Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace
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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Historical Book Review: For the King's Favor, by Elizabeth Chadwick

For some time I have been an Elizabeth Chadwick fan.  Her books are spellbinding, her historical research eye opening and interesting and the way she weaves the pages of fiction with real life history has always swept me away.  Additionally, her blog, Living the History  has been a source of many hours of entertainment on my part.  It is for those reasons when I was offered the chance to her review her new September 2010 release of For the King's Favor (in the US--released in the UK in 2008 as The Time of Singing), I eagerly grasped the idea, and devoured the book.

Back Cover Blurb:

A Bittersweet Tale of Love, Loss, and the Power of Royalty

When Roger Bigod arrives at King Henry II’s court to settle a bitter inheritance dispute, he becomes enchanted with Ida de Tosney, young mistress to the powerful king. A victim of Henry’s seduction and the mother of his son, Ida sees in Roger a chance to begin a new life. But Ida pays an agonizing price when she leaves the king, and as Roger’s importance grows and he gains an earldom, their marriage comes under increasing strain. Based on the true story of a royal mistress and the young lord she chose to marry, For the King’s Favor is Elizabeth Chadwick at her best.

Product ISBN: 9781402244490
Price: $14.99 (Trade Paperback)
Publication Date: September 2010

My Review:

I must first start this review with saying, if you love medieval fiction you'll want to read this book!  I truly enjoyed reading it, and found myself immersed inside a world of entertainment, pain, happiness, struggle, victory.  A truly poignant story, For the King's Favor is a masterpiece in historical fiction!

Set during the 12th century English royal court, when England is rife with civil war, and all those outsiders and insiders who wish to cash in, For the King's Favor, tells a tale of history that fascinates its reader.  Roger Bigod, fights for what is rightfully his amongst those who would call themselves his family, but didn't deserve the name for all their actions.  He falls in love with Ida de Tosney, who just so happens to be the king's current mistress--not of her own choosing.  Through a string of events, that are really more purposeful plays, Roger and Ida end up married.  But while being married to an honorable and gentle man, Ida must also give up what she loves dearly.

Ms. Chadwick has done an abundant amount of research for this book the tale itself will tell, as well as the Author's Note and bibliography, from the little details of an unguent used to brush through hair, to battle, to needlework and politics, this book contains so much, but it is done in a way that doesn't detract from the story, only adds to it.  The reader is truly able to immerse themselves in the book, and see the world from the eyes of its characters.

A definite recommended read!

About the Author:
(from the back of the novel)

Elizabeth Chadwick lives in Nottingham with her husband and two sons.  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 also tutors in the skill of writing historical and romantic fiction.  Her first novel, THE WILD HUNT, won a Betty Trask Award.  She was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists' Award in 1998 for THE CHAMPION, in 2001 for LORDS OF THE WHITE CASTLE, in 2002 for THE WINTER MANTLE, and in 2003 for THE FALCONS OF MONTABARD.  Her sixteenth novel, 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.  For more details on Elizabeth Chadwick and her books, visit www.elizabethchadwick.com


Marg said...

I love reading Elizabeth Chadwick's novel! Can't wait for the next one to come out.

Jena Lang said...

I just bought this book, my first Elizabeth Chadwick novel. Now I really can't wait to read it!

Bearded Lady said...

big fan of Elizabeth Chadwick's books here. I can't wait to read this one. Thanks for the review!

dolleygurl said...

This has been one of my fav books this year!

Eliza Knight said...

Marg, her books are fabulous aren't they?

Enjoy Jena and Bearded Lady! It was wonderful!

Dolleygurl, I'd have to mark it up with one of my favs this year too.