The Scarlet Lion

The Scarlet Lion

by Elizabeth Chadwick

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Overview

The Legend of the Greatest Knight Lives On

William Marshal's skill with a sword and loyalty to his word have earned him the company of kings, the lands of a magnate, and the hand of Isabelle de Clare, one of England's wealthiest heiresses. But he is thrust back into the chaos of court when King Richard dies. Vindictive King John clashes with William, claims the family lands for the Crown—and takes two of the Marshal sons hostage. The conflict between obeying his king and rebelling over the royal injustices threatens the very heart of William and Isabelle's family. Fiercely intelligent and courageous, fearing for the man and marriage that light her life, Isabelle plunges with her husband down a precarious path that will lead William to more power than he ever expected.

"Everyone who has raved about Elizabeth Chadwick as an author of historical novels is right." —Devourer of Books on The Greatest Knight

"Elizabeth Chadwick is a gifted novelist and a dedicated researcher; it doesn't get any better than that." —Sharon Kay Penman

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402229992
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 03/01/2010
Edition description: Original
Pages: 576
Sales rank: 188,935
Product dimensions: 6.43(w) x 7.99(h) x 1.25(d)

About the Author

Elizabeth Chadwick is the author of 17 historical novels, including The Greatest Knight, Lords of the White Castle, Shadows and Strongholds, A Place Beyond Courage, The Winter Mantle, and The Falcons of Montabard, four of which have been shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists' Awards. She won a Betty Trask Award for The Wild Hunt, her first novel.

Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter One

Fortress of Longueville, Normandy, Spring 1197

Isabelle de Clare, Countess of Leinster and Striguil, wife to King Richard's Marshal, was in labour with their fourth child. "Arse first," announced the midwife, wiping her hands on a length of towel after examining her patient. "Bound to be a boy, they always cause the most trouble."
Isabelle closed her eyes and reclined against the piled bolsters. Throughout the morning the contractions had become steadily more frequent and painful. Her women had unbraided her hair so there would be no bindings about her person to tie the baby in the womb, and the thick, wheat-gold strands spilled over shoulders and engorged breasts to touch her mounded belly. "He" was already late. Her husband had hoped to greet his new offspring before setting out to war ten days ago, but instead had had to bid Isabelle farewell with a kiss at arm's length, her pregnant belly like a mountain between them. It was May now. If she survived bearing this child and he lived through the summer's campaign, they would see each other in the autumn.
For now, he was somewhere deep in the Beauvaisis with his sovereign, and she was wishing she was anywhere but this stuffy chamber undergoing the ordeal of childbirth. A contraction started low in her spine and tightened across her womb. Pain bloomed through her lower body, causing her to gasp and clench her fists. "Always hurts more when they come tail first." The midwife looked shrewdly at Isabelle. "It's not your first; you know what to expect, but infants that enter the world by their backsides have a dangerous passage. Head comes last and that's not good for the babe. Best pray to the blessed Saint Margaret for her help." She indicated the painted wooden image standing on a coffer at the bedside surrounded by a glow of votive candles.
"I have been praying to her every day since I knew I was with child," Isabelle said irritably, not adding that the overdue birth of a baby in the breech position was hardly a happy reward for her devotion. She was coming to abhor the statue. Whoever had carved it had put a sanctimonious expression on its face that fell little short of a smirk.
The next contraction wrung her in its grip and with it the urge to push. The midwife signaled to the girl assisting her and busied herself between Isabelle's thighs. "You should summon your chaplain to christen the child, immediately," she announced, her voice muffled by the raised sheet. "Do you have a name?"
"Gilbert for a boy, and Isabelle for a girl," Isabelle gritted through her teeth as she bore down. The contraction receded. Slumping against the bolsters she panted at one of her women to fetch Father Walter and have him wait in the antechamber.
The next pain seized her, then the next and the next, fierce and hard, no respite now as her body strove to expel the baby from her womb. She sobbed and grunted with effort, tendons cording her throat, her hands gripping those of her attendants hard enough to leave lasting weals on their flesh.
There was a sudden gush of wet heat between her thighs and the midwife groped. "Ah," she said with satisfaction. "I was right, it is a boy. Ha-ha, fine pair of hammers on him too!
Let's see if we can keep him alive to have use of them, eh? Push again, my lady. Not so fast, not so fast. Go gently now." Isabelle bit her lip and struggled not to push as hard as her instincts dictated. Taking the baby's ankles, tugging gently, the midwife drew his torso up and on to Isabelle's abdomen. As the mouth and nose emerged from the birth canal she wiped them clear of blood and mucus, then, watching intently, controlled the emergence of the rest of the head with a gentle hand. Propped on her elbows, Isabelle stared at the baby lying upon her body like a drowned, shipwrecked sailor. His colour was greyish-blue and he wasn't moving. Panic shot through her. "Holy Saint Margaret, is he...?"
The woman lifted the baby by his ankles, swung him gently, and applied a sharp tap to his buttocks, then again. A shudder rippled through him, his little chest expanded, and a wail of protest met the air, uncertain at first, but gathering momentum and infusing his body with a flush of life-giving pink. Righting him, the midwife turned to Isabelle, a smile deepening the creases in her wrinkled cheeks. "Just needed a bit of persuading," she said. "Best have the priest name him though, to be on the safe side." She wrapped him in a warm towel and placed him in Isabelle's arms.
The cord having been cut and the afterbirth expelled and taken away for burial, Isabelle gazed into the birth-crumpled features of her newborn son and, still deeply anxious, watched his shallow breathing. A baffled, slightly quizzical frown puckered his brows. His fists were tightly clenched as if to fight the world into which he had been so brutally initiated. "Gilbert," she said softly. "I wonder what your father is going to make of you." She blew softly against his cheek and gave him her forefinger around which to curl his miniature hand. After a moment, she lifted her gaze from the baby and fixed it on her chamber window and the arch of soft blue sky it framed. Her own ordeal was almost over and, God willing, if she did not take the childbed fever, she would soon be on her feet. Saint Margaret could be thanked with an offering and packed away in her coffer again until needed again. Now she would concentrate on prayers for her husband's safety and ask God to bring him home in one piece to greet their new son.

