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Publisher's Summary

A breathtaking conclusion to Bracewell’s Emma of Normandy Trilogy, 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.

©2021 Patricia Bracewell (P)2021 Patricia Bracewell

What listeners say about The Steel Beneath the Silk

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Felt like it ended too soon

I get that the Author would have to imagine Emma of Normandy during Cnut's reign. She was able to do it in her first marriage but totally ended the story unfinished after Cnut comes to power. Sad.

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best out of all the series

even if you don't get the other books in the series, this one on its own is a wonderful read. you'll find yourself totally engrossed, having trouble putting it down and not listening, and I felt real regret when the book ended.

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Loved the story

All three of these books are wonderful. However; there is a different narrator for every book in the series. As a result, the sounds of the characters, pronunciation, and cadence changes with each book and it’s hard to adjust to. All three narrators do a good job, but you have to take a break in between books because the adjustment is painful every time.

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  • JO
  • 08-26-21

Enjoyed this series!

I am a big fan of historical fiction. And I loved this trilogy. I didn't even know a Queen Emma existed, so many books have focused on better known English kings and queens. Some reviews have complained about the narrator however she spoke clearly and I was able to understand everything she read. I enjoyed the series.

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Queen Emma

Loved this book. Well done. Over too soon! Patricia Bracewell takes you back in time & captures the essence of what Emma must have been like, with her trials, tribulations, passions and spirit.

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  • Richard
  • 03-25-21

Fantastic!!

A brilliant final book to an epic trilogy. Emma is one of the most fascinating figures in British history and her world is brought to life superbly. It's a gripping tale with a host of vividly painted characters. Can't recommend this trilogy enough. I'm just sad I've finished it.