"In a splendid fusion of historical research and imagination, Patricia Bracewell's The Price of Blood thrusts us back a thousand years to the era of Emma of Normandy. As Bracewell writes into the gaps of history, the sense of visceral tension never flags as she culls rare drama from the rivalries of court and record of brutal acts, while never failing to illuminate the private fears, affections, and struggles of her characters. An extraordinary saga." --Adrienne McDonnell, author of The Doctor and the Diva "With skill and breathtaking research, Patricia Bracewell has given vibrant life to a fascinating but forgotten queen and to her role in a harsh, obscure time in the Middle Ages." --Anne Easter Smith, author of A Rose for the Crown and Queen By Right "The stakes are unbearably high in the meticulously researched, fast-paced The Price of Blood, with Queen Emma of Normandy struggling to survive in a royal court hurtling toward disaster. Torn between duty to her disdainful husband and a forbidden love, Emma fascinates: intelligent, proud and bold--and fiercely protective of those she cares for. This is a queen like no other." --Nancy Bilyeau, author of The Crown "A deep and stirring novel, elegant in detail and convincing in execution." --Cecelia Holland, author of The Secret Eleanor "In The Price of Blood, Patricia Bracewell proves once more that she is an alchemist. She turns the leaden chronicle accounts of Emma and Aethelred's embattled kingdom into a narrative thrumming with life, the historical figures heartbreakingly human. The epic battles of the Anglo-Saxon are rendered personal, tragic. The fated characters disturbed my sleep and haunted my walks. You have been warned." --Emma Campion, author of The King's Mistress "With vivid prose and impeccable research, Patricia Bracewell draws the reader into the treacherous intrigues of a kingdom on the brink of destruction. Her heroine, Emma of Normandy, faces deepening danger. Blinded by mistrust of his elder sons and his queen, Emma's husband, King Aethelred leaves England vulnerable to the rising tide of Viking raiders Against the backdrop of this bloody conflict, courageous, resourceful Queen Emma must find a way to stand against the Viking raiders, her own husband and the conniving woman who will use any weapon-- poison, sorcery, or her body-- to steal Emma's crown As Emma fights to save her kingdom, and the crown that is her son's birthright, we share her unforgettable journey-- a woman who seizes her own power from the wreckage of a loveless marriage." --Ella March Chase, author of The Queen's Dwarf "Ms. Bracewell is a rising star in historical fiction. Her nuanced, heartrending portrait of Emma of Normandy and her Viking-ravaged world brims with intrigue, courage, and sacrifice; vividly written, THE PRICE OF BLOOD offers readers something different: a rarely explored era of dark superstitions, where one woman must seize power the only way she can." --C.W. Gortner, author of The Queen's Vow
The second book in Bracewell’s outstanding Emma of Normandy series, set in 11-century England, when Vikings are on the brink of invasion.
1006 AD. Queen Emma, the Norman bride of England’s King Æthelred, has given birth to a son. Now her place as second wife to the king is safe and Edward marked as heir to the throne. But the royal bed is a cold place and the court a setting for betrayal and violence, as the ageing king struggles to retain his power over the realm. Emma can trust no one, not even the king’s eldest son Athelstan, the man she truly loves.
Elsewhere Viking threats to the crown are gaining strength, and in the north the powerful nobleman Ælfhelm is striking an alliance with the Danes. His seductive daughter Elgiva, former mistress to the king, is forced to act as a pawn in his plan, and is given as wife to a Viking Lord. Can King Æthelred finally listen to Athelstan, whose plan to strengthen the kingdoms’ ties will put off the Viking threat once and for all?
Emma must protect her only child without abandoning her noble position. And her inner conflict, between maternal instinct and royal duty, will be played out against the dramatic and bloody struggle for Britain’s rule.