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Scarlet Lion 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 162 reviews.
Tigerpaw70 More than 1 year ago
Book 2 in the life of William Marshal The first novel "The Greatest Knight" followed William Marshal through his early career and his rise to fortune and noble status. In this novel, we are drawn further into his amazing and inspiring life it also includes some details of his family and those who crossed his path. Ms. Chadwick describes William Marshal as a dashing knight and a champion of tournaments, an easy-going and courteous man, and one who enjoyed the simple pleasures of life but also presented himself as a great magnate when it suited his purposes. He was a man of many talents, an accomplished soldier and a natural commander on battlefields, also a skilled diplomat with a dextrous ability to negotiate. He cared about his men and was very generous towards them. He was fiscally astute and he managed to keep the country from bankruptcy during his period of regency. In a nut shell, he was a respected hero who left behind a legacy hard to follow. Isabelle de Clare, Countess of Pembroke, was not only William`s wife but also his partner and equal. She always maintained her present during council meetings and stayed closed to her husband. She was a woman of strong character and very present in the day to day decisions. In William's absence, she governed the estate with the same dexterity as he would have. 10 pregnancies did not deter her willpower; she was his "Belle amie" throughout their married life, up till his dying breath. She survived him by one year despite their twenty year age difference. The author also covers a mix of individuals that influenced them during their life whether by choice or obligation. The list of people that crossed their path includes: Kings and Queens, Chaplains, members of the aristocracy, as well as some loyal and not so loyal followers. Once again Ms. Chadwick has given me hours of pleasure with this engaging historical fiction. The writing is colourful and lively and the author has stayed as close to history as possible but openly admits to have embellished parts of the facts to make William's life more memorable. This novel can stand on its own but to truly appreciate this time period; I would recommend reading "The Greatest Knight" first. Ms. Chadwick has thrilled me once more with this stunning and captivating story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
William Marshal, the hunky superstar of the Middle Ages. How I wish I could have known him. Elizabeth Chadwick brings him to life in her two wonderful books. When I finished this book, I just held it in my hands because I did not want to leave my time machine and enter the present reality. Sharon Kay Penman has always been my adored favorite author of historical fiction, but, I have to say that Elizabeth Chadwick is now on top. Please read, first, "The Greatest Knight" and then read "The Scarlet Lion." If you love historical fiction, you will love these books.
ITrent164 More than 1 year ago
Grabbed me and pulled me into the story from page 1. What a wonderful look at such a great man and his family. I can't wait for Elizabeth Chadwick's new series in 2013!!
Duckee More than 1 year ago
I have to say, that in reading the first book about William Marshal (The Greatest Knight), I fell a little bit in love with him. The Scarlet Lion is the continuation of his story, and I am still a little bit in love with him. This is an excellent story of a man of honor, although there were times that holding true to his honor did him no favors. I made myself read the last hundred or so pages very slowly, because I just did not want this book to end. I have read four books by Elizabeth Chadwick, now, and I love the way her characters overlap. I know that I will meet William Marshal again in her other books, and I am looking forward to it.
Sensitivemuse More than 1 year ago
To me, this book felt like I was reading one of Sharon Kay Penman's novels. There were some differences but the writing is almost similar and so is the idea of following a family through several years and how they have evolved through that time. It was an interesting historical read, I have never heard of William Marshal and it was a nice history lesson for me. The plot was well written although not as rich in history as say, for example, Sharon Kay Penman's When Christ and his Saints Slept. However, this book is a wonderful family saga as it takes you through William and Isabelle's life with their children, and the historical events surrounding them. There isn't much court intrigue here that I was expecting but I was willing to accept this, as the book was well written. The battle scenes are all right, although I expected a little more detail and more action. What was more central to the plot was mainly William and Isabelle's relationship, their family, and their endless fight against King John and his schemes. King John was every bit the villain here as I expected. He wasn't the explosive tempermental character that I thought