Wednesday 11 September 2013

Review ~ The Outlaw Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick

Sourcebooks Landmark
3 September 2013

I first read this story in 2000, when it was published in the UK under the title Lords of the White Castle, so it has been a real treat to revisit a story which whilst never forgotten had lost some of its sharpness from my memory. There is always a danger when revisiting a story that it could lose something in the re-read, not so the case with The Outlaw Knight. As always Elizabeth Chadwick proves why she is such a master of medieval romantic adventure. She imbues in her characters such a sense of time and place that you are instantly transported back in time to a land of courtly love and chivalric honour, and where danger lurks behind the cold stone wall of every castle keep.

In this, the second of the Fitzwarin novels, she continues the story which she started in Shadows and Strongholds, and continues the dynastic responsibilities of the Fitzwarin family as they fight for repossession of their inheritance, namely Whittington Castle in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. Based on the factual history of the Fitzwarin family, and with a few minor embellishments this story abounds with treachery, outlawry, and the brutal and violent struggle of one Marcher lord pitted against another.

As always the author’s research is impeccable, the story telling effortless and the ability to draw the reader into the medieval world of glory, honour and treachery is brought to life in such a way that you smell the horses, feel the cold and creep carefully in the shadows of a violent time, vividly recreated.

My thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmarks for the opportunity to read this novel.

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