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Shadows and Strongholds by Elizabeth Chadwick

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Post by pat » Sun October 26th, 2008, 11:20 am

I loved it! Faulk was a fantastic character to find!
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Post by Libby » Wed January 21st, 2009, 9:51 pm

I enjoyed this, but it is the character of Marion that remains with me. She was already damaged goods when she was taken into the de Dinan household. Even though she was brought up with Sibbi and Hawise she was never a sister; she was always an outsider who had witnessed the awful death of her mother and she craved love. She thought she had found that love with Brunin, especially after he kissed her, but then she was quickly told that she wasn't good enough because she wasn't an heiress.

It's easy to see how she felt isolated and excluded to the extent that she looked for love elsewhere, and it's easy to see how she was fooled by de Lysle's charm. The de Dinan's should have shown her more compassion perhaps. If she hadn't been threatened with the convent she wouldn't have betrayed them.

In the end she was badly treated by everyone and her love for the despicable de Lysle was so true of many women who stay in an abusive relationship because they don't know how to leave. And remember that she didn't have the same knowledge as the reader about what he had done earlier.

Poor Marion.
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Post by Ash » Thu January 22nd, 2009, 3:20 am

I also couldn't get her out of my head after I finsihed the book. But I had much less sympathy for her than you did. Yes she had a horrible beginning, but I thought the family was really wonderful to her, bending over backwards to let her be herself. She ended up being a rather simpering, silly, and selfish young lady.The fact that she was so ungrateful for what they did for her that she would become a traitor for the first man who looked twice at her - well, like I said, I didn't have much sympathy.

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Post by Telynor » Thu January 22nd, 2009, 5:08 am

I felt rather sorry for Marion, and wished that she could have gained some -sense- through the story, I wasn't surprised at all by what was her eventual fate. Most of all, she reminded me of a rather lonely, never grows up, puppy.

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Post by Carine » Thu January 22nd, 2009, 6:51 am

I mostly felt sorry for Marion aswell, but she did some horrible betraying towards the family that was so good to her !
In the end I felt she kind of dug her own grave.

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Post by Vanessa » Thu January 22nd, 2009, 8:22 am

I did have sympathy for Marion, she was a silly girl, but I suppose she did sow what she reaped in the end.
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Post by Madeleine » Fri May 22nd, 2015, 11:14 am

Finished this last night and really enjoyed it. I loved Brunin and Hawise, and thought they had a great relationship. I also really liked Joscelin and Sybilla. Marion? Mmm not much to say really about her, I suppose I did sort of pity her a bit at the end, but really she was a classic case of be careful what you wish for, and her betrayal was pretty unforgivable. I don't think the de Dinans could have done more for her, they bent over backwards and in the end she threw it all back in their faces. At least the awful de Lysle got his come-uppance though! And Mellette - what a nightmare! I thought there was some lovely humour in the book too, along with some heart-stopping moments.
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Post by Misfit » Fri May 22nd, 2015, 3:48 pm

This is a personal favorite of mine, I've read it at least twice. Might be time for another go-around with it. I loved the wedding night.
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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Fri May 22nd, 2015, 11:21 pm

Glad this was bumped up, as I have read the book in between. Re Marion, no sympathy, really. In everyone's life there are moments--many of them--where what you know is the right thing, the bit where you put aside selfishness for the good of somebody else--stares you smack in the face. That's the point of decision. At every point, Marion took the downward path, and she ended up being a liability to herself and those who helped her. If you follow anyone's real life for very long, you'll find that rings true, which is why it works in fiction.

The satisfaction of fiction is that, unlike real life, it is compressed enough so that you can see both choice and result. That's why Shadows and Strongholds works so well, because Hawise and Bruinen's courage and sacrifices were rewarded and Marion and de Lysle got their just deserts.

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Post by Nefret » Tue May 26th, 2015, 3:28 am

This is one of the books I'm currently reading.
Into battle we ride with Gods by our side
We are strong and not afraid to die
We have an urge to kill and our lust for blood has to be fulfilled
WE´LL FIGHT TILL THE END! And send our enemies straight to Hell!
- "Into Battle"

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