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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

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


For the King’s Favor by Elizabeth Chadwick
AKA – The Time of Singing (UK version)
ARC, Paperback, 544 pages
Sourcebooks Landmark
August 5, 2010
★★★★★

Genre: Historical Fiction, 12 c.

Source: Received from Publisher Sourcebooks for Review

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 and 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.”

This was another awesome read for me and another fantastic book by Elizabeth Chadwick.

Prior to this, the only other Chadwick books that I have read are The Greatest Knight and The Scarlet Lion – both about William Marshall and his family. For the King’s Favor went right along with these previous two in a way. This book is about Ida de Tosney and Roger Bigod, who were friends with the Marshall’s and would also marry one of their children to one of the Marshall’s children. This was a great next book for me because it built on the stories that I already knew and followed the historical events that I was previously exposed to, but I had the opportunity to look at from a different perspective. It was great to see William Marshall pop in from time to time or hear Roger talk about things that were happening to William that I had see in depth in the previous books. It was like visiting an old friend that I had sorely missed since March when I read The Scarlet Lion.

I really enjoyed the way this story was constructed – you would bounce back and forth between Roger’s story and Ida’s story – especially before they were married. You would get to see Ida’s life at Henry II’s court and then Roger trying to save the lands that were his from his thieving step-mother and step-brothers. After they were married the stories unified some but there were times when they were apart and you would again get to see the different sides to the story. One of the most intriguing characters for me in this story was actually young William Longspee, son of Ida and Henry. There were a few times when he would get to tell his story and it was fascinating to see how he saw the world. He mostly learned about his mother through the stories of others, so it was interesting to see how the opinions of people can really shape how someone sees you. I also really liked the dynamic that grew between him and Roger. There is one scene toward the end of the book that really brings most of the characters of the story together that I found was just an awesome culmination (but I won’t give it away – when you read it you will know exactly what I’m talking about).

I loved this book for all the same reasons that I enjoyed The Greatest Knight and The Scarlet Lion. It is actually really hard for me to differentiate how I feel about these books – but I loved them all!

I can’t wait to read her other books that tie into the Marshall-Bigod stories – A Place Beyond Courage (UK release - about William Marshall’s father) and To Defy a King (about William’s daughter, Mahelt, and Roger’s son, Hugh). You can visit Elizabeth Chadwick at her website or visit one of her many blogs.

You can read an excerpt from this book (well, actually from the printing of The Time For Singing, but it's virtually the same).  Also, below is the book trailer:
 
 

My reviews of other books by this author:

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

 
Here are some choices for purchasing the book: Amazon, B&N, RJ Julia (my fav indie bookstore).
 



Copyright © 2010 by The Maiden’s Court

5 comments:

  1. Great review of what seems to be such a delicious book! I'm really so eager to get my hands on it!

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  2. I really liked this one as well. A Place Beyond Courage and To Defy a King are also excellent! I hope you enjoy them.

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  3. I've read only two books by Elizabeth Chadwick so far (Daughters of the Grail and The Marsh King's Daughter), and really liked both. I have a few others on my shelf. Glad to hear this was good too, and I will have to pick up the other Marshall books as well. I think she is quite unique from the other historical fiction writers

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  4. I received this book from Source as well. It was my first Chadwick book but certainly won't be the last!

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  5. Audra - Have you read any Chadwick? I have loved all of her books so far.

    Daphne - I can't wait to get to read both of those, I hoped to get to To Defy a King earlier, but that didn't happen.

    PolishOutlander - I really think that there is something that sets her apart - the time period just feels very vivid and real. I haven't read anything about either of those that you have read - I will have to go check them out!

    Teddy Rose - Sourcebooks and their review copies is what introduced me to EC - and I am so happy for it!

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Thanks for leaving your comments! I love reading them and try to reply to all!