THE STEEL BENEATH THE SILK
A queen's courage in the face of war, lost love, and betrayal—the breathtaking conclusion to the Emma of Normandy trilogy.
A story brimming with treachery, heartache, tenderness and passion as the English queen confronts ambitious and traitorous councilors, invading armies and the Danish king’s power-hungry concubine.
In the year 1012, England’s Norman-born Queen Emma has been ten years wed to an aging, ruthless, haunted King Æthelred. The marriage is a bitterly unhappy one, between a queen who seeks to create her own sphere of influence within the court and a suspicious king who eyes her efforts with hostility and resentment. But royal discord shifts to grudging alliance when Cnut of Denmark, with the secret collusion of his English concubine, Elgiva, invades England at the head of a massive viking army. Amid the chaos of war, Emma must outwit a fierce enemy whose goal is conquest, and outmaneuver the cunning Elgiva, who threatens all those whom Emma loves.
Historical Fiction, 436 pages, 6 X 9
Trade Paperback, $22.99, ISBN: 978-1942209812
E-Book, $5.99, ISBN: 978-1942209829
Audiobook, $25.99, ISBN: 978-1942209836
Praise for The Steel Beneath the Silk
“A magnificent book! This masterful culmination of Patricia Bracewell's epic Emma of Normandy trilogy could rival any Norse saga immortalizing the drama-laden events at the time of the Viking invasions of Anglo-Saxon England. I loved it!” – Anne Easter Smith, author of A Rose for the Crown and This Son of York
"The Steel Beneath the Silk is a triumph. As her husband King Æthelred and his sons confront the invading Danes on the battlefield, we watch Queen Emma wield power behind the scenes, forging alliances with cunning and diplomacy. Romantic, thrilling, richly embroidered with historical detail, this epic saga will satisfy fans of The Last Kingdom, Vikings, and Outlander. Highly recommended! – Candace Robb, bestselling author of the Owen Archer mysteries
"The hard-hitting history of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle comes to life in this sweeping, cinematic saga of Emma of Normandy. In a violent, turbulent world full of treachery and the threat of Viking invasion, one strong woman rises to seize her power with a warrior's valor and a peace-weaver's foresight. In Patricia Bracewell's stunning new novel, Queen Emma makes an unforgettable impression." – Mary Sharratt, author of Revelations and Illuminations
“Plotting, deceit and familial divisions keep the reader guessing what fate has in store for eleventh century Queen Emma and her sons. The Steel Beneath the Silk is a gripping and fabulous, vividly written story. The detailed scents, sounds and visual period detail pull the reader right into an English eleventh century court threatened with intrigue. This excellently recreated world provides an authentic background to a thrilling story. What a wonderful and dangerous life Queen Emma lived. England, 1013--Strife, Danish conquest, a handsome, clever Viking prince, betrayal; what a thrilling tale this is, one inhabited by vivid, unforgettable characters.” – Carol McGrath, author of The Handfasted Wife
"A queen's courage in the face of war, lost love, and betrayal takes center stage in this novel about Emma of Normandy, a woman whose critical role in English history is not as well known as it should be. I felt like I was plunged into the 11th century, thanks to the action-fueled pacing and sharply conveyed atmosphere. Anyone who enjoys Vikings and The Last Kingdom and is eager to read about the lives of women in such a tumultuous era should seize this book and prepare for an unforgettable saga." – Nancy Bilyeau, author of The Blue and the Joanna Stafford trilogy