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.


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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