Original date of publication: 2000
My edition: 2007 (Sphere)
Why I decided to read: I’m trying to read everything Elizabeth Chadwick has written
How I acquired my copy: Waterstones, Piccadilly, London, September 2009
Lords of the White Castle is one of Elizabeth Chadwick’s longer books. Set during the later part of Richard I’s reign and King John’s, this is the story of Fulke Fitzwarin, a young squire who acquires the enmity of Prince John. Fulke and his family have lost their family home, and Fulke and his brothers spend a good deal of the novel fighting to regain it—becoming, at one point, outlaws. Moreover, Fulke falls in love with Maude le Vavasour, a noblewoman at court and the wife of his mentor, Theobald.
As I’ve noticed in the past, Elizabeth Chadwick’s books follow a certain formula. The romance aspect of the novel takes center stage, but despite this, the book really works as a historical novel. I’ve said this over and over again, but Elizabeth Chadwick is exceptionally skilled at depicting the late 12th and early 13th century. With Elizabeth Chadwick’s novels, you’re guaranteed a historically accurate read, without being too bogged down with excessive details.
Despite her rather formulaic characters, you really feel sympathetic towards them. Lords of the White Castle is a little bit long at nearly 700 pages, and could have used some editing, but the plot moves at a great amount of speed and you never feel as though it drags at any point. Another really good, solid novel from Elizabeth Chadwick; I’ve not yet read the prequel to Lords of the White Castle, Shadows and Strongholds, but that one will be next!