Genre: Historical fiction
Trade Paperback, 576 pages
Book Source: Sourcebooks publishing
A page-turning novel of honor, intrigue, treachery, and love, continuing the story of England's greatest knight of the Middle Ages, William Marshal. By 1197 William Marshal's prowess with a sword and loyalty with his heart have been rewarded by the hand in marriage of Isabelle de Clare—heiress to great estates— and their brood is growing. But their contentment and security is shattered when King Richard dies. Forced down a precarious path by the royal injustices of the vindictive King John, the Marshals teeter on a razor-thin line of honor that threatens to tear apart the very heart of their family. This novel can stand alone from Elizabeth’s first US release, The Greatest Knight.
Oh Miss Chadwick. I tried! I really, really tried! So many of my blog friends love you to pieces, and devour your books. That's why I wanted to read this one. I got to page 185 and put it down for a bit. I was a bit bored with Marshal, his wife, and passel of children. I read another book and tried to come back to the Lion, but again, no interest. I could have cared less what happened to these characters.
But the funny thing is, I do want to read the beginning of their the story, The Greatest Knight. It sounds much more exciting than the Scarlett Lion. More action and intrigue to be had. I wanted to read the Greatest Knight first but couldn't fit it in. Could that be why I was not that vested in these characters? Possibly, but I was able to pick up their story no problem. I didn't feel I was lacking any background information.
I did skim through the remainder of the book and see that the story covers many years. Marshal sees several of his children married with families of their own. Marshal also finally gets the recognition he truly deserves. I won't give any more away than that. You can say I read the end of the book.
As with any novel, Chadwick's historical details and side characters are impeccably described. The battles, scenery, ailments, childbirth (said shivering) are described so as to firmly place the reader into the story. King John is swarmy, filthy, and just down right nasty. It is the perfect contrast to the goodness and honesty of Marshal.
A fellow reviewer friend of mine said she enjoys the Chadwick books about fictional people better then the real people. Therefore that will be what I choose the next time I want to read a Chadwick novel. The woman is prolific and wrote over 15 books. Her books are not small either people. I'm sure there is something there that will amuse me.
Other bloggers have read this book and enjoyed it. I've provided you links to other reviews as a counterpoint to my review:
Long and Short Reviews
She Read a Book
Also, please make sure you stop by Historical Fiction Bloggers Round Table the week of March 21-27. They will have more reviews and articles about this book.
My Rating: n/a. I don't feel as if I can. I didn't finish the book, and didn't want to. Enough said.
Oh, and here is who I pictured as King John, but maybe a bit dirtier:
Thank you to Danielle from Sourcebooks for my review and giveaway copy. Yes, giveaway copy. Stop back later for details.