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Spoiler Warning: Some of a novel's plot twists and surprises may be inadvertently mentioned and/or exposed.

Critique for 
"Harold the King"

This was the first book written by Helen Hollick that I've read. It certainly will not be my last!

Ms. Hollick is a truly magnificent author! She brings to life all of the characters of that turbulent time in a way that's absolutely spellbinding. And, she writes us a very telling account of Harold Godwinesson, his lifelong love for his "hand-fast" wife Edith Swannhaels and their children. She tells us in vivid terms of the self centered egotism and lust for power of Harold's sister Edith (Queen by marriage to Edward) and brother Tostig.

Her description of Edward (like Helen, I refuse to add the title "the Confessor" to his name seeing as how that term was coined upon his politically inspired canonization in 1161, long after his reign and death) is SPOT ON, in my opinion. A weak man and king, much like his father Aethelred who was known as "the Unready", Edward had no sense of kingship. He actually would've been happier to have been a monk, Abbot, or Bishop. Ms. Hollick also paints a vivid portrait of William the Bastard of Normandy, his ruthless ambition, cruelty, avarice, and desire to obtain the throne of England at whatever cost.

This outstanding work gives us a very good insight into the greed, treachery, and overweening ambition that all too often drives human beings, both then, at this crucial milestone in England's history and still present today. But the main thing is that Helen Hollick is able to bring to vivid life the personages and times of the period 1043-1066.

This book is truly a MUST READ for those who would better understand the history of England. It's a definite page turner, I could NOT put it down and found myself reading into the wee hours of the morning until my eyes were so strained I could no longer focus on the words. Would that I could give this book TEN stars, I would certainly award them to this masterpiece and to Helen Hollick, a truly magnificent writer! I highly recommend this work and the other works that Ms. Hollick has produced.

She is right up there in the same league with Sharon Penman, Rosemary Sutcliff, and Morgan Llywlyn as a great writer who can bring history to life! And, as a lifelong reader and student of history, I dearly love good historical novels that stick to the historical facts and bring the characters to vivid life. Ms. Hollick does this as well as any writer I've ever read! Thank you Helen, please give us more!

Critique for 
"I Am The Chosen King"

Today I finished the above book, after completing The Forever Queen @ June 20 of this year. I chose the Emma novel because for the past 6 years I've been immersed in Viking lore and just got tired of reading about historical men! Thank you for bring to light the amazing story of Queen Emma. What a woman! Why aren't we taught about historical women along with the men---history (and life) concerns so much more than battles and wars (yes, a very mixed sentiment from a Viking enthusiast which, by the way, is totally mystifying since I'm an avowed pacifist!) Then of course one couldn't stop mid-story, so I galloped on with you and the women and men in your next volume.

You have such an amazing style of writing. Although your readers know the inevitable before picking up the first volume, all during the second, as the characters came to life under your skillful hand, I felt torn: couldn't stop turning the pages no matter how late the hour or the duties neglected, but at what peril? You created such empathy with Earl/King Harold and his family, and such disdain for Duke William, that as the final chapters approached, I was left with a tough decision. Should I finish the last 75 or so pages before going to sleep knowing that the the sadness of Harold's death and knowledge of horrors to come from William's rule to haunt my dreams, or put off the inevitable for the next day? I chose the calmer route and fell asleep with the distraction of TV. Even while the days of 1066 were ticking down to that fateful day, your narrative kept me hoping for a different outcome, that Harold would be victorious after all, that William's third assault too would fail...

This romanticism is unheard of for me---I chose History for my college major because other subjects seemed too ethereal and subjective. I guess I was eager to suspend my disbelief for your characters. Bravo, Ms Hollick, you're a jolly good author!