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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

March 1 2010

"Elizabeth Chadwick is a gifted novelist and a dedicated researcher; it doesn't get any better than that."
-Sharon Kay Penman

The Legend of the Greatest Knight Lives On

William Marshal's skill with a sword and loyalty to his word have earned him the company of kings, the lands of a magnate, and the hand of Isabelle de Clare, one of England's wealthiest heiresses. But he is thrust back into the chaos of court when King Richard dies. Vindictive King John clashes with William, claims the family lands for the Crown-and takes two of the Marshal sons hostage. The conflict between obeying his king and rebelling over the royal injustices threatens the very heart of William and Isabelle's family. Fiercely intelligent and courageous, fearing for the man and marriage that light her life, Isabelle plunges with her husband down a precarious path that will lead William to more power than he ever expected.

"Everyone who has raved about Elizabeth Chadwick as an author of historical novels is right."
-Devourer of Books on The Greatest Knight


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Review

Fans of historical fiction will devour this novel, appreciating the depth of research, flowing prose, eye for detail and feeling like you knew William Marshall. (Katharine Romance Junkies 2010-01-04)

When Elizabeth Chadwick writes about history, you feel like you are there in the thick of it... A definite must read for any lover of history. (The Long and Short of It 2010-02-10)

The characters are brought to life. (Ana Historical Tapestry 2010-02-11)

Graceful... elegantly sexy, realistic. (Margaret Donsbach HistoricalNovels.Info 2010-02-26)

The Scarlet Lion is everything I look for in fiction: adventure, romance, intrigue, told through well developed characters and vivid descriptions of settings. (Elizabeth Bogardus Thoughts From an Evil Overlord 2010-02-26)

From the colors, scents, sounds, emotions of people, places and things you can't help but feel as if you are a bystander watching the entire story unfold right before your very eyes. (Terra Studer Yankee Romance Reviewers 2010-02-26)

Wonderful characters, fascinating history, and detailed beautiful writing. (Laura Gerold Laura's Reviews 2010-02-26)

Recommended for historical fiction lovers. (Sandie Kirkland Booksie's Blog 2010-03-01)

The writing is just so good, the characters and places so real, it's happy and sad and just so well researched – it's exactly what a book of this genre should be. (Virginie Barbeau She Read a Book 2010-03-04)

Chadwick is very talented at bringing her characters and the Medieval world alive in the pages of her books. (Danielle A Work in Progress 2010-03-09)

In this sweeping tale of medieval England, Elizabeth Chadwick creates a intriguing and delightful story full of gallantry, tournaments, treachery and a love story for the ages. (Svea Love Confessions of a Muse in the Fog 2010-03-09)

Elizabeth Chadwick is a consummate author of historical fiction. (Jen Devourer of Books 2010-03-09)

[Chadwick] makes the time period come alive for the reader, utilizing small historical details in order to really set each scene. (Swapna Krishna S. Krishna's Books 2010-03-10)

Elizabeth Chadwick masterfully strikes the balance of blending historic fact with modern storytelling. Accurate period detail, sweeping scenery descriptions, and deeply developed characters (Allie Hist-Fic Chick 2010-04-13)

Brilliantly weaving a strong plot line, historical accuracy, depth of character and dialogue filled with intelligence and wit... Elizabeth Chadwick is one of the very best of historical fiction authors. (Amy Bruno Passages to the Past 2010-04-13)

Excellent... Elizabeth Chadwick brings William and Isabelle to life on the pages and draws you into the action. (Robin My Two Blessings 2010-04-13)

Very well-written... This one's for the historical fiction fans out there. (Drey Drey's Library 2010-04-13)

the perfect mix of battle, love, rich history and exacting character portrayal... The story progressed and flowed exquisitely- I was hooked till the end. (Lucy Enchanted by Josephine 2010-04-13)

Chadwick masterfully brought [William Marshal] to life... a reading experience you won't soon forget (Michele A Reader's Respite 2010-04-13)

Elizabeth Chadwick has brought William Marshall back into the limelight. (Aarti BookLust 2010-04-13)

[Chadwick] will make you fall in love with William Marshal with her unforgettable story of his life, as his memory is finally being given its just rewards. (Marie Burton The Burton Review 2010-04-13)

Chadwick has a marvelous writing style that transports you right into the story (Susie All Things Royal 2010-04-13)

One of the strengths of Chadwick's writing is her ability to make you feel for the characters. (Heather The Maiden's Court 2010-04-13)

About the Author

Elizabeth Chadwick is the author of 17 historical novels, including The Greatest Knight, Lords of the White Castle, Shadows and Strongholds, A Place Beyond Courage, The Winter Mantle, and The Falcons of Montabard, four of which have been shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists' Awards. She won a Betty Trask Award for The Wild Hunt, her first novel.

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Most helpful customer reviews
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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