I have updated my review and giveaway policies page (now just titled Policies above). If you are entering a giveaway, please read and abide by the applicable policy.

Attention Authors! If you arrived here looking for information on the Two Sides to Every Story guest post series, see the tab at the top of the page for more info!

Search This Blog

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Book Review: A Place Beyond Courage by Elizabeth Chadwick

A Place Beyond Courage

A Place Beyond Courage by Elizabeth Chadwick
Book 1 in the William Marshall series
ARC, Kindle E-book, 512 pages
Sourcebooks Landmark
September 1, 2012
goodreads button 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Source: Received from publisher through Netgalley for review

“The early twelfth century is a time for ambitious men to prosper, and royal servant John FitzGilbert is one of them. But when the old king dies and his successor is appointed, John faces a terrible choice: he must join the rival faction-his enemies- or risk losing everything. His new wife helps him carry his burden, but his final choice will seal not only her fate, but those of his young children.

As the fight for England's crown enters a new phase, John may be forced to make a terrible sacrifice...”

Ever since I first picked up The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick I have been entranced with the Marshal family – be it William, Mahelt, or now, John Marshal. I had heard from many other readers who had read the previously released UK version of this novel that this was a wonderful read and it certainly did not disappoint.

John Marshal is always known for the “hammers and anvil” speech that he gave to King Stephen at Newbury Castle – and this incident leads people to believe him to be a harsh, uncaring, man. Chadwick’s Marshal is much more of a compassionate man who had to have the courage to make the tough, right decisions. Chadwick builds a person that we can believe in and understand that his decision to leave his son, William, with the King was not one that was made lightly.

We meet John Marshal’s two wives in this novel, Aline and Sybilla, and these two women could not have been more different. Aline was a more quiet, reserved, deeply religious woman, while Sybilla was more passionate, outgoing, and a great hostess. I have to say that I couldn’t wait to see Aline leave the scene, not only because she was not compatible at all with John, but because she was so boring. I kept thinking “get with the program and do your duties!” Sybilla was much more interesting to read about because she knew what her responsibilities were and was a great helpmate to John.

My favorite scenes were those that did not involve John or Aline or Sybilla – but little William. Of course I enjoyed reading about him in The Greatest Knight and the other novels, but these small scenes allowed the reader to get to know where he got some of his ways from and give us a little preview of the future William Marshal.

As with all of her novels, Chadwick really knows how to create some great drama. I have to say, without giving anything away, that the scenes at Wherwell Abbey were fantastic. Each chapter pulls you immediately into the next chapter and it is truly an “unputdownable” read.

If you would like to preview the story before reading it, why not try out this excerpt of the book?

You can also watch the book trailer below:

Reviews of this book by other bloggers: 

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia

Also by Elizabeth Chadwick:

Elizabeth Chadwick has written many wonderful novels, among those in the William Marshall series are:

The Greatest Knight (Book 2)
[My Review]

The Scarlet Lion_thumb
The Scarlet Lion (Book 3)
[My Review]

For the King's Favor_thumb
For the King's Favor
(Book 4)
AKA - A Time for Singing
[My Review]

To Defy a King_thumb
To Defy a King
(Book 5)
[My Review]

You can find a complete list of Chadwick novels here.

I have also reviewed the following other novels by Elizabeth Chadwick:

Find Elizabeth Chadwick:
Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Copyright © 2012 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. I'm definitely looking forward to reading this one!

    1. If you have enjoyed other Chadwick books, you will enjoy this one!

  2. I loved The Greatest Knight and To Defy a King, so I'm looking forward to reading the other Marshal books. This one sounds great!

    1. I would probably place this one right behind the two that you mentioned (in that order) as my favorites by Chadwick.

  3. This book is a sumptuous delight to devour... The author has an incredible talent with the written word and you’ll feel as if you are witnessing the events in this book. This book brings history to life in a very real sense. I’m exceedingly happy to have “discovered” this author and have absolutely enjoyed my sojourns into English history. I highly recommend this book to everyone!

    Highly recommended KRW Injury Attorney


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