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To Defy a King

sharon
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To Defy a King

Postby sharon » Thu May 13th, 2010, 12:59 am

Fans of Elizabeth Chadwick will be as happy as I am to learn that To Defy a King has made the Sunday London Times Bestseller list, a well-deserved honor for a writer whose books are highly entertaining and historically accurate, not an easy feat to pull off!
Sharon

Ash
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Location: Arizona, USA

Postby Ash » Sun May 16th, 2010, 8:38 pm

Oh that is so cool!

I shed my first tears in this book reading Ida's thoughts on page 170. For some reason after reading TOS, I thought Ida and Roger had a close marriage. She was so lonely, for years and years it seems. I can't remember when TOS left off - I need to see how many years intervened. That would be the only explanation for me for her strained marriage, as well as the change in Roger's character. I really liked him before; now he just repells me (tho I have to remember he was in his rights to do what he wants, but yikes!)

Taking a break for a bit. I've got school work to do for next week and if I don't do it now, Ill spend the rest of the day and night reading then show up tomorrow without a lesson in my head! So I'll put the book down, for now....
Last edited by Ash on Sun May 16th, 2010, 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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EC2
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Postby EC2 » Sun May 16th, 2010, 8:54 pm

"Ash" wrote:Oh that is so cool!

I shed my first tears in this book reading Ida's thoughts on page 170. For some reason after reading TOS, I thought Ida and Roger had a close marriage. She was so lonely, for years and years it seems. I can't remember when TOS left off - I need to see how many years intervened. That would be the only explanation for me for her strained marriage, as well as the change in Roger's character. I really liked him before; now he just repells me (tho I have to remember he was in his rights to do what he wants, but yikes!)

Taking a break for a bit. I've got school work to do for next week and if I don't do it now, Ill spend the rest of the day and night reading then show up tomorrow without a lesson in my head! So I'll put the book down, for now....


Reply from the author: :-) I deliberately ended TTOS on an upbeat note with the marital difficulties that happened earlier in the novel, repaired, although with the hint that there might be some tough times ahead.
Offhand there's a gap of about 6 years between the end of one and the start of another. I think people do change and become less flexible as they age, or as their jobs and lives take their toll. Sometimes they become more like their parents. (always swearing in their youth that it was something they would never do!). You see it daily. I think as you continue with the novel, while you might still not like Roger much, there are reasons and he does learn a lesson. I think that what happened between the couple is summed up in Roger's quote -somewhere, can't remember now, but it's about robins and eagles.
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

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Libby
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Postby Libby » Sat July 10th, 2010, 9:54 am

I've just finished reading this and found it compelling and thought provoking. What I enjoyed was seeing some of the events that had been described in the previous books about William Marshall from a different perspective. With Mahelt's marriage to High Bigod the reader is taken into the Bigod household and is allowed to witness their attitudes and reactions towards the increasingly cruel reign of King John.

I thought that the portrayal of Mahelt's mixed loyalties was well handled and I enjoyed watching her grow from an idealistic young girl into a woman who realised that compromises had to be made if she was to find happiness and contentment.

Roger, who I quite liked before, is shown as being stubborn and unbending - but you can see why he does what he does. Self preservation is the name of the game and although several characters make mistakes and bad decisions they do them for all the right reasons which makes them all the more human.

But the real villain was King John. What a slimeball. He had no redeeming features at all and he was thoroughly disgusting. I was interested to read that the incident with the egg had come from the Akashic record. It summed up his character so well. Thank goodness Mahelt managed to get the better of him when he cornered her in the dark!

I think my favourite bit was the baby shoes and the hair. I was distraught when Ida had to give William up and this bit made me cry all over again. I keep wondering what William would have been like if Ida had brought him up and how much the experiences of the young hostages changed their characters. Nature or nurture? I think that what we see and hear and how we are treated does affect the people we become and it's this type of character analysis, that leaves me pondering on these people and what they had to face for a long time after the story is finished.

I enjoyed the realism. Life is hard for all of us and has its ups and downs and this is reflected in the story. Not everyone gets a happy ending and I'm sorry that Ida's life was filled with sorrow. And it's Ida I'm left thinking about rather than Mahelt now that the story is finished. I think Mahelt is strong enough to face the future and make the best of what it holds. She is, after all, her father's daughter.
By Loyalty Bound - the story of the mistress of Richard III.

http://www.elizabethashworth.com

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EC2
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Postby EC2 » Sat July 10th, 2010, 4:52 pm

"Libby" wrote:
But the real villain was King John. What a slimeball. He had no redeeming features at all and he was thoroughly disgusting. I was interested to read that the incident with the egg had come from the Akashic record.


