Hello Lovelies! Please excuse our dust while we do a bit of construction on the blog. We will still be posting exciting reviews, brilliant guest posts, and exciting giveaways but we are in the process of transforming the blog and adding new content and features for you to enjoy.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick

Genre: Historical Fiction

Copyright: 2005

Pages: 560

Rating 5 Crowns

Royal protector. Loyal servant. Forgotten hero.

A penniless young knight with few prospects, William Marshal is plucked from obscurity when he saves the life of Henry II's formidable queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine. In gratitude, she appoints him tutor to the heir to the throne, the volatile and fickle Prince Henry. But being a royal favorite brings its share of danger and jealousy as well as fame and reward.

A writer of uncommon historical integrity and accuracy, Elizabeth Chadwick resurrects the true story of one of England's greatest forgotten heroes in a captivating blend of fact and fiction. The Greatest Knight restores William Marshal to his rightful place at the pinnacle of the Middle Ages, reflecting through him the triumphs, scandals, and power struggles that haven't changed in eight hundred years.

In this rich tapestry of medieval life Chadwick chronicles the life of William Marshal 'one of Englands's greatest forgotten heroes' from humble origins through his service to 4 kings & finally as Regent of England. Marshal is loyal to those he pledges his fealty even in the face of death, a rare commodity in an age where many men switched allegiance to suit themselves. He was well known and loved as a chivalrous knight & for his success on the tourney circuit.

When his older brother John inherits the family lands, William travels to Normandy to train as a knight and earns a place in his uncle's household. Here he saves Eleanor of Aquitane from capture by enemy knights & in her gratitude she assigns William tutelage of Prince Henry, heir to the throne. Upon the death of Henry II, Richard impressed with William's loyalty requests that William serve him. For his loyalty and courage William is rewarded with the hand in marriage of Isabelle de Clare (an Anglo-Irish heiress.) Their marriage offers Isabelle freedom (she has been a ward of the Crown for 3 years) & William financial security. Their match which begins as one of expediency soon becomes much more - William refers to Isabelle as his "safe harbour".

The Greatest Knight is a seamless blend of fact & fiction. Elizabeth Chadwick, embellishes those parts of William's life not covered by the biography of his life, the HISTOIRE DE GUILLAUME LE MARECHAL, but in a manner she trusts is consistent with the man's personality and achievements. It was an absolute delight to learn more about this fascinating man, a man of high integrity & morals, loyal character & courageous nature.

I'm really looking forward to reading the next chapter in William's life - The Scarlet Lion.

Visit Elizabeth Chadwick's blog Living the History and her website for information on all the author's novels and some fascinating reading about William Marshall.

For those interested in learning more about William Marshal check out the website created by Gerry Kissell; it is simply amazing. Gerry spent almost 30 years researching William Marshal.

Empress Signature
Visit Teddyree at her blog The Eclectic Reader


Unknown said...

This sounds like such a good book. I haven't gotten to read any chadwick yet but hope to soon!

Blodeuedd said...

So weird, when I read this one I did not like it at all. I did not like him, and well perhaps I don't like Chadwick books with real persons

Ellz said...

this sounds great, love knight and shining armor stories

ibeeeg said...

This book is on my to-read list. I must add to my list for reading in November.
Wonderful review and thanks for the link to the website created by Gerry Kissell. I am now off to browse through that site.

Jennifer said...

This is now on my TBR list. Thank you!

Unknown said...

Hi Teddyree!

Dang, it's another author I haven't read! I'm so going to have to go book hunting, but since my hubs kill me if I BUY anymore more books this month, maybe I check with our library! (I'm still considering that extra room, really, I asked the hubs what he thought of adding a room over the garage, I thought it would be an excellent place....for him....lol!!! not, hahaha!!)

Dottie :)

Marg said...

This book started me on a quest to read through Chadwick's backlist!

Teddyree said...

dolleygurl ~ I've read 4 Elizabeth Chadwick's and enjoyed them all but this one and the Love Knot are my faves. Love Knot, not as historically heavy going (for want of a better word)

B ~ if we all liked the same thing it would be a pretty boring place. Maybe you'd enjoy the Love Knot??

elnice ~ lots of tournaments & battles in this one!

ibeeeg ~ I'll be looking forward to your thoughts. I found Kissell's website really interesting and what a committment!

jennifer ~ hope you enjoy it

dottie ~ you are hilarious, I did consider asking hubby to move out to make room for my books LOL. I collect EC, I think I've only got 2to get (now if I could just get them read instead of just admiring the covers!)

Marg ~ glad to see you loved it. Is the quest completed??

Marg said...

Not done yet! Still a few books to go, but I am taking my time because after I have finished I will have to wait for new books!