Sharon Emmerichs breathes fresh life into the classic tale of Beowulf, creating a rich Anglo-Saxon society filled with characters both familiar and new. Shield Maiden pulls back the heavy curtain of patriarchy and toxic masculinity that has for far too long decorated the epic poem we know and love. Here are women who are bold and brave not only for their strength in holding a sword, but for the courage in their hearts. A welcome addition to the story of Beowulf.— Kelly
Both epic and intimate, Sharon Emmerichs's extraordinary debut novel reimagines Beowulf from the perspective of a young woman reclaiming her power.
All her life, Fryda has longed to be a shield maiden, an honor reserved for Geatland’s mightiest warriors. When a childhood accident leaves her tragically injured and unfit for the battlefield, her dreams are dashed—or so she thinks. But a strange, unfathomable power is awakening within her, a power that will soon be put to the test.
For when foreign lords and chieftains descend upon Fryda’s home to celebrate her uncle King Beowulf’s fifty-year reign, she realizes not all their guests come with good intentions. Treachery is afoot, and Fryda must gather her courage to fight for her people…as a queen should—as a shield maiden would—and as only Fryda can.
But as Fryda’s power grows stronger, something ancient hears its call. For buried deep in her gilded lair, a dragon awakens…and Fryda must prove herself once and for all.
Praise for Shield Maiden:
"A heroine with a generous spirit, an unshakable will, and a dragon's fury." —H. M. Long, author of Hall of Smoke
"Casts a superb spell. Shimmering with detail, with a propulsive plot to match" —D. K. Fields, author of the Tales of Fenest trilogy
Sharon Emmerichs was born in Sweden to American parents and grew up in Wisconsin near Lake Michigan. She has been a writer all her life, from the time she scribbled 'words' and pictures on pieces of paper, stapled them together, and called it a book. Her love of stories later translated into an English degree, and then she went on to get her MA and PhD in medieval and early modern literature... and because she collects degrees the way some people collect stamps or baseball cards, she graduated with her creative writing MFA in fiction in 2021. She is an Associate Professor of Shakespeare and medieval literature in beautiful Alaska, where she lives with Juneau, the goofiest Siberian husky ever.