Back cover: Already known as a Knight of uncommon skill and honor, William Marshall has earned the friendship of King Richard and the love of a wealthy heiress. But when the Lionheart dies, leaving his treacherous brother John on the throne, William and Isabelle need all their strength and courage to face a shattered world. Their sons held hostage, their integrity at stake, the two must choose between obeying their king or honoring their hearts.
The Scarlet Lion is a beautifully written historical fiction story by Elizabeth Chadwick, taking you into the life of William and Isabelle Marshall, their love and affection for each other and their strength as they work together to live their lives with King John on the throne and threatening to ruin them. When William married Isabelle, she was the heiress to great estates in England, Normandy and Ireland. When King John came to the throne, William wanted nothing more than to retire to Ireland. John wants all his land and attempts to do everything he can to ruin William, even holding his two oldest sons hostage at court in order to get William to do what he wants. William manages to tread the politics of the court carefully, serving John faithfully and with honor. Through it all, Isabelle did her best to stand by his side and he valued her judgment and discussed everything with her. Uncommon for that period of time in which woman weren't considered strong or intelligent. Isabelle was both.
The story starts in 1197, when Isabelle is about to have their fourth child and ends with William's death in 1219. Amidst the politics, court intrigue and deception and battles, is the heart warming love story of William Marshall and Isabelle De Clare.
Some historical fiction novels can be dry as dust and then there are others so well written, you feel you are there in the moment. The writing is excellent and Elizabeth Chadwick brings William and Isabelle to life on the pages and draws you into the action. I'll admit that while reading the ending when William died, had me in tears. I'm rarely affected so emotionally by stories. This is the first time I've ever read anything by Elizabeth Chadwick and looking forward to reading more of her works including the first book about William, "the Greatest Knight".
Thank you to Danielle from Sourcebooks for providing me with an courtesy advance copy and to Elizabeth Chadwick for her amazing writing. I highly recommend The Scarlet Lion.
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Released: March 1st, 2010
Genre: Historical Fiction
A Work in Progress:
"Chadwick is very talented at bringing her characters and the Medieval world alive in the pages of her books"
Terra of Yankee Romance Reviews:
"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. You will laugh, cry, cringe, hate, loathe and want to really ring someones neck. The author has made this story so viable that you cannot help but feel every emotion tingle throughout your being."
Alaine of Queen of Happen Endings:
"If you read and loved The Greatest Knight then I have every confidence you'll revel in the sequel. If you're like me and haven't read book one, don't let it deter you from picking up this novel...although you're going to want to have The Greatest Knight close by. Elizabeth Chadwick makes one of England's greatest heroes come to life with her brilliant new novel. You don't want to miss it!"
*FTC notice - my unbiased opinion and no compensation was received for this review.