Friday 25 September 2020

Blog Tour ~ Valhalla by Alan Robert Clark


Delighted to host today's Blog Tour stop

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Fairlight Books
24 September 2020

My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book
and the invitation to be part of this blog tour.

May of Teck, only daughter of a noble family fallen from grace, has been selected to marry the troublesome Prince Eddy, heir to the British throne. Submitting to the wishes of Queen Victoria and under pressure from her family, young May agrees. But just as a spark of love and devotion arises between the young couple, Prince Eddy dies of influenza. To her horror, May discovers she is to be married to the brother, Georgie, instead, a cold and domineering man. But what can she do? From the author of The Prince of Mirrors comes this gripping account of the life of Queen Mary, one of the most formidable queens of Britain.

What did I think about it...

I can't think that I have ever read a historical novel which had the enigmatic Queen Mary as its central character, she has always seemed to get rather lost as the quiet wife of the more dominant, King George V or as the bewildered mother of the abdicated, King Edward VIII. It's been a refreshing change to have more of an idea about the rather shy May of Teck, who married her dead fiancรฉ's brother because it was convenient  and kept her in the family.

I've seen grainy black and white images of Queen Mary, who always seems such a sturdy upright figure, typically Edwardian in manner and dress, never without a string or two of pearls around her neck and her sensible and rather mundane choice of fashion. What this fictional account of her life does is give us an idea of how she was as a person and how her rather lonely upbringing with dissolute and indifferent parents had such a bearing on how she conducted herself in her royal life.

The author has written a lovely, fictional account of Queen Mary's life, from her time as a young girl, right through to her death in 1953 including some of the more well known moments in the tumultuous  reign of George V, along with the more personal thoughts and feelings of a young woman who was thrust into the royal spotlight. I feel like I really got to know Queen Mary, with all her hopes and fears she was always just trying to do the best she could for her family and her country.

I think that Valhalla is a much needed fictional account of the life of our current Queen's grandmother, which will be of interest, I am sure, to all those readers who enjoy novels about the royal family whilst at the same time appealing to those who just love good historical fiction.

Alan Robert Clark was born and educated in Scotland. He briefly attended King’s College in London, before opting instead for a career as a copywriter and creative director with a number of leading London advertising agencies. He has worked as a freelance journalist and, most recently, has ghost-written and coauthored a number of biographies. His novel The Prince of Mirrors (Fairlight Books, 2018) was included in the Walter Scott Prize Academy Recommends List.

Twitter @AlanRobClark #ValhallaNovel


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