Saturday, January 31, 2015

Book Review: QUEEN HEREAFTER by Susan Fraser King

Margaret became Queen of Scotland after her family had been ship wrecked on the coast of Scotland; her family had been seeking refuge from England.  Her brother Edgar of England had been out lawed by their uncle after their father’s sudden death. They had secured sanctuary through Margaret’s marriage to the warrior King Malcolm Canmore of Scotland. Her mother, brother and sisters lived with her at the evolving Scottish court. Malcolm and Scotland needed to grow to become more of a stately country to be taken more seriously in the political world of their times. Margaret was the virtuous good Queen to modernize the Scottish court.  She was fully devoted to her new husband and home. Her nature was giving almost to a fault Margaret had previously wanted to enter the church but had done her duty and married Malcolm to firmly secure her families place.

Surprisingly Margaret and Malcolm’s marriage ended up being a love match. Margaret was everything that Malcolm was not. She nurtured the cultured good king Malcolm had potential to be. Malcolm reined Margaret in when she starved herself for her beliefs and when she would literally give everything they had to help the needy. Margaret was over zealous when it came to her devotions almost to a fault but Malcolm was ever watching out for her well being because they truly loved each other. Early on in her marriage she had heard it mention of a female bard that excelled at the harp in the north of Scotland. The bard was the granddaughter of the Queen of the North the notorious Lady Macbeth. The latter had been stirring up trouble for Malcolm lately which led to him demanding that Lady Macbeth surrender her grand daughter to Malcolm as a royal prisoner to his changing Scottish court. Plus it was a good way to please his new Queen.

Eva, a Celtic princess was a skilled bard and her specialty was the beautiful harp. Eva begrudgingly befriends the new young queen at first. Their relationship deepened with time as Eva and Margaret grew to know the true person they were. The closeness made Eva regrets her agreement with her willful grandmother. Eva had agreed to spy on the royal family and to gather information about a book that Malcolm was commissioning. The book was set to be Malcolm’s version on the history of the previous ruling Scottish kings that were not just Malcolm’s kin but were Eva’s and Lady Macbeth’s. Lady Macbeth’s motive was plain Eva was to find the book and prevent it from spreading historical lies about Eva’s kin. Caught between her love for the saintly Scottish Queen Margaret and love of her own kin folk Eva can not choose a side until in an ill chosen event leads to Eva’s arrest for trying to kill her best friend in the whole world Margaret. With nowhere to turn for help Eva holds out hope that the queen speak on her behalf because her rash actions might cost her everything including her life.

4/5 Fast paced and a real page-turner, mainly because you never knew what Margaret was going to do next. King beautifully portrayed Margaret as a courageous young queen that passionately cared for the people of Scotland. This was a new time period and setting for me but I would highly recommend this novel to anyone curious about Scottish history.

FTC- this novel was sent to me by the publisher for review.

PG-13 Rating for mild violence and sexual reference.

S U B S C R I B E ~ T W I T T E R ~ F A C E B O O K ~ I N S T A G R A M ~ G O O G L E +~L I Z Z I E~


  1. I have been on a huge HF kick lately. This sounds like a great book and it's definitely on my TBR list!

    1. It was a great read, one that I did not expect... which made it all the more better. Happy HF reading!


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