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by hmhibbit, March 25, 2015


4 star

The Price of Blood

The Emma Of Normandy Trilogy #2

By Patricia Bracewell

ISBN# 9780525427278

Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt


Menaced by Vikings and enemies at court, Queen Emma defends her children and her crown in a riveting medieval adventure…

Readers first met Emma of Normandy in Patricia Bracewell’s gripping debut novel, Shadow on the Crown. Unwillingly thrust into marriage to England’s King Æthelred, Emma has given the king a son and heir, but theirs has never been a happy marriage. In The Price of Blood, Bracewell returns to 1006 when a beleaguered Æthelred, still haunted by his brother’s ghost, governs with an iron fist and a royal policy that embraces murder.

As tensions escalate and enmities solidify, Emma forges alliances to protect her young son from ambitious men—even from the man she loves. In the north there is treachery brewing, and when Viking armies ravage England, loyalties are shattered and no one is safe from the sword.

Rich with intrigue, compelling personalities, and fascinating detail about a little-known period in history, The Price of Blood will captivate fans of both historical fiction and fantasy novels such as George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series.


The Price of Blood is the second of The Emma of Normandy Trilogy by author Patricia Bracewell. I did not read the first in this trilogy and think it is not necessary to enjoy this one. I do not have a lot of knowledge about this time period, but again think it is not necessary to enjoy this novel. The writing is not staid as some historical based novels can be. It is bursting with emotion, action, adventure, love and love lost. The time is 1006 in an England that is being over run with ferocious Vikings. Most of this novel is based on true events and actual people with just a touch of fiction and fictional characters to spice it up a bit.

Emma is a strong queen however her husband King Æthelred has never been happy with their marriage. Even as she gives the king a son and heir, he still has no love for her. Emma is forced to make alliances in the royal court. Her stepdaughters want nothing to do with her and her stepsons are not happy that her son will be king one day. Emma must do all she can to protect her son and his future from the people that want to keep him from the throne, even the man she truly loves, Athelstan, oldest son of the king.

The king is haunted by the ghost of his brother and the circumstances surrounding his death. Æthelred begins to make questionable decisions and becomes entrenched with people that are not always looking out for the best for England. Emma, Athelstan and others try to make their way while dealing with the choices made by the king. This novel is full of intrigue, danger, love and hatred. It is quite captivating and is brimming with details of this historic time.

The Price of Blood is a wonderfully well written novel that will delight historical literature fans, those who love the era of the Vikings and readers that enjoy novels of royalty. I would also recommend this book to those who enjoy fantasy novels as well. Patricia Bracewell weaves a tale mixing fact and fiction and shedding light on a little known time in history. She is able to intertwine the two and the result is a wonderful tapestry that engages the reader and keeps them interested throughout. This is one of the best written and most enjoyable historical novels I have read in a long time.

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*


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