"Saxon1974" wrote:I just finished "The Greatest Knight". Quite an enjoyable read but there was one aspect I didn't love. I realize that I am probably going to get flamed for posting anything like that
Hiya, I'm replying on here cos I'm a member and everyone knows me, and cos it seems appropriate even though you won't find me doing the comment stuff elsewhere online. It's a fine line between adding insights and being intrusive.
This is merely my opinion though as all readers like different things.Things I did like:
-I really enjoy Chadwick's easy reading style and ability to draw me into the medieval world and this book was no different in this area.
-I really enjoyed learning about this remarkable man and couldn't believe he was honorable enough to stick to his guns for loyalty as he did.
I think that sometimes loyalty went hand in glove with self-interest, I have certainly come to see that about him as I've continued to research - I didn't leave William and his family behind when I finished the novel; they are an ongoing project. I would say that with the above first line caveat of 'sometimes' on most occasions he does appear to have been intensely loyal. You choose one lord, you serve one lord and lead by example. The dodgy dealing over his French lands in The Scarlet Lion is a bit more of a grey area, and I think as he matured he learned to stand firm for what he was worth to kings.-I realize his life is so full of details that writing a novel about him couldn't be easy and I thought Chadwick did a very nice job of this with having to span large gaps of time between some chapters. It felt pretty seamless.
Urggh, that was such a bane. I would really like to have written more - particulary on the chevauchee of the 1173 war but I was constrained by the contract to word count, so had to pick and choose what to write - ideally I'd have included much more.-Thought she did a very nice job portraying the English royal family and they seemed consistent with every thing I have read about them.
-Seem very historically accurate (As much as I know about the subject)
Thank you - I did my best.
The one aspect that I didnt love:I felt like the book had WAY to much about his familial life with his wife\concubine and the royal court political discussions. It felt like this was 80% of the book. Now I realize he really was a big part of English court politics of the time but it really felt like there were pages and pages and pages of it. I am a male reader however and I realize that my interest is more in his tourney and military career. I don't dislike familial details but would have just liked a bit less of it. I would have liked the book better if it was closer to 50/50.
This is where the personal taste comes in. I have reviews saying 'too much fighting, not enough romance.' And others saying the opposite.There were many times in the book where I felt like the book was building up to an interesting castle siege and then I turn the page and he is back with his wife and tells her how the siege went in a few sentences after the fact. I felt like the book had a good start with the battle at Drincourt and some early tourney's but it felt like he really quickly become this great tourney champion without really showing us why he was so good. Same thing with his military skills.
Part of this is down to wrestling with word count and part of it again, is down to personal taste. There are several wonderful incidents from the Histoire de Guillame le Mareschal I had to leave out because there just wasn't the room.Anyway, I hope I don't offend by posting my opinion as that's all it is...an opinion.
Absolutely not - thank you for your input!I have read quite a few of Chadwick's books and really enjoy them even though some tend to vere too far into the romance category.
Cheers and keep them coming Ms. Chadwick! (Although I wish there were less Romancy covers for the newer ones)
I keep telling them re the romancey covers but horse to water and all that. We are doing a reshoot in the UK of TGK, The Scarlet Lion, A Place Beyond Courage and The Time of Singing, but I don't know what will come of it.
My earlier novels do tend to veer more towards the romance side. I always say (beer glass being half full, not half empy!) that there's something for everyone.