Review: The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick

by Elizabeth Chadwick

Rating:  5 / 5

Elizabeth Chadwick really outdid herself with this novel about William Marshal, son of the infamous John Marshal, the man behind the “the hammer and anvil” speech. When William was 6 years old his father pledged him as a hostage to King Stephen during a siege. When his father turned sides and broke his word, William’s death was a foregone conclusion. Fortunately for William, King Stephen had no intention of murdering a child and he was spared. 

Marshal is penniless and with no land to call his own when he enters the service of King Henry II. He is desperate to earn his rank among the others in King Henry’s retinue – to be more than just the son of John Marshal. Brilliant in the tourney field and loyal to a fault, he quickly wins the attention of Eleanor of Aquitaine. After William gallantly saves her life, she asks him to join her son’s household – to train and teach the heir to the throne of England. Perhaps William’s job would’ve been a bit easier had he served another family – they didn’t call Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine’s children the Devil’s Brood for nothing!

William is the very definition of chivalry and if you’re like me, you’ll fall completely in love with him! I first met William in Sharon Kay Penman’s Devil’s Brood and was intrigued - I was dying to know more about him and see experiences through his eyes. Well, Chadwick has scratched my itch so to speak and I LOVED EVERY PAGE! There’s a little bit for everyone in this novel – fighting, loving, hating, betrayal, loyalty – it’s all there!!!

But wait! There’s more! The Greatest Knight has a sequel…YEAH, more William!!! It’s called The Scarlet Lion and will be released in the US on March 1, 2010. I, for one will be waiting at the doors of my local bookstore that day!

Visit the Passages to the Past ~ Elizabeth Chadwick Amazon Stores:   UK   |    US



  1. Thank you so much for the review Amy! Just seen your alert on Twitter. I'm glad you enjoyed the first part of William's story, and you are right. There is a lot more to come. Not saying this as a push author, but as someone who is just awed at what William achieved with his life, and goodness knows how Isabelle kept up with him!

  2. Beautiful review Amy! You've got me wanting for yet another one! It sounds fabulous- Thanks:)

  3. I read this some years ago but don't remember nearly enough of it to start on the sequel yet (somehow, I have the sequel in hardcover on my shelf. And it's been there for some time. A year? Two? Perhaps it is a UK edition.)

    I plan to re-read TGK soon- it will be my next chunky read, after The Kingmaking. Thanks for whetting my appetite for it!

  4. This was my first Chadwick, but definitely not my last!

  5. Wow, this one is in my LUST LIST! I so want this one!

    I am keeping an eye at my bookstores!

  6. I loved this book and already can't wait for the sequel. Thanks for the review!

  7. Okay, okay. I have it, I'll read it. I've read a couple of biographies of Eleanor and want to know more.

  8. This is a terrific novel. The three Marshal novels are my favourites of Elizabeth Chadwick's.


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