmore of Scotland. Malcolm sees a political prize in Margaret, and promises to help her brother, the outlawed rebel Edgar of England, in return for his sister’s hand in marriage.The story of Margaret of Scotland is told through the eyes of fictional female bard Eva. It can sometimes be a challenge to place a fictional main character into a world in which all other essential characters are historically based but Fraser King seamlessly moves Eva through the Scottish court life without ever hinting that she doesn’t truly belong there. You could really believe the struggles that Eva faced being torn between the court in the North and the true royal court of Scotland. Another strength of the author was the ease of explanation and integration of the “wild” Scottish court’s ways and the Scottish traditions.
When Malcolm brings a female bard, Eva, to court as a hostage to ensure good behavior of her kinswoman, his conniving enemy Lady Macbeth, Margaret, and Eva expect to resent one another. Instead, they discover an unlikely bond as outcasts of a sort–Eva a wild Celtic spirit captive among her enemies, Margaret suppressing her passions as she endures increasing pressure as a queen and a mother of princes.
Torn between loyalties, Eva must betray the king and the new queen in order to honor her devotion to the former queen. Thrown into Malcolm’s dungeon, charged with witchcraft and treason, Eva soon learns that Queen Margaret–counseled by the furious king and his powerful priests–will decide the fate of the young bard and her mentor, the troublesome Lady Macbeth."
The two women that Eva’s loyalties are torn between are Margaret and Gruadh (Lady Macbeth). These two women were absolute foils of each other. Margaret was very, very pious (almost to the point of the unbelievable) while Gruadh was more out for her people and loyalty to Scottish traditions. As a reader, you are able to respect what both of these women are trying to do without pitting one against the other.
This was a quick read that introduced me to a new court and a new country and historical setting. I think that this is a great companion novel to Helen Hollick’s The Forever Queen and I Am the Chosen King. Hollick’s books are set one generation prior to the events of Queen Hereafter. Events are referenced in Fraser King’s book that took place in Hollick’s book. It was great to already be set into the time and have a knowledge base from which to build off of. I can’t wait to read Lady Macbeth, also by Susan Fraser King, which is set during the events just prior to Queen Hereafter. I also can put some of my Shakespearean knowledge of my favorite play to use for something.
4 out of 5 stars
And now for the giveaway - I have one copy of the newly release trade paperback up for grabs to US residents. Just fill out the form below to enter. The book will be shipped out by the publisher. The last day to enter is December 31, 2011.
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