“At the heart of our present are the stories of our past. In ages gone by, many monarchs died while they were still young. There were battles and diseases and many were simply overthrown. But the days of regal engagement in hand-to-hand combat are over and the line of succession has a good ageing prospect these days.
One of the most famous monarchs in history is Queen Victoria and her passing brought an end to an amazing era. She could be demanding, rude and she frequently fled public duties for the solitude of Scotland. But she loved fiercely, and her people loved her fiercely in return. Under her reign, England achieved greatness it had never known before.
‘VICTORIA TO VIKINGS – The Circle of Blood’ spans from this great queen to another one: Queen Elizabeth II. Ours is the era of the longest living monarch in history and her ancestry is incredible. But walking two steps behind her, stalwart and loyal, stands Prince Philip, the strawberry to her champagne, and with him comes his own amazing Viking heritage.”
What do I think?
Victoria to Vikings – The Circle of Blood charts the lives of the British Royal family as they navigate through a tumultuous period of history. Easy to read, this novel works well as a standalone book whether you have read the previous work of Hughes or not (this book is the final novel of a trilogy). The language flows well and the narrative is engaging, providing a good introduction to anyone who wants to understand a little more about this historic family. Charting the succession from Queen Anne through to Queen Elizabeth II, you can come to understand more about how our monarch is linked to some of the earliest rulers of the British Isles and the Great-Grandmother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who in turn has his own viking connections. Hughes also cleverly weaves in relevant history from other countries – there is reference to the German Reich for example.
As a self confessed history geek, my only disappointment with this novel is the lack of references or further reading suggestions. When I read a novel like this I love to study the sources and understand where different information has come from. Something that has stuck with me since my university days perhaps. I feel that knowing a book that draws on historical fact has been thoroughly researched adds to my intrigue and engagement with it. That aside, I do think this novel will appeal to a wide audience, with or without previous knowledge of the history of the period. It is well worth a read.
About the author:
I am an Australian author born in Brisbane, Queensland now living in Hong Kong. My writing career began 18 years ago with my best-selling autobiography ‘Daughters of Nazareth’ published by Pan MacMillan Australia. Over the past 8 years, I have been researching and writing a historical fiction trilogy based on British Monarchy throughout the ages beginning with the Vikings. Originally meant to be a single book, as facts accumulated the material gradually filled three books. I call this series my V2V trilogy.
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