I have read all of Carol McGrath's Hastings Trilogy, and have been entranced by this little-known period of English history. Her most recent novel features a woman about whom little is known, but McGrath's research into the politics, events and atmosphere of the time have filled in the gaps .
Carol McGrath's beautifully detailed novel of the exiled Princess Thea is a treat for the senses. For much of the novel Thea is on a journey to find her Russian Prince Vladimir, and we are in her company as she braves the icy Northern waters in a Dragon boat, crosses the vast steppes and fights off pirates and brigands. We are taken with her to chilly monasteries, fortress castles, and the 'terem' the womens' quarters at the Rus Court.We watch her embroidering her 'rushnyk' - her ritual wedding cloth, and visiting the local cunning woman.
The characters in this novel provide the reader with plenty of tension - the jealous Olga, the faithful Gudrun, and the men battling for land, and lusting for power. The finale is a gripping and spectacular battle for a city besieged, and it makes a wonderful climax to what has been a great series.
If you like well-researched historical biography with a wealth of period detail, you will love this. Highly recommended.
Find out more about Carol and the other books in the trilogy on her website