by Elizabeth Chadwick
Regular readers of this blog are sure to know about my literary love for Elizabeth Chadwick novels. So, it was with great delight that I settled in to read about the next chapter in William Marshall’s life, in The Scarlet Lion.
The Scarlet Lion covers the latter half of William’s life, where he is once again thrust into a role he would rather not play, but where his sense of honor and duty compel him to act. When King Richard I dies William is one of the first to pledge his loyalty to the new king, John. But John doesn’t have any liking for William and makes sure he knows it. William has to walk a very thin line with John and his infamous Angevin temper.
Meanwhile at home, Isabelle is continually in the birthing chamber as their brood expands to 10. Yet, she is aching to go back to her homeland of Ireland and to reclaim her de Clare family inheritance. This issue will serve as a point on contention and even rift in their otherwise tight marriage.
And those aren’t the only lands that the Marshalls are fighting for. As William has lands in both Normandy and England, he is in between a rock and a hard place when King Philip of France asks William to pay homage to him for his land in France, which would mean that William would have to fight for the French if there were ever a war between the two countries. Needless to say, King John doesn’t much like this and if there was ever a king you should not piss off, it would be King John. We’ve all heard of the Angevin temper, but John takes it to a whole other level – he is just plain evil and there were many times I wanted to jump through the pages and just throttle him. I was kinda hoping EC would throw in a scene where Isabelle would lay him out flat with one punch!
While not as action packed as The Greatest Knight, unless you count all the action on the marriage bed and then the birthing chamber, it is none the less engrossing and entertaining. William and Isabelle are great fun to read about and I am so glad that I had the chance to know about their lives.
Brilliantly weaving a strong plot line, historical accuracy, depth of character and dialogue filled with intelligence and wit, is why Elizabeth Chadwick novels is one of the very best of historical fiction authors.
FCC: I acquired this book with my hard-earned money, so there!
Have you entered the GIVEAWAY for both copies of The Greatest Knight AND The Scarlet Lion? Click HERE to enter. Everyone is welcome and it ends on March 27th.