Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Review: Lady of the English by Elizabeth Chadwick



Publisher: Sourcebooks
Pages: 544
Source: Publisher
Matilda has been summoned to come home to England after the death of her husband, the German Emperor. Their only heir died during childbirth, and now Matilda has no purpose in Germany. She is well aware that she is another pawn in her father’s political game, and worries about her future and duty. While at home in England and waiting for her father to drop the ball and tell her who she will marry next, she befriends her stepmother Adeliza. Adeliza is a few years younger than herself, and both find true companionship, forming a bond out of loyalty to the king. Matilda stands by Adeliza to comfort her as each month her hopes of providing an heir to the king is crushed. Unless Adeliza can provide an heir for the thorn, Matilda is the only living heir. Much to her displeasure she is soon married to Geoffrey of Anjoy, a man much younger than her with good political ties. Their marriage is tumultuous and Matilda wanted for nothing more than an annulment. When it becomes clear that once would not be granted, Matilda and Geoffrey seek to provide an heir for the English crown and fight for the dowry that Matilda was promised but Henry refuses to uphold. The noblemen who once swore allegiance to Matilda quickly defy Henry’s wishes and crown her cousin Stephen when the time comes. Matilda refuses to walk away quietly, she wants everything she was promised and a crown upon her son’s head. Adeliza’s true loyalty lies with Matilda while her new husband’s allegiance is to Stephen. 
Lady of the English is an excellent read, a novel that will appeal to both historical fiction fans and those who are looking for an entertaining read. Elizabeth Chadwick concentrates on the relationships and conflicts between characters as well as social conventions and the duty that comes from title and family. Both Matilda and Adeliza are central characters that I deeply rooted for. Matilda is a strong female character who is adamant that her father’s wishes be attained. Adeliza is caught between her loyalty to Matilda and the love and devotion she has for her new husband. Both are substantial characters. I quickly read through this one, not wanting to put it down. I really don't like when historical novels are mostly about romance, and Chadwick does not do this. She will remain one of my favourite historical fiction writers. Elizabeth Chadwick quickly draws her readers into her world, and captures their attention until the end.There is a reason why Elizabeth Chadwick is one of the most favored historical fiction authors of our day, her descriptive prose and extensive research shines through in each of her novels. Historical fiction that is readable and comprehensive, full of political intrigue and fascinating characters. 

13 comments:

  1. I don't read much historical fiction but I do like good stories. You've made me think I need to try Chadwick's work.

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  2. I have been wanting to read this one, I love historical fiction. Thanks for the review!

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  3. I love historical fiction. I'm going to have to check this one out. I think I've been on a Philippa Gregory bender for long enough :)

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  4. I really like historical fiction but have a selective authors to go to. I haven't read anything by this author, I should probably give this book a try.

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  5. I love historical fiction and this sounds so good! Nice review.

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  6. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres and I really get invested in it when it's good. It sounds like I would love this book, and I was so happy to read your glowing review. I need to get this one!

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  7. I love historical fiction but I've never read Elizabeth Chadwick. I'll have to give her a try. Thanks for posting!!!

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  8. I love historical fiction and sometimes they can be very man focused so I like the sounds of this one!

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  9. I love to read historical novels! Thanks for bringing this one to my attention.

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  10. So good :D I can't wait for her next book to come out

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  11. I've never been the biggest fan of historical fiction, but this one sounds really good! Matilda seems like an awesome character (which is always great!), and the premise is super interesting! :)

    Awesome review, Mrs. Q!

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  12. So happy to hear you liked this! I love Chadwick and can't wait for her Eleanor of Aquitaine books :)

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  13. Yes - what a great piece! Loved Chadwick's Matilda and the focus on her made it all the more incredible.

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