Friday, March 04, 2011

I Am The Chosen King by Helen Hollick

Genre: Historical Fiction
US Publication Date: 1st March 2011
Pages: 592
Book Source: ARC from SourceBooks - borrowed from Alaine

Synopsis: The year is 1066. Earl Harold Godwineson of Wessex is lawfully chosen and crowned by the English Lords as King of England - for there is no-one else with the ability to defend the land against the threat of conquest by Duke William of Normandy.

Power and Passion, Love; Loyalty and lust for a throne - One Kingdom, Two Men, One Crown -

In I Am The Chosen King Helen Hollick eloquently continues the story of Saxon England begun in The Forever Queen culminating with one of the most famous dates in English history; 1066 and the Battle of Hastings.

I Am The Chosen King took me a lot longer to read than The Forever Queen and like many weighty historical fiction novels, I think it's best read when you have large chunks of time to devote to the experience. Due only to reading time constraints I wasn't as quick to fall in love with this one as I was with The Forever Queen. However Harold and Edyth & Hollick's meticulous attention to detail and plausible artistic license won my heart in the end.
We follow Edward's reign (son of Aethelred and Emma) as King of England (in name only) as Earl Godwine does all the hard work in ruling England. Hollick gives a colourful rendition of the exploits of the Godwin family and a highly detailed account of the events leading up to the Norman conquest.

Once again the author excels with character portrayal. Duke William of Normandy was both fascinating and terrifying, Edith and Tostig (Harold's siblings) grasping, self centred and easy to dislike. The love between Harold Godwinesson and his handfasted wife Edyth brought tears to my eyes and while it was expected he would marry in the christian way eventually, I was saddened when it actually occured; even though his Queen, Alditha is sweet and understanding.

The descriptions of the Battle of Hastings were breathtaking, and heartbreaking, I had goosebumps reading these scenes. Hollick's author notes were a wonderful addition and much appreciated by this reader. All up, another winner for Helen Hollick and fans of historical fiction.

See my review of The Forever Queen ~ 5 stars!

This month on The Eclectic Reader win The Tudor Secret by C W Gortner. Check this blog post for details!


  1. I thought this might be a follow on and I was right! Still want to read The Forever Queen, but think this one might be too long for me.

  2. I will read this one next week :)

  3. Thanks for reviewing this book on my blog. I'm looking forward to reading it!

  4. Loved your review..can not wait to get to my review copy now!

  5. Books that give the reader goosebumps are works of art! Thanks for the lovely review :)

  6. Viv ~ I found The Forever Queen a really quick read despite it's chunkster size, I honestly couldn't put it down. I'm sure you'll love it too!

  7. Thank you so much for the fantastic review and lovely comments: I've had a few personal ups & downs lately, to hear from such nice people and know that my books bring enjoyment (even in the form of a good cry! *laugh*) is so good to know.Thank you!


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