On Hist Fic Saturday
Let's go back to ... 1238
My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book
Raised at the court of King Henry III as a chamber lady to the queen, young Joanna of Swanscombe's life changes forever when she comes into an inheritance far above all expectations, including her own.
Now a wealthy heiress, Joanna's arranged marriage to the King's charming, tournament-loving half-brother William de Valence immediately stokes the flames of political unrest as more established courtiers object to the privileges bestowed on newcomers.
As Joanna and William strive to build a life together, England descends into a bitter civil war. In mortal danger, William is forced to run for his life, and Joanna is left with only her wit and courage to outfox their enemies and prevent them from destroying her husband, her family, and their fortunes.
📖 My review ..
From her early childhood, Joanna of Swanscombe was brought up at the court of Henry III where she became a trusted member of the royal household. When the King's half-brother, William de Valance came to live at court in 1247 he and Joanna were married and it is their long, and complex, relationship which forms the heart of the story. Against the background of civil unrest, particularly leading up to the Second Barons War led by Simon de Montfort, William and Joanna will have their loyalty to the King tested beyond limits.
As always Elizabeth Chadwick gets right into the centre of the medieval world and brings to life the sights, sounds and atmosphere of a country in turmoil. A weak King and a set of ambitious courtiers make the perfect combination for political intrigue and with her usual fine eye for historical accuracy the complex story of early medieval politics comes to life. Whilst I knew a little about Simon de Montfort, I knew nothing of Joanna and William, so all credit to the author for giving the chance for lesser known figures from history to have their moment in the spotlight.
Beautifully written, with a fascinating second half to the story, A Marriage of Lions brings the medieval world to life with all the complexities of chivalric rivalry, political skulduggery and murderous intrigue. Bringing history alive is what this talented author does best and A Marriage of Lions continues this tradition in fine style.
Best Read with... a tankard of ale and a bowl of beef pottage
Much of Elizabeth Chadwick’s research is carried out as a member of Regia Anglorum, an early mediaeval re-enactment society with emphasis on accurately re-creating the past. She also tutors in the skill of writing historial and romantic fiction. She won a Betty Trask Award for The Wild Hunt and has been shortlisted for the RNA Awards four times ( Publisher)
Twitter @ChadwickAuthor #AMarriageofLions