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About the Book:
About the Author:
Elizabeth Chadwick (UK) is the author of 17 historical novels, including The Greatest Knight, The Scarlet Lion, A Place Beyond Courage, Lords of the White Castle, Shadows and Strongholds, the Winter Mantle, and The Falcons of Montabard, four of which have been shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Awards.
Young Brunin FitzWarin is sent to the household of Joscelin de Dinan, lord of Ludlow castle to train as a squire. There he integrates into the family and becomes friendly with the daughters of the house, Hawise and Sybilla as well as the foster daughter Marion. Marion develops a strong crush on Brunin but his father has hopes that he will marry Hawise so as to bring her dower lands into the FitzWarin holdings.
Joscelin is a strong knight and a caring man who has held Ludlow castle since his marriage. A cousin of his wife, Gilbert de Lacy also claims the castle and has been warring with him because he feels it belongs to his side of the family. All of this is taking place during the English civil wars between Matilda and Stephen. Henry II is about to come on the scene and make his presence known. Both men are doing all they can to stay on his good side.
Brunin matures and is knighted. He grows into a worthy heir for his father’s estates and he does become betrothed to Hawise. All of this happens as Henry II becomes king and starts to deal with the problems of his realm.
One of the things I love best about Elizabeth Chadwick’s books is the way she immerses her reader in the time period. Through powerfully descriptive writing a full picture is painted for the reader. It’s almost like viewing a movie in your head as you read. Every single one I have read has been a real treat of a book and this one was no different. In fact I finished it over a week ago and I find myself thinking about it at odd moments – wondering what the characters might be doing. That is powerful writing. Ms. Chadwick knows how to bring a long past time to life through the magic of her writing. She brings every aspect of medieval times into vivid focus and builds believable stories with the crumbs left to history.
You can read an excerpt of Shadows and Strongholds
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Disclosure: I received a free copy of Shadows and Strongholds from Sourcebooks for my honest review. I received no compensation for this post.