Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Review - The Scarlet Lion

This is Elizabeth Chadwick's sequal to "The Greatest Knight" - the continuing story of the lives of William Marshal and Isabella de Clare.

It took me a little longer to read than the first book - though not through any fault of the author - just other things had my attention, which in effect meant I needed to re-read a few times just to referesh my memory.

As I said with the first book - the story was familiar yet despite this I still enjoyed the "The Scarlet Lion". The by-play between William and King John was good - there were times when one felt like yelling out to Marshal, "just give it to him" (ie: him being bad King John). That man Marshal must have had the patience of a saint - or he really was a adept in the way and wiles of the court scene.

Maude de Braose - she has a somewhat fleeting part in the story - yet I found myself thinking she was hard done by - well, she certainly was by King John! And so I felt she was a little more derserving of a bit more sympathy (ie: the "raddled hag" reference). Maude and Isabella were quite similar in character and in both wanting more for their husbands. Yet I suppose at that time, looks as well as property were high on the list of the recommended qualities of a woman - even after many years of marriage (and many children later).

Anyway, "The Scarlet Lion" is a very good read - however, I would recommend reading"The Greatest Knight" beforehand - just to keep things in perspective and to provide some background information, especially for those unfamiliar with this part of history.

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