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Scarlet Lion [Hardcover]

Elizabeth Chadwick
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 30 2007
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Review

'The best writer of mediaeval fiction currently around' - HISTORICAL NOVEL REVIEW 'Elizabeth Chadwick knows exactly how to write convincing and compelling historical fiction' - Marina Oliver

About the Author

Elizabeth Chadwick lives near Nottingham with her husband, two sons and assorted animals including cats, dog and guinea pigs. She is the author of 14 historical novels, four of which have been shortlisted for awards.


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
I really wish I could give this novel more than 5 stars but if I did they would be as infinite as the stars in the sky! This novel is the sequel to THE GREATEST KNIGHT: THE STORY OF WILLIAM MARSHAL but is also an excellent stand-alone novel. However, I'd recommend reading it first to truly appreciate all the young man's life and accomplishments before his married life brings about more.

In this novel William and his wife Isabelle de Clare, Countess of Leinster and Striguil, have no more stability as Richard, The Lionheart, King of England suddenly dies of a battle wound. His younger brother John Lackland has been named his heir and their world and everyone in it that is connected to the royal family has their lives turned upside down. John is a vindictive and cruel king, especially to those who are most loyal to him. He strips William of lands but not before he has taken two of his sons hostage for his good behavior which William has always displayed time and time again.

King John trusts no one and creates havoc in his own kingdom. The barons are set to rebel against him thus bringing about the Magna Carta. Before any of this comes to pass the unthinkable happens threatening to throw the kingdom into chaos yet again. William and Isabelle are unshakable through all of this yet William is finally succumbing to old age.

I could barely make it through the last chapter of the book, 46. I literally had tears streaming down my face and had to remove my glasses more than once to clear my vision to continue. I truly believe this is Elizabeth Chadwick's best novel yet! This author never disappoints but this time she went above and beyond the call of duty! Thank you Susan for an incredible read, all other pale in comparison to your genius!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Power and Politics Jan. 12 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"The Scarlet Lion" is a great sequel to "The Greatest Knight" (although it can be read as a stand-alone novel). This book concentrates more the later events of William's life, especially his secure marriage to the lovely, Isabel de Clare, his commitment to doing the right thing, and his complicated and complex relationship with King John. Chadwick creates another winner here, as she brings the reader into the dangers and intrigues of 12th and 13th century England.

While Chadwick creates a dramatic atmosphere, she does not play hard and loose with the facts. She lays out the timeline of history, engages the characters in the definitive moments of the period, and enables the reader to understand the culture of a world long since disappeared.

For me, the most poignant and beautiful moments are between William and Isabel. Their love and commitment to one another holds their marriage together, even as others want to rip it apart. Isabel is a formidable woman, up to the challenge of ruling her household and William. She is his equal, his belle-ami, his sheltered harbour.

I was drawn to these characters. They took hold of my heart, and did not let go. At the end I wept for William, for Isabel, for their children. The Marshal was a great man in his time, and he remains one of the greats of history. He was a man of true heart who believed in a code of honour and duty, who he never deviated from his sense of right and wrong.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This author just keeps getting better Jan. 21 2007
By Misfit TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Historical fiction just doesn't get any better than this. A wonderful tale of one of the most honorable men to grace this earth, William Marshal and his true partner in all things, his wife Isabelle.

The first novel, The Greatest Knight, covered more of William Marshal's early life as a knight and courtier. This novel covers his life with Isabel and the dangers and terrors of living in the court of the King John, and then as regent for the young Henry III. I have to admit shedding more than a few tears at the last chapter, the end of Williams life.

I have read all of this author's works that I can get my hands on and I am amazed at how consistly she is improving (not that the earlier works were poorly written at all). Always an excellent story, a great history lesson and it's amazing how she effortlessly brings you into the sights, smells, sounds and life of another century. As someone else said, "The next best thing to time travel".
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