The Constant Queen…
‘You need not take England without me, Hari, because I will be your constant queen – there with you; there for you.’ Elizaveta is princess of Kiev, but that doesn’t stop her chasing adventure. Defying conventions, she rides the rapids of the Dneiper alongside her royal brothers and longs to rule in her own right as a queen. Elizaveta meets her match when the fearsome Viking warrior Harald Hardrada arrives at her father’s court seeking fame and fortune. He entrusts Elizaveta to be his treasure keeper, holding the keys to his ever-growing wealth – and eventually to his heart. Theirs is a fierce romance and the strength of their love binds them together as they travel across the vast seas to Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Iceland. In 1066, their ambition carries them to Orkney as they plan to invade England and claim the crown …The Constant Queen is a powerful, absorbing novel which tells the story of a daring Viking warrior, his forgotten queen and a love that almost changed the course of history.
I will confess, that despite being a fan of historical fiction, my reading tastes tend to lean more towards modern history and I don’t usually go much further back than the 17th century. The Constant Queen is set in the 11th century, so normally I wouldn’t have progressed past picking it up and admiring the cover, but I’d been searching for some Viking themed historicals for quite some time now (on account of being a fan of the TV show, Vikings), so sometimes you just have to break out of your comfort zone and take a chance on something new. In this case, I’m so glad I did!
Rich in historical detail, yet not overwhelmingly so, The Constant Queen is a wonderful snapshot of a part of history long forgotten. With an interesting love triangle without the ‘triangle’ so to speak and a cast of characters true to their purpose, I found myself engrossed in this novel right from the outset and ended up reading it quite rapidly over a weekend. There is little to fault with this novel, if anything, perhaps it might have skipped time a little too rapidly in some sections for my liking, but even so, it was still well paced and very engaging.
I’m keen to read more from this author as I really enjoyed her style so I’ll be keeping an eye out for more of these Queens of Conquest novels by Joanna Courtney. I highly recommend this novel for those who love a well-rounded historical saga with elements of romance, drama, adventure, and suspense.