The Price of Blood (Emma of Normandy Trilogy #2)
Author: Patricia Bracewell
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: February 10, 2015
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.
DID YOU KNOW?
Patricia Bracewell offers little known facts about the Anglo-Saxons she learned during her research for Shadow on the Crown and The Price of Blood.
• Laws against stealing beehives were strict because they were so valuable. The wax was used for candles, the honey for sweetener and mead, and the bees pollinated a farmer’s crops.
• Trial By Ordeal was usually a hand plunged into boiling water; if it healed easily you were innocent.
• The 1st contemporaneous royal portrait of an English king was of Æthelstan in 953.
• Alfred the Great’s stepmother was also his brother’s wife. (Work it out.)
• The sons of a king – æthelings - were not allowed to marry until their father died. This did not prevent them from forming attachments and siring children.
• The palace of Rohan in Tolkien’s LOTR is called Meduseld, from the Old English word for mead hall.
• The 1st Anglo-Saxon king to unify England & make it stick was Edgar in 961.
• An Anglo-Saxon palace was more like a compound: a great hall surrounded by many buildings.
• 10th century Lady of the Mercians, Æthelflaed, led campaigns against Viking invaders.
• Musical instruments included flutes & pipes elegantly carved of wood or the bones of birds.
• The earliest Anglo-Saxons built in wood, but the royal hall at Winchester from the time of King Alfred on was built of stone.
• The St. Brice’s Day Massacre of Danes ordered by King Æthelred II in 1002 may have spawned years of Viking payback. It was a bad decision.
• The 1st royal bride to be anointed queen of England was the mother of King Æthelred II in 973. Her name was Ælfthryth. The 2nd bride to be anointed queen was Emma of Normandy, who married Æthelred in 1002.
• In 1008 King Æthelred built a massive fleet to protect England from Viking attacks. In 1009 the fleet was destroyed by fire & storm, and the Viking raids that followed were worse than ever before.
• The concept of ‘trial by jury’ dates to the Anglo-Saxons.
• A good 10th c leech (doctor) could set & bandage a broken skull.
• The original 5 Boroughs were not in New York City. They were in an area of northern England that, in the 11th century, was a kind of Viking republic. It included the shires of Lincoln, Stamford, Derby, Nottingham, and Leicester.
• Anglo-Saxon earthen banks at Wareham were so large that in 1940 they were used as anti-tank ditches.
• The 10th c. organ in Winchester’s Old Minster needed 70 men to operate it.
• Queens displayed their husband’s wealth & power by wearing gold & gems: royal spectacle.
Check out all the other cool stuff including recipes, a playlist, and an interview with the author in this fun online book club kit!
Patricia Bracewell grew up in California where she taught literature and composition before embarking upon her writing career. She has always been fascinated by English history, which led to her studying Anglo-Saxon history at Downing College, Cambridge University. She has two grown sons and lives with her husband in Oakland, California.
Giveaway: (1) Hardcover copy of Prince of Blood - Open to US only!
*A huge thank you to the awesome people at Viking Books for providing the giveaway prize!*