Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Victoria to Vikings The Circle of Blood by Trisha Hughes #BlogTour

best historical non-fiction, books about Queen Victoria

In the foreword to Victoria to Vikings: The Circle of Blood Trisha Hughes writes: "Interest in the British Monarchy has ebbed and flowed over the centuries depending on the reigning monarch and the controversy surrounding said monarch... My tale is a conglomerate of accumulated facts together with my imagination, backed up by plausibility in the quicksand of history."

Victoria to Vikings - The Circle of Blood by Trisha Hughes
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.

I thought I knew pretty much about Victoria and her disfunctional family, as I've read extensively on the subject in the past, both fiction and non-fiction.

Victoria to Vikings is an amalgam of history and biography. It's a compelling reading for anyone interested in the European history.
It spans the lives of six British monarchs, starting with Queen Victoria, but also dabs into the world of the Romanovs and the German Emperor's family.

Victoria had surpassed autocracy and had become the role model for all future successful constitutional monarchs, as well as a beloved figurehead... Her legacy was enormous: an empire, nine children, forty two grandchildren and the second longest-reigning monarch in English history.
Her story was one of a tiny, strong woman at the heart of an empire...

From hobnobbing with the academics for most of my married life, I know that they dread their books to be described or quoted as "reads as a novel", so I won't be using this expression, even if Trisha Hughes is not an academic.

On her website Trisha says: "I'm not a historian but I love everything history and I've enjoyed the intense research involved for a complicated subject as this."

Hughes is a masterful storyteller, she has a great talent for putting a lot of data and information together in a very enticing, entertaining way. There are lots of facts on every page, but the narrative is never boring.
The narrative is vastly engaging but never dumbed down. It's a refreshing interpretation of the popular history, it's fast-moving, enlightening and enthralling.

Victoria to Vikings is a wonderful panorama of a book.
As a historical book, it is enormously entertaining, but...
There are some factual things that might be argued - for example, Queen Victoria is described as the longest-reigning monarch in English history to date. While it might have been true, when the book was being written, this should have been amended, especially that there are references in the book to Prince Harry and Megan's wedding.
And there were other minor details that should have been double-checked.

I also missed the illustrations. Photos of all the main protagonists would have been a great addition. As it happened, I kept checking out the Wikipedia for photos. Victoria's family tree is vast, with so much inbreeding and people with the same names, that you might get easily confused. Having a visual backing to all the members would be helpful to remind who is who.

Author Bio:
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.

Social Media Links
Facebook Trisha Hughes Author and Twitter @TrishaHughes_

This post is a part of blog tour, please check out the other stops:

non-fiction books about Queen Victoria

Disclosure: Many thanks to Trisha Hughes, The Book Guild and Rachel's Random Resources for my copy of the book, which I received for the purposes of reading and reviewing. All opinions are my own.

non-fiction books on the British Monarchy


  1. Looks like a good read, I think my son would love this one

  2. Sounds very interesting - maybe one to check out over the summer when I have the time to really delve into something that needs some brain-power !

  3. Sounds really interesting. Why didn't she edit that thing about Victoria being the longest reining monarch is strange. In this situations I wonder if other things didn't slip through as well. Anyway, it's a book I'd like to read.