Sunday, 6 July 2014

The Scarlet Lion
by Elizabeth Chadwick
Rating:  5/5

Pages: 579
Publisher: Sphere publishing
Publication Date: 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7515-3659-1

Summary (via Goodreads)

Following early beginnings as a knight in the English royal household and a champion of the tourneys, William Marshal's prowess and loyalty have been rewarded by the hand in marriage of Isabelle de Clare, heiress to great estates in England, Normandy and Ireland. Now a powerful magnate, William has weathered the difficult years of King Richard's absence on crusade and is currently serving him on campaign in Normandy while Isabelle governs their estates. All the stability William and Isabelle have enjoyed with their young and growing family comes crashing down as Richard dies and his brother John becomes King. Rebellion is stirring throughout the Angevin domains and although John has created William Earl of Pembroke, the friction between the two men leads William and Isabelle to distance themselves in Ireland. The situation escalates, with John holding their sons as hostages and seizing their English lands. The conflict between remaining loyal and rebelling over injustices committed, threatens to tear apart William and Isabelle's marriage and their family.


After reading The Greatest Knight I was really looking forward to reading this and I wasn't disappointed. The Scarlet Lion follows the next chapter in William Marshall's very interesting and adventurous life.

Elizabeth Chadwick is very talented in making history more colourful and alive in comparison to the boring lessons at school. I found myself reading up about the lives of Marshall and his wife and wanting to know how much of the book was true and what had been changed. The way in which the book is written means that this book is easily readable for a variety of ages, not only adults.

I'm currently working my way through all of Chadwick's books and have so far found this series to be one of my favourites because of the inventive way she has portrayed the facts with a bit of artistic flare to show how Marshall, despite being a man less known now, was in fact one of the most powerful men in the country in a time when some of the most famous of England's nobility lived. Any lover of Philippa Gregory or Anne O'Brien needs to read this book!

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