Victoria to Vikings – The Circle of Blood
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.
For me, I love it when history is told as a story. We’ve all been there, reading dry history books which seem to be nothing but fact after fact, date after date. So finding any book where these are transformed into a readable page-turner is a great thing, and that’s what this book does, following each monarch in the period covered from their birth, through the trials and tribulations of their youth, time as heir, and ultimately, telling the tale of their own reign. It’s very readable, and keeps the pace up, and somehow, for most of the time, manages not to get bogged down in the tangled web which is the European royal houses! Even as a staunch monarchist, I find the interconnections and relationships difficult to track… Not helped by a distinct lack of imagination in the royal family when it comes to picking names for their children.
As has been picked up in other reviews, there are a couple of minor issues. As it tracks each monarch, there is, naturally, a bit of repetition, but at least this is more skimmed over when it is mentioned for the second time (the death of Prince Albert, or the abdication crisis for example), but overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and found out some stories I had never come across in other books. It picks out some of the more personal tales that a lot of those drier books never manage to get to, and that makes this very readable, interesting, and a great jumping-off point from which to go and explore some of the most interesting characters in British history.
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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