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The Scarlet Lion [Paperback]

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

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Book Description

Oct. 30 2012 William Marshal (Book 3)
William Marshal's prowess and loyalty as a knight in the English royal household has been rewarded by marriage to Isabelle de Clare, heiress to great estates in England, Normandy and Ireland.

But their contentment and security is shattered when King Richard dies and is succeeded by his brother John, who takes the Marshals' sons hostage and seizes their lands. Now William must face the conflict between remaining loyal or rebelling against these injustices - and the struggle threatens to tear his marriage apart. Fiercely intelligent and courageous, Isabelle too must come to terms with what the future holds . . .

The Scarlet Lion is the final novel in an unforgettable standalone trilogy about William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, Regent of England - and one of the country's greatest forgotten heroes.

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Review

An extraordinary, wonderful, true story . . . I really felt that I had walked with William Marshal, and that my own life was enriched—Richard Lee, Founder and Publisher of The Historical Novel Society

Spellbinding . . . Based on real characters and extensive research, Chadwick's imaginative tale will keep readers captive till the final page—Publishers Weekly

Required reading—New York Post

Picking up an Elizabeth Chadwick novel you know you are in for a sumptuous ride. Beautifully strong characters and real feel for time and place—Daily Telegraph

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Chadwick has written over 20 historical novels sold in 18 languages worldwide. Her first novel, The Wild Hunt, won a Betty Trask Award, and The Scarlet Lion was nominated by Richard Lee, founder of the Historical Novel Society, as one of the top ten historical novels of the last decade. Elizabeth's nineteenth novel, To Defy a King, won the RNA Historical Novel Prize in 2011. Much of her research is carried out as a member of Regia Anglorum, an early medieval re-enactment society with the emphasis on accurately recreating the past. She lives in Nottingham.

For more details on Elizabeth Chadwick and her books, visit www.elizabethchadwick.com, follow her on Twitter, read her blogs or chat to her on Facebook.

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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars William Marshal: man, hero and courtier May 19 2007
By Jennifer Cameron-Smith TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
William Marshal steps out of the pages of history and, larger than life, provides us with an insight into the times in which he lived. This novel opens in 1197 and depicts the turbulent times around the reigns of King Richard I and King John.

While following the life of William and his wife Isabelle, we are treated to a finely depicted view of the politics, intrigue and events of medieval England and Ireland. The novel is multi-faceted: it enables us to relate to William and Isabelle as two human beings who needed to balance their own needs and those of their family with the code of honour and political constraints of the day. At the same time, the known historical facts are woven into the story in a way that breathes life into history and will have many readers wanting to know more about the actual events depicted.

And while those readers are learning more about the history, I have been provided with another hero worthy of my admiration.

Brava, Ms Chadwick! Few authors have ever made medieval history as interesting to me as you have.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith

Note:

The Scarlet Lion is the second of two standalone novels about William Marshal. The Greatest Knight is the first.
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By Karoline TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
To me, this book felt like I was reading one of Sharon Kay Penman's novels. There were some differences but the writing is almost similar and so is the idea of following a family through several years and how they have evolved through that time. It was an interesting historical read, I have never heard of William Marshal and it was a nice history lesson for me. The plot was well written although not as rich in history as say, for example, Sharon Kay Penman's When Christ and his Saints Slept. However, this book is a wonderful family saga as it takes you through William and Isabelle's life with their children, and the historical events surrounding them. There isn't much court intrigue here that I was expecting but I was willing to accept this, as the book was well written.

The battle scenes are all right, although I expected a little more detail and more action. What was more central to the plot was mainly William and Isabelle's relationship, their family, and their endless fight against King John and his schemes. King John was every bit the villain here as I expected. He wasn't the explosive tempermental character that I thought he would have been, but more of a cunning, sly, scheming one that was constantly thinking of plots against his men or to have them turn against each other. It's a sneaky sly version of King John. An interesting side of him that I have heardly seen. It's a nice sight to read, as I'm used to seeing a different version of him altogether. I'd have to say, Isabelle is my favorite character. For a woman, and especially one during those times, she's extraordinarily strong and supportive towards William even when it came to her sons becoming "hostages". There was a very strong bond between the two and their love never failed.
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