Review: I am The Chosen King – Helen Hollick

In this beautifully crafted tale, Harold Godwinesson, the last Saxon King of England, is a respected, quick-witted man both vulnerable and strong, honorable and loving-and yet, in the end, only human. After the political turmoil and battles leading up to 1066, we all know William the Conquerer takes England. But Helen Hollick will have readers at the edge of their seats, hoping that just this once, for Harold, the story will have a different ending.

My Thoughts:
Another well-written tale by Hollick. In this one we follow the last 30 years before 1066, and see the fall of the last English King.

Harold Godwinesson is the son of Earl Godwin of Wessex. In his youth he falls in love with a beautiful woman, Edyth and takes her as his handfast wife. Because he knows that in the future he must make a alliance and get a wife in a Christian ceremony. We follow his life as he becomes Earl of East Anglia, as his sister Edith marries Edward (the confessor), as he fights with his brother Swegn, as they all has to go into exile. As the Earls grumble about what a bad king Edward is, as they try to subdue the Welsh, more fighting within the family, worrying about who the next king will be, and at last, Hastings.
That might seem like a lot but the book does chronicle 30 years, and they were not easy years. The book sometimes follows different people, and one of these is a certain young Duke of Normandy. A bloodthirsty man who later wants England. I liked that there were different POVs now and again, because even if we mostly follow Harold, we also get to see what other things. William, Edward, Queen Edith, and a few more. A hint what they might have thought about events taking place.
The book does what it sets out to do. It tells about these last years of Anglo-Saxon rule and what a man Harold might have been. And he is a good man who truly loves his hand-fasted wife (concubine). The bad guy in this tale is Duke William. As for King Edward, well him I mostly feel sorry for because he just is so useless.
A good historical novel, long yes, but it explained things nicely and she had her own spin on things. I liked this tale about how it all might have happened, and at last, this is fiction, we can never know the whole truth as Hollick says at the end. 
At the end I went nooo! Why? Because I did not want to see it happened, that which had to happen in 1066. We all know who won.
Reason for reading:
I like this time in history
Not for me
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 592
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Published: March 1st 2011
(first published 2001)
Source: For review

35 thoughts on “Review: I am The Chosen King – Helen Hollick

  1. Lady Q says:

    I'm a big fan of her Pendragon trilogy. I treated myself to A Hollow Crown and Sea Witch last year, but they're still sitting on my TBR shelf! So many books, so little time! Thanks for stopping by and following me–I'm returning the favor 🙂

  2. Blodeuedd says:

    YvonneWell, I like the blue at least ;)GeosiIt is actually not a fav of mine, a bit to blend, so I am with youLadyQI loved The Hollow Crown, Emma was such an inspiring woman. You totally have to read once :DAnd thanks for stopping by

  3. Elysium says:

    I've wanted this for long time and was so happy it got re-realesed.I'm happy you liked it! I'm planning on ordering it in next month 🙂

  4. Simcha says:

    It's been ages since I last read any historical fiction. I think steampunk is the closes that I've come. I really should pick one up sometimes soon since I do remember enjoying them.

  5. Blodeuedd says:

    CarrieThey are. Her book about Emma was awesome, I did like that one more, but that was only cos I really like Queen Emma :)ElysiumYay for a good re-release. I would not have known about it otherwiseHi Evie :)Good to hear, and I do recommend this excellent book

  6. Blodeuedd says:

    CherryIt is good to get out of ones comfort zone now and again 😉 But yes I know it myself, some genres are not for meBermudaI say yes to that. If you read these then start with the book before so you get the story in order. Though they are stand aloneSimchaYes pick one up! Steampunk in all its glory sure differs from the real deal

  7. Aarti says:

    I have been very interested in reading more about Harold since reading the very short non-fiction book 1066. He sounds like a guy who got the very short end of a very important stick.

  8. Blodeuedd says:

    MelissaDo not fear the end, if there hadn't been that no then I would have been real mad 😉 I just liked Harold and did not wanna see him loseArtiPoor Harold, perhaps he could have won if people hadn't been trying to steal his kingdom left and rightFVThanks 🙂 Yes, his fic is not for everyone, but I sure love it

  9. Missie says:

    Probably not for me because I struggle with historical fiction especially if the book is a long as this one, but Anglo-Saxon rule was a fascinating time. Plus who doesn't like sexy words like Wessex, or Essex or concubine.. okay so that one is not sexy, but it always makes me think of sex. LOLI'm so weird. Please ignore my comment.

  10. Kelly Moran says:

    I too like the cover. I'm hearing a lot about this book.great post.I woke up Sunday a.m. to find my blog, my 500 plus followers, my 100plus author interviews, and my 200 plus reviews gone. Blogger gave no explanation, but I think the account was hacked. Change your password often!I have reloaded the interviews and reviews, plus redesigned the blog. But if you could, please hit the "follow" button so I can reclaim the fellow bloggers I miss. I'm still following you, as my account remained–thank goodness! Thank you!Kelly MoranXO

  11. Aurian says:

    It's been years since I have been reading historical fiction, mainly the books by Jean Plaidy. I loved the one about Lucrezia Borgia most.But it is a genre I don't read anymore, I prefer historical romances, but a good background story to the lovestory is a bonus.

  12. Jenny says:

    This is a long one isn't it! Is it difficult to follow at all since it spans such significant amount of time? I don't read too many historicals, but when I do, I always enjoy them:)

  13. Blodeuedd says:

    StaciIt was huge, that's for sure. Luckily I had Sunday where I could relax and read the last part. Cos it's not a book to rushNaidaIt's such an important part of English history and she weaves such a wonderful storyMelissaIt was great 🙂 Would not have liked to live there though ;)Melissa SwimIt's always nice to try new things ;)MissieIgnore, no way, what a comment, Wessex, Wessex, that does sound really sexy, oh see, now you have me thinking about sexy Wessex for all eternity

  14. Blodeuedd says:

    LarissaHis fic is not for everyone :)LizI am saying one big yes to that :DKellyOh no! I am so sorry to hear that, that truly sucks. Now I got scared. I sure hope you wont have any more problemsMishaI hope you get to read it soon, and then I can't wait to see what you thinkAmusedIt is recommended 🙂

  15. Blodeuedd says:

    AnnaThen this book will give you some insight. It was very interestingDarlenePoor Harold, he sure got the short end of that stick :(AurianI like HR too, but I also like pure historical fiction, and the in between, oh I just love it all, lolJennyI wouldn't say that. She had truly worked on trying to make it a bit easier for the readerANaDo I dare to recommend it, we are so cursed when it comes to his fic 😉

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