Mother of Kings

Front Cover
Tom Doherty Associates, Sep 27, 2001 - Fiction - 444 pages
5 Reviews
With this new novel, science fiction and fantasy grandmaster Poul Anderson has crafted a powerful story of a mighty queen, magic, and the mastery of ancient nations.

Blending characters both historical and mythological, Mother of Kings is the tale of Gunnhild, Queen of England and Norway, who loomed so large in the tenth century-at the end of the Age of the Vikings-that she became a figure of legend, even of myth.

As a child of just seven summers, Gunnhild finds herself fascinated with the powers of a witchwoman who is a concubine of her father's, a powerful Norse chieftain. She also finds another fascination in handsome and lordly Eirik, son of their king. When her mother dies, Gunnhild promises, "I will never yield," and that, "through me, our blood shall flow greatly."
Gunnhild has learned from her chieftain father the way the powerful use the weak. But there are other lessons and other powers she seeks. Sent away to learn the magic of a pair of shamans, Gunnhild becomes a Spaewife-a knower of the Gods, a master in the ways of witchcraft and sorcery. Aided by her new abilities, Gunnhild marries Eirik. She is destined to become queen, and her magic is a fearsome complement to Eirik's strength. But Eirik's enemies are cunning, and Gunnhild is soon without his might.

If Gunnhild can keep the promise she made as a child to never yield, her family's blood will flow greatly, and the sons she bore Eirik will each become a king.

Her own struggles, though, are far from over . . . .

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MyopicBookworm - LibraryThing

The central character is a fictionalized version of Gunnhild, wife of Eirik (Eric) Bloodaxe, son of Harald Fairhair and his successor as king of Norway. Were it not for the fact that she and others ... Read full review

Review: Mother of Kings

User Review  - Jack - Goodreads

This has been one of my favorite books. I love the mix of a historical feeling with the fantastic element. The language is also rich. Read full review

About the author (2001)

The bestselling author of such classic novels as Brain Wave and The Boat of a Million Years, Poul Anderson won just about every award the science fiction and fantasy field has to offer. He has won multiple Hugos and Nebulas, the John W. Campbell Award, The Locus Poll Award, the Skylark Award, and the SFWA Grandmaster Award for Lifetime Achievement. His recent books include Harvest of Stars, The Stars are also On Fire, Operation Chaos, Operation Luna, Genesis, Mother of Kings, and Going for Infinity, a collection and retrospective of his life's work. Poul Anderson lived in Orinda, California where he passed away in 2001.

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