Thursday, July 29, 2010

Book Review of The Scarlet Lion by Elizabeth Chadwick

Elizabeth Chadwick recently came out with the sequel to The Greatest Knight: The Unsung Story of the Queen's ChampionThe Scarlet Lion continues the story of William Marshall and his wife Isabelle de Clare.

    The Scarlet Lion                        The Greatest Knight: The Unsung Story of the Queen's Champion
The blurb:
Wiliam Marshall's skill with a sword and loyalty to his word have earned him the company of kings, the land 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 Marshall sons hostage.  The conflict between obeying his king and rebelling over the roayal 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.

The Scarlet Lion is a strong sequel to The Greatest Knight.  Although William Marshall is no longer the young knight, he is still a formidable warrior and has grown into his role of statesman.  Still unwilling to play the part of courtier, Marshall's honesty wins him powerful enemies and loyal friends. Marshall's marriage to Isabelle has weathered the years well and their partnership has brought them  riches, power, and contentment.  When they're together, the years fall away and it's easy to forget that they're old enough to have grown children.  As the country suffers the loss of its king and the nation becomes unstable, Marshall takes on his hardest challenge. 

It is a pleasure to observe Isabelle and William Marshall later in life. Though the romance and uncertainty has receded, The Scarlet Lion offers plenty of tension and action in the form of political intrigue.  The book continues the interesting saga of William Marshall's life as he faces betrayal, the loss of his children, and the death of his King.  Although I preferred reading about William Marshall's earlier years, The Scarlet Lion will surely satisfy fans of The Greatest Knight and Elizabeth Chadwick, and readers of historical fiction.

ISBN-10: 1402229992 - Trade Paperback $14.99
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark; Original edition (March 1, 2010), 576 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author:
Elizabeth Chadwick is a best selling, award winning author of historical fiction. A born storyteller, her first novel The Wild Hunt won a Betty Trask Award in 1990. She has been four times shortlisted for the RNA Award in the UK for the best mainstream romantic novel. Her book The Scarlet Lion was selected as one of the top ten works of historical fiction of the decade by Richard Lee, founder of The Historical Novel Society.

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