Friday, September 18, 2009

Review: The Conquest, by Elizabeth Chadwick


The Conquest is set during and after the Norman conquest of 1066. Ailith is a Saxon housewife, her husband the armorer to King Harold. After her husband’s death, she has an affair with Rolf de Brize, a Norman; and years laterm their daughter Julitta takes up with Benedict. The Conquest is a story about love, loss, and hope during the most trying of times.

I enjoyed this book, though not as much as Elizabeth Chadwick’s other novels. As usual, the book is well-written and researched (I learned more about medieval horses than I ever thought I would), but there was something missing about this book that I can’t quite put my finger on. Rolf and Ailith aren’t the most sympathetic characters in this novel, and I found myself not particularly caring for their relationship (actually, I think that Ailith was much better off without him, brothel or not!). Julitta and Benedict, however, are much more likeable.

On the other hand, EC does a great job with description: the Battle of Hastings is particularly well-rendered. And the story really does flow well, keeping the reader turning pages constantly. I just don’t feel that this is Elizabeth Chadwick’s strongest book, however.

2 comments:

Ceri said...

I've often wondered whether to read anything of Elizabeth Chadwick's, and after seeing that you do enjoy her books (although this wasn't your favourites) I think I'm going to give her a go. :-D

Marg said...

This is going to be my next EC book when I get to it.

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