he would have been, but more of a cunning, sly, scheming one that was constantly thinking of plots against his men or to have them turn against each other. It's a sneaky sly version of King John. An interesting side of him that I have heardly seen. It's a nice sight to read, as I'm used to seeing a different version of him altogether. I'd have to say, Isabelle is my favorite character. For a woman, and especially one during those times, she's extraordinarily strong and supportive towards William even when it came to her sons becoming "hostages". There was a very strong bond between the two and their love never failed. I thought they were both meant for each other, and complimented each other perfectly. My favorite part would be Isabelle holding off a potential invasion in Ireland. It showed her strength and determination to hold onto her beloved homeland. A few shortfalls do happen in this novel, I thought it was long in some parts, and it seemed to have dragged. It did take me quite a while to finish this book. I guess because it didn't have the intrigue and constant plotting of court life. I also expected a story rich with historical descriptions and lots of historical detail, but it was more of a family saga set in a historical setting. Nevertheless I do suggest fans of historical fiction to give this a read, I did learn quite a few things here and there, especially of the life of William Marshal. Also, there is an element of romance in the novel, it's really nothing that explicit. It's to be expected as William and Isabelle were central to the story. Overall, a good historical read that centralizes around a family saga. I do recommend this to those who enjoy reading stories of Medieval England.
sagacity More than 1 year ago
Fun well written historical fiction. Great leisure read.
Rachelleah More than 1 year ago
William Marshal was a great man and as such became legend. I enjoyed getting to know him and his family. It was a great read with a full spectrum of emotions. Elizabeth Chadwick is one of the greatest historical fiction writers that I have ever read!
Debra Scofield More than 1 year ago
This is the second book and a must read it you liked the Greatest Knight.
jdquinlan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
From the Back Cover:How a Hero Becomes a Legend...Already known as a knight of uncommon skill and honor, William Marshal has earned the friendship of King Richard and the love of a wealthy heiress. But when the Lionheart dies, leaving his treacherous brother John on the throne, William and Isabelle need all of their strength and courage to face a shattered world. Their sons held hostage, their integrity at stake, the two must choose between obeying their king or honoring their hearts. Breathing life into history, Elizabeth Chadwick provides a riveting novel of an uncommon marriage between a man of valor and the only woman who could match him.My Review:I first discovered William as a minor player in Sharon Kay Penman's trilogy about Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, which is fabulous, by the way, as all of her books are. I wanted to read more about William so I picked up Elizabeth Chadwick's first novel about William Marshal, The Greatest Knight: The Unsung Story of the Queen's Champion, which covered his young life as a knight on the tournament circuit and companion to the young King Henry. I really enjoyed it and I was surprised to discover that I enjoyed this novel chronicling his later years even more. I figured since he was now a husband and a father and getting older that the second half of his life wouldn't be as exciting as the first, but I was wrong! As a husband, a father, and a powerful earl, William has more at stake than ever before. William swears his loyalty to King John, but when John's barons begin to turn on him as war with France looms and William's vast Norman estates are endangered, John takes William's two eldest sons as surety that William won't turn on him, too. William walks a lonely path as he struggles to maintain his honor while serving a faithless king, a position that often puts him at odds with his wife, Isabelle, and later, with his eldest son, Will.This book spans twenty-two years -- a lifetime of court intrigue, war, loss and renewal, of important moments in history, and Ms. Chadwick does a fabulous job of weaving it all together, centering her story around a pair of characters that are all too easy to fall in love with. Isabelle has come a long way from her days as a sequestered royal ward and really holds her own in this one, proving herself a worthy partner for the Marshall. And as for William, what can I say? He was a great man and a great character in Ms. Chadwick's capable hands. Her portayal of the last days of William's life was beautiful and poignant. I knew it was going to be hard to say goodbye to him and to watch Isabelle lose him. The last scene of the book was a perfect ending and a fitting tribute to his memory. Really the whole book is a wonderful portrait of a man who lived as honorably as he could and the woman who loved him. Elizabeth Chadwick is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.Rating: 5 Stars out of 5
