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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE SCARLET LION Brings William Marshal Vividly To Life!, 9 Jan 2007
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...
Published on Jan. 18 2007 by Kimberly Gelderman

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3.0 out of 5 stars Sequel to The Greatest Knight, but can be read as stand-alone
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...
Published on March 17 2010 by Karoline


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE SCARLET LION Brings William Marshal Vividly To Life!, 9 Jan 2007, Jan. 18 2007
By 
Kimberly Gelderman (Spring Lake, MI USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Scarlet Lion (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! Read this book, you'll be under her spell and will be compelled to read the rest of her books!

P.S. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE MAPS! I LOVED BEING ABLE TO LOCATE ALL OF THE PLACES MENTIONED IN THE STORY. Thank you too for the genealogy charts of the Kings of England and William Marshal's line. These additions made the story that much more enjoyable!
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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
This review is from: Scarlet Lion (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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5.0 out of 5 stars A Captivating Story, Feb. 17 2011
By 
Toni Osborne "The Way I See It" (Montreal, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Scarlet Lion (Paperback)
Book 2 in the life of William Marshal

The first novel "The Greatest Knight" followed William Marshal through his early career and his rise to fortune and noble status. In this novel, we are drawn further into his amazing and inspiring life it also includes some details of his family and those who crossed his path.

Ms. Chadwick describes William Marshal as a dashing knight and a champion of tournaments, an easy-going and courteous man, and one who enjoyed the simple pleasures of life but also presented himself as a great magnate when it suited his purposes. He was a man of many talents, an accomplished soldier and a natural commander on battlefields, also a skilled diplomat with a dextrous ability to negotiate. He cared about his men and was very generous towards them. He was fiscally astute and he managed to keep the country from bankruptcy during his period of regency. In a nut shell, he was a respected hero who left behind a legacy hard to follow.

Isabelle de Clare, Countess of Pembroke, was not only William`s wife but also his partner and equal. She always maintained her present during council meetings and stayed closed to her husband. She was a woman of strong character and very present in the day to day decisions. In William's absence, she governed the estate with the same dexterity as he would have. 10 pregnancies did not deter her willpower; she was his "Belle amie" throughout their married life, up till his dying breath. She survived him by one year despite their twenty year age difference.

The author also covers a mix of individuals that influenced them during their life whether by choice or obligation. The list of people that crossed their path includes: Kings and Queens, Chaplains, members of the aristocracy, as well as some loyal and not so loyal followers.

Once again Ms. Chadwick has given me hours of pleasure with this engaging historical fiction. The writing is colourful and lively and the author has stayed as close to history as possible but openly admits to have embellished parts of the facts to make William's life more memorable. This novel can stand on its own but to truly appreciate this time period; I would recommend reading "The Greatest Knight" first.

Ms. Chadwick has thrilled me once more with this stunning and captivating story
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3.0 out of 5 stars Sequel to The Greatest Knight, but can be read as stand-alone, March 17 2010
By 
Karoline (Richmond BC) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Scarlet Lion (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. I thought they were both meant for each other, and complimented each other perfectly. My favorite part would be Isabelle holding off a potential invasion in Ireland. It showed her strength and determination to hold onto her beloved homeland.

A few shortfalls do happen in this novel, I thought it was long in some parts, and it seemed to have dragged. It did take me quite a while to finish this book. I guess because it didn't have the intrigue and constant plotting of court life. I also expected a story rich with historical descriptions and lots of historical detail, but it was more of a family saga set in a historical setting. Nevertheless I do suggest fans of historical fiction to give this a read, I did learn quite a few things here and there, especially of the life of William Marshal. Also, there is an element of romance in the novel, it's really nothing that explicit. It's to be expected as William and Isabelle were central to the story.

Overall, a good historical read that centralizes around a family saga. I do recommend this to those who enjoy reading stories of Medieval England.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This author just keeps getting better, Jan. 21 2007
By 
Misfit (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Scarlet Lion (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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4.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional good book!, Nov. 29 2014
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It's been a while since I cried reading a book, but this one succeeded. I thoroughly enjoyed this book from beginning to end. I all I read about the man was halfway true, he was quite a fellow. He was just a plain Young man, not rich, and being the fourth in the family he knew he'd have to seek his fortune elsewhere. He draws the favor of the queen, the one that was reigning at this time, and he served her and her consort very well. He was very loyal and brave. When he gave his word, he kept it even when he had to serve Under a Young king he really didn't like, he was loyal. The story, like all Elizabeth Chadwick books is engaging and make the principal characters come out and seem real. Well I cried when he died, the way she described the scene was so moving, I couldn't help myself. And I guess I'm not giving the story away by saying"when he died" because you must know that by now, he is dead.
I really loved that book.
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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
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This review is from: The Scarlet Lion (Paperback)
"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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The Scarlet Lion
The Scarlet Lion by Elizabeth Chadwick (Paperback - Oct. 30 2012)
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