Elizabeth Chadwick lives in Nottingham with her husband and two sons. She is a member of Regia Anglorum, an early medieval reenactment society, and tutors in writing historical and romantic fiction. She won a Betty Trask Award for The Wild Hunt, her first novel, and was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists' Award in 1998 for The Champion. Her novel Lords of the White Castle won the WordWeaving Award of Excellence, and The Falcons of Montabard, her thirteenth novel, was shortlisted for the U.K.'s Parker Romantic Novel of the Year Award for 2004.
The Falcons of Montabardby Elizabeth Chadwick
Barfleur, 1120. Sabin FitzSimon, bastard son of an earl, has acquired a reputation for wildness and trouble only matched by his abilities as a warrior. But when he is caught seducing the King's favorite mistress, not even his fighting skills can save him. Beaten by the King's soldiers and left behind in the Norman port, it seems that his notoriety has finally
Barfleur, 1120. Sabin FitzSimon, bastard son of an earl, has acquired a reputation for wildness and trouble only matched by his abilities as a warrior. But when he is caught seducing the King's favorite mistress, not even his fighting skills can save him. Beaten by the King's soldiers and left behind in the Norman port, it seems that his notoriety has finally gotten the better of him.
Upon his eventual return to England, Sabin is given the opportunity to rebuild his career and salvage his reputation: The knight Edmund Strongfist is leaving for the Holy Land to offer his sword and services to the King of Jerusalem, and he wants Sabin to join him.
Accompanying Strongfist is his young, beautiful, convent-educated daughter Annais. Sabin, he warns, is to keep away from her. Being grateful for the chance that Strongfist has given him, Sabin does so, but not without a feeling of regret as he observes her spirit and courage, and enjoys her beautiful harp playing.
The Holy Land brings its own shares of trials for Sabin. If he succeeds in keeping his distance from Annais, he has less success with Strongfist's new wife, and the consequences prove to be painful. The land is suffering from constant warfare and following the capture of the King, Sabin is forced to take command of the fortress of Montabard and marry its recently widowed chatelaine. Now there is all to play for...and all to lose.
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In 1120, King Henry¿s men beat up Sabin FitzSimon for insulting His Royal Highness by having a tryst with Lora, the regally current favorite. Sabin¿s bruises are nothing compared to Lora being killed since she has no noble kin protecting her like the illegitimate Sabin has. Anticipating repercussions, his aristocratic family arranges for Sabin to go on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Believing he should have died instead of the innocent Lora as he caused the incident, Sabin agrees.---- Reluctantly Scottish warrior Edmund Strongfist allows Sabin to join his group that includes his convent ¿educated¿ daughter Annais on a trek to Outremer (Israel). Strongfist knows of Saban¿s unsavory reputation with women and warns him to stay away from his daughter or die. Still feeling culpability over Lora¿s death, Sabin tries to stay away from the pretty innocent, but admits to himself he is very attracted to her. Annais is fascinated with Sabin¿s dark reputation and womanizing scandals, but both keep their wary distance until they reach their dangerous destination and begin to fall in love as they need each other to survive---- This is a strong tale that brings to life the early twelfth century Holy Land though the novel also contains a powerful romantic subplot that uses historical events to further the relationship between the lead characters. The key to the story line is the secondary players with various backgrounds that enable the audience to obtain a complete vivid picture of a place almost nine centuries ago. The changing relationship between Sabin and Annais is brilliantly handled with this incredible historical panorama so historical fiction and medieval romance fans gain a terrific epic.---- Harriet Klausner
First I should disclose I am a fan of Elizabeth Chadwick and have read and enjoyed many of her other books. I'm not sure exactly why, but I really loved Falcons of Montabard. Perhaps because some of the story takes place in the Outremer, the Holy Lands that were occupied by the crusading European nations for a brief time in history. It is hard to imagine men and women travelling the incredible distance from western Europe to try and live, fight, occupy and control a territory so far away. Unusual settings, scenes and challenges--I really loved this book!
This is the first Elizabeth Chadwell novel I read and it is still my favorite. She combines historical accuracy with steamy romance. The author is a member of a historical group in England that recreates life in the middle ages, so her descriptions of clothing, household items, weapons, and customs are period accurate - making for an informative and entertaining read. But what really amazes me is her knowledge of horsemanship. As a student of natural horsemanship techniques for the last 15 years and the servant of 7 horses (including 4 BLM mustangs) I am quick to be disgusted by equine inaccuracies in novels. Elizabeth Chadwell has never let me down. I read every one of her books as soon as they are available.
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