BookAddictDiary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Whenever I pick up an Elizabeth Chadwick novel, I know that I'm in for something good. Not just good: excellent. The Scarlet Lion, which I recently got my hands on, is no exception. Chadwick continues the story of William Marshal, who was introduced in The Greatest Knight. Though it seemed like William's world was settled at the end of the previous novel, Chadwick chronicles the latter half of William's life, his marriage to heiress Isabella de Clare, and his children's lives. Then, King Richard dies, and William finds himself at odds with King John, who seizes William's lands and takes two of his sons hostage. With Isabella at his side, William heads off to save his lands and his family, and to set the world right again.Chadwick delivers another well-constructed and well-researched novel with expertly-crafted characters that leap off the page. Dare I saw that Scarlet Lion is better than Greatest Knight? I dare say it. I thoroughly enjoyed Isabella's much-expanded role in Scarlet Lion, and her relationship with her children was throughly believable, honest and most importantly -true to the period while still feeling like a loving mother. Isabella isn't the only character who stands out, but she certainly made an impact on me.Scarlet Lion only solidified my love of Chadwick further and reminded why I enjoyed her work so much. Chadwick weaves a thoroughly engrossing and all-too-real world that comes to life on every page. Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction with an emphasis on the history.
booksandbutter on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was better than the first in the series, "The Greatest Knight", but I enjoyed both books very much.
ACQwoods on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the sequel to The Greatest Knight, which I really enjoyed. It did not disappoint. While much of the first book covers William's rise to prominence, in the sequel he is already extremely powerful and no longer young. He learns that the political battlefield can be more stressful and even as dangerous as the traditional battlefield. William struggles to maintain his character and morals in a world which is increasingly filled with shades of gray. Unlike many sequels I felt the quality didn't drop off between the books. I hope Chadwick continues to write more about that time period.
ChaoticEclipse on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read The Greatest Knight earlier this year and absolutely loved it! The Scarlet Lion shows us more mature Marshal and the book also focuses more on his wife Isabelle and their children.After King Richard¿s untimely death John gets the crown and he certainly won¿t make life easy for Marshal family. William¿s and Isabelle¿s marriage has some rough times when John takes theit two eldest sons as hostages. I love how their marriage is portrayed and how Isabelle is more than just her husband¿s possession. William truly loved her and listened her opinions.The ending and William¿s death was so touching and I cried so hard through the last chapter. I didn¿t want the book to end! Yet another awesome book by the author, you can never go wrong with Elizabeth Chadwick :)
EllenLEkstrom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's amazing to me how a man as accomplished and respected in his day could not garner the press of his contemporaries like King John, King Philip of France, Thomas Becket, Henry II, Richard the Lionheart. He wasn't a monarch, and he wasn't an archbishop seeking martyrdom. William Marshal's story continues in "The Scarlet Lion", taking him from the ascendency of Richard I to Marshal's death in 1219 at the age of 75. Chadwick again uses historical sources and a gift with prose and dialogue to tell the story. Few stories have endings that bring me to tears - "The Scarlet Lion" did. Memorable for me was the battle for Lincoln, at which Marshal, in his seventies, led his men through the walls to relieve the castle and stop the advance of the rebel barons and Prince Louis of France. How many people know that the barons didn't end their rebellion with Magna Carta in 1215 and the death of King John? Chadwick gives us history that is lived with people who are real and not cardboard characters. Read this book.
