“A story of impassioned perseverance that whips along with mythological magic” SciFi Now
“As someone who has read countless retellings of legends from all different perspectives, I enjoyed Emmerichs taking the essence of Beowulf and making it [her] own… This is Fryda’s tale to tell” SFbook.com
“Emmerichs sets a lively pace with her bright and breezy prose” SFX
Sharon Emmerichs’ epic fantasy novel, SHIELDMAIDEN, is a rich and unique female-led take on the Beowulf universe, told from the point of view of characters rarely represented in the fantasy world; a disabled young warrior woman and her best friend and love interest, Theow, a slave from Ireland whom she is forbidden to be with.
Having grown up hearing tales of her uncle, the great King Beowulf, Fryda’s one desire is to become a shield maiden in her own right. Yet a terrible childhood accident has left Fryda disabled – thus, she believes, thwarting her dream of becoming a warrior-woman for good. But still, somehow, she feels an uncontrollable power begin to rise within herself.
Meanwhile, a great celebration of Beowulf’s reign is underway, and Fryda’s house is soon overrun with foreign kings and chieftains. Amidst the drunken revelry, a discovery is made that threatens the safety of Fryda’s entire clan – and her own life. Enraged, Fryda resolves to fight for her people, no matter the cost… and all the while, her powers seem only to grow stronger.
But she is not the only one to feel its effects. For, buried deep in her gilded lair, a dragon is drawn to Fryda’s untamed power, and is slowly awakening from a long, cursed sleep…
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 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 derpiest Siberian husky ever.
Sharon is represented by Kristina Perez at Perez Literary