Friday, December 4, 2009

Review: The Champion, by Elizabeth Chadwick

This novel is set against the tournament circuits of the late 12th and early 13th centuries. Alexander de Montroi, an escapee from a brutal regime at Cranwell Priory, goes to his brother, a tourney knight. Eventually, he becomes a knight himself, eventually entering into the retinue of William Marshal. Meanwhile, Monday de Cerezay is the daughter of a tourney knight and seamstress. She and Alexander fall in love—with adverse results.

Once again, Elizabeth Chadwick gives us a wonderful rendering of the 12th century, combining romance with a wealth of historical detail that never bogs the story down. I was especially fascinated with the marriage scene, where Alexander and Monday’s son was legitimized. The reason why I love Chadwick’s novels so much is that she always manages to create a story that draws the reader in. Although the romance seems a bit pedestrian at times, it’s also a bit bittersweet; they don’t really realize how much they love each other until after they’ve parted ways. I found Monday’s motives for leaving a little perplexing, though. Still, the characters are such that you really find yourself involved in their story. There’s a nice blend of historical fact and fiction, which lends itself well to Alexander and Monday’s story. It's not my favorite Elizabeth Chadwick novel, but it's still very good.


theliteraryomnivore said...

Interesting. This sounds quite good, especially after watching A Knight's Tale again.

Jodie said...

I apologize if I've missed it, but what is your favorite Elizabeth Chadwick title?
I'm trying to decide which to read (ie. try to find) first.
Thanks for all the great reviews!


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