AdonisGuilfoyle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If it's possible, Elizabeth Chadwick has surpassed her first book about William Marshal, 'The Greatest Knight', with this dramatic, vivid and emotional finale. Truth is more fantastic than fiction, and history's heroes must inspire their fictional counterparts.After King Richard's death, Marshall and his worthy wife Isabelle face public and private battles during John's reign. William honours his loyalty to a man he mistrusts, fighting the French and his own son for honour and the greater good of England. Isabelle, a truly inspiring heroine, remains at his side, and bears him ten children, who mature as the chapters unfold. Neither man nor wife are entirely without flaws, though - William is too proud and noble for his own good on occasion, and Isabelle is ambitious and protective of her family. Perhaps it is the humanity within them both that makes this story so gripping and heart-warming to read.History does not overwhelm the narrative, which is a speciality of Elizabeth Chadwick's books - she does not patronise her readers with dictionary definitions of unfamiliar terms (if you want to know what a hauberk or a mangonel is, look them up), but her dialogue is plain and merely spiced with a few choice oaths! Her descriptions transport modern-day readers back to the hardships - and romance - of medieval England.One word of warning: have tissues on hand at the end of the book. After travelling all of William's seventy years, through countries and battles, friends and enemies, and an assortment of kings, it is very hard to say goodbye.
sensitivemuse on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
To me, this book felt like I was reading one of Sharon Kay Penman's novels. There were some differences but the writing is almost similar and so is the idea of following a family through several years and how they have evolved through that time. It was an interesting historical read, I have never heard of William Marshal and it was a nice history lesson for me. The plot was well written although not as rich in history as say, for example, Sharon Kay Penman's When Christ and his Saints Slept. However, this book is a wonderful family saga as it takes you through William and Isabelle's life with their children, and the historical events surrounding them. There isn't much court intrigue here that I was expecting but I was willing to accept this, as the book was well written. The battle scenes are all right, although I expected a little more detail and more action. What was more central to the plot was mainly William and Isabelle's relationship, their family, and their endless fight against King John and his schemes. King John was every bit the villain here as I expected. He wasn't the explosive tempermental character that I thought he would have been, but more of a cunning, sly, scheming one that was constantly thinking of plots against his men or to have them turn against each other. It's a sneaky sly version of King John. An interesting side of him that I have heardly seen. It's a nice sight to read, as I'm used to seeing a different version of him altogether. I'd have to say, Isabelle is my favorite character. For a woman, and especially one during those times, she's extraordinarily strong and supportive towards William even when it came to her sons becoming "hostages". There was a very strong bond between the two and their love never failed. I thought they were both meant for each other, and complimented each other perfectly. My favorite part would be Isabelle holding off a potential invasion in Ireland. It showed her strength and determination to hold onto her beloved homeland.A few shortfalls do happen in this novel, I thought it was long in some parts, and it seemed to have dragged. It did take me quite a while to finish this book. I guess because it didn't have the intrigue and constant plotting of court life. I also expected a story rich with historical descriptions and lots of historical detail, but it was more of a family saga set in a historical setting. Nevertheless I do suggest fans of historical fiction to give this a read, I did learn quite a few things here and there, especially of the life of William Marshal. Also, there is an element of romance in the novel, it's really nothing that explicit. It's to be expected as William and Isabelle were central to the story. Overall, a good historical read that centralizes around a family saga. I do recommend this to those who enjoy reading stories of Medieval England.
CaUplWL on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a work of fiction, but based closely on the latter part of the life of William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke, sometimes call the greatest knight in history. It picks up his life in 1197 and carries through to his death as Regent of England in 1219. It's an eventful time in England, and William is forced to deal with reverses both political and military in the service of King John. William, as a great feudal magnate sworn to an unworthy king, is forced to walk a fine line to retain his honor and protect himself and his family. Largely told from the perspective of his wife, the book manages to maintain an interesting love story and the military/political morass that is the first part of the 1200s in England. It's one of the better stories of this time period I've read, both for it's writing and for the author's command of the history of the period.