Glad you enjoyed TDAK Libby and thank you for the review! When Alison saw the egg moment, it was extremely vivid with John forcing Ela - but very odd too. Not the sort of thing you'd make up on the spur of the moment - intimidation by hard-boiled egg! Anyway, just last month, I was researching online and quite by chance came across one of those odd folk legends, that states King John poisoned a baron's daughter with an egg. Last paragraph of this url page. http://www.vam.ac.uk/activ_events/adult_resources/memory_maps/historical/littledunmow/index.html Neither Alison nor I knew of this story at the time. It's much later, but how strange to have that association...

And it's Ida I'm left thinking about rather than Mahelt now that the story is finished. I think Mahelt is strong enough to face the future and make the best of what it holds. She is, after all, her father's daughter.


I deliberately left Mahelt at the stage she was at in 1218, because her future was one of those 'tears before bed-time' stories with very little to alleviate the grimness. She lost her father, her mother her husband, and then one by one in an inexorable drip, all of her brothers and sisters, some in horrific and violent circumstances. She was the last one standing. She also (from what I can glean, hated her second husband). Looking at the Akashics, she did not cope well at all because of her very strength. Her character arc after TDAK is perhaps a bit like that of the boxer in the Simon & Garfunkel song of that title, and I think she carried those wounds beyond the grave.
Les proz e les vassals

Souvent entre piez de chevals

Kar ja li coard n’I chasront



'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'


Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal



www.elizabethchadwick.com

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robinbird79
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Location: Georgia

Postby robinbird79 » Sat July 10th, 2010, 11:34 pm

I am reading For the King's Favor at the moment and I will be eager to read To Defy a King once I am done. I have read The Scarlet Lion and it will be interesting to see how TDAK will bridge both of those. :)

When will TDAK be in paperback? :)
Currently Reading: Crown in Candlelight, R. H. Jarmen

http://almostcrazymommy.blogspot.com

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EC2
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Postby EC2 » Sun July 11th, 2010, 9:47 am

"robinbird79" wrote:I am reading For the King's Favor at the moment and I will be eager to read To Defy a King once I am done. I have read The Scarlet Lion and it will be interesting to see how TDAK will bridge both of those. :)

When will TDAK be in paperback? :)


Paperback in the USA is March 2011. It looks like being August 2011 for the UK.
Les proz e les vassals

Souvent entre piez de chevals

Kar ja li coard n’I chasront



'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'


Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal



www.elizabethchadwick.com

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Miss Moppet
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Postby Miss Moppet » Sun July 11th, 2010, 3:54 pm

"EC2" wrote:
She also (from what I can glean, hated her second husband). Looking at the Akashics, she did not cope well at all because of her very strength.


She remarried again very quickly didn't she? Would she have felt under pressure to find a new protector and couldn't afford to be too fussy? Or did the pressure come from other people?

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EC2
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Postby EC2 » Sun July 11th, 2010, 4:44 pm

"Miss Moppet" wrote:[QUOTE=EC2;64762]

She remarried again very quickly didn't she? Would she have felt under pressure to find a new protector and couldn't afford to be too fussy? Or did the pressure come from other people?


I think there was pressure on her by society, as the widow of an immensely powerful man and still of child-bearing years to remarry and I think a lot of this pressure came from her brother William Marshal Junior. I also think she was probably in a bad mental state at the time, having lost her father (a massive thing for her), her mother, and then her husband in fairly swift succession. She'd get up from one blow, begin to look round and bam, she'd ben knocked down again. The Bigods were the main landholders in Norfolk and their closest neighbour and rival for the territory was William de Warenne. His first wife had died without giving him heirs and he was at least 60 when Mahelt was widowed. He was related to the King. His father had been Henry II's half brother. William Marshal Junior was married to King John's daughter. I think that it was a game of power and politics where the leading men of the time married their families together to make alliances. With Mahelt's background in Norfolk, a marriage to de Warenne would have made the latter all the more powerful. After he died, Mahelt didn't remarry, but she was probably just about past child-bearing at that point - she would have been about 47 when her 2nd husband died.
Les proz e les vassals

Souvent entre piez de chevals

Kar ja li coard n’I chasront



'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'


Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal



www.elizabethchadwick.com

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Libby
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Postby Libby » Sun July 11th, 2010, 8:36 pm

I think that if women were past child bearing age it was easier for them to remain as widows- otherwise it was costly. I'm writing about Henry de Lacy at the moment and his mother paid a huge amount to the king to remain a widow and to retain control over her son.

The Warennes are also another family I'm researching and I'd noticed the connection with Mahelt (in fact I keep coming across connections with the Marshall family because it's true that everyone in the aristocracy seems to be related to someone else). I haven't looked at my WIP for a while as I've been distracted by other things, but I think one of my main characters is a direct descendant of Mahelt through her second marriage.
By Loyalty Bound - the story of the mistress of Richard III.



http://www.elizabethashworth.com


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