FOR THE KING’S FAVOR
Elizabeth Chadwick,Sourcebooks Landmark, September 2010, $14.99,pb,544p, 978-1402244490
Synopsis the cover jacket:When Roger Bigod arrives at King Henry II’s court to settle a bitter inheritance dispute, he becomes enchanted with Ida de Tosney, young mistress to the powerful king. A victim of Henry’s seduction and the mother of his son, Ida sees in Roger a chance to begin a new life. But Ida pays an agonizing price when she leaves the king, and as Roger’s importance grows and he gains an earldom, their marriage comes under increasing strain. Based on the true story of a royal mistress and the young lord she chose to marry.
Review:I was simply enchanted and swept away as Chadwick captured my attention and introduced me into the world of Ida de Tosney. There is such a clear vision in your mind of Ida’s thoughts, her agony and the fear she has upon first meeting King Henry. It’s painful to witness her self loathing consume her. She shivers at times knowing the word “whore” is attached to her name. This way of life will never bring her happiness, regardless of her favored position and the lavish lifestyle at court. Her sense of what’s right and wrong are always clear to her. Her intelligence is what saves her, as she envisions a better life for herself, knowing the King will cast her aside one day for a younger woman. Ida is a proud woman who has keen survival instincts. Empathy for Ida is unavoidable. As the reader you just want to make it all better for her, become her confidant, offer advice.
One can never tire reading about King Henry II, who is a complex royal with a lustfully exciting life. Roger Bigod is a perfect knight in shining armor. His story is less familiar, creating the drama of a dysfunctional 12th century family complete with betrayal and greed. The characters live because of this writers breath. One of the best historical fiction novels I have read this year. Everyone must experience Elizabeth Chadwick’s exquisite writing. Her proficiency and talent place her among the elite in her genre.
Book Origin: Sourcebooks ARC sent for review.
© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], .