ancestorsearch on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One thing I know when I read an Elizabeth Chadwick novel I will step back in time and immedialty get lost in the story and the characters. The book, although a standalone, continues the story of William Marshal from her first novel The Greatest Knight. The story opens up during the reign of King Richard I. Marshal an honoroable knight and his wife Isabelle are happily married and immedialty start a family. Soon King Richard dies and his succsessor is King John. Marshal and King John are constantly at odds. He toys with Marshal by taking away some of his lands, he constantly tries to unnerve him, but regardless Marshal remains honest and loyal. King John eventually ask Marshal to hand over his eldeset soon which causes a rift between husband and wife, and not long will ask for his second soon too. Isabelle knowing the stories of life at court fears that her sons will be taken down the wrong path. Marshal assures her they will be safe and make the correct choices. Marhsal knows that he needs to be careful with two sons at court he walks a fine line between obeying and defying John. The eldest son is played by King John and eventually believes his father to be weak since he will not stand up to King John, Richard on the other hand understands his fathers motives. Soon Will marries and mellows slightly, but a tradgey occurs that sets him on the path against his father and King John. Due to Will's betrayel father and son end up on the battle field Marshal remains stoic when dealing with his son's indifference, but deep down wants to reach out to him. Isabelle remains distraught over her son's misfortune, but she is unable to win him over. Throughtout the story Marshal is able to retain his honour and respect of his peers. When King John dies it is Marshal is asked to lead the country, acting as regent to the young Henry III. Elizabeth Chadwick brings historical fiction to life for me and she does a great job she has a few pages at the end explaining what she knows as fact and where she had to improvise.
lindymc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved The Greatest Knight about William Marshall's early life and wouldn't have tho't any book could be better, but this one about Marshall's life after his marriage to Isabelle is even better! Throughout most of this book, Marshall is at odds with his king, John, who cannot, or will not see things for what they are. Marshall remains loyal because he has sworn his fealty to John in spite of John's failures as a sovereign lord. John tries to manipulate everyone around him for selfish and egotistical reasons. When John demands William's sons as hostages, it causes stress within William's marriage. But in spite of everything, and because of the absolute integrity of William Marshall, love and loyalty win. What an absolutely wonderful novel, about a true hero. I wish I were better at writing one of these reviews. I can't do justice to how great this novel really is.r
john257hopper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fine, action-packed and colourful continuation of the story of William the Marshal. The characters all seem are convincingly portrayed and not mere historical ciphers. The ending will have you in tears.
Kasthu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
At the end of The Greatest Knight, we saw William Marshal become one of the most powerful men in England, and married to Isabelle de Clare. The Scarlet Lion is a continuation of that novel, and in it we witness the evolution and growth of the Marshal family under the reign of King John and his son Henry. In this novel, Isabelle takes over part of the story. The books are standalone novels, but they¿re best appreciated when read together or as near together as possible.I enjoyed The Scarlet Lion, but not as much as I enjoyed The Greatest Knight. It was partially because I felt that William¿s story melted into the background in favor of Isabelle¿s and his children¿s. And I felt as though the author basically shrugged off the Magna Carta, turning it into a one-paragraph non sequitur. Nnetheless, I greatly enjoyed this book, for many of the reasons why I ejoyed its predecessor.Isabelle is by far the most likeable character, strong in the face of adversity. Elizabeth Chadwick writes about the early 13th century in a way that makes the politics of the period seem uncomplicated¿no small feat. Fact and fiction are pretty seamlessly woven together in this novel. As always, Chadwick¿s knowledge of the medieval period is spot-on, and she makes people who have been dead for 800 years seem as though they¿ve only been gone since yesterday. As Chadwick says in a note at the end of the novel, William Marshal¿s accomplishments were outstanding by the standards of any age, and I can definitely see why; he and Isabelle and their children fairly leap off the page. Chadwick¿s writing style is engaging, and even though I knew how the story would turn out, I kept turning the pages rapidly, eager to know what would happen. I¿m not sure why Elizabeth Chadwick¿s novels aren¿t more widely read, a shame considering how good her books are.
rickjess on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of her most recent and best (in my opinion)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the part where William met Queen Eleanor.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago