Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Review: A Place Beyond Courage - Elizabeth Chadwick


The early twelfth century is a time for ambitious men to prosper, and royal servant John FitzGilbert is one of them. But when the old king dies and his successor is appointed, John faces a terrible choice: he must join the rival faction-his enemies- or risk losing everything. His new wife helps him carry his burden, but his final choice will seal not only her fate, but those of his young children. 
As the fight for England's crown enters a new phase, John may be forced to make a terrible sacrifice...

My thoughts:
When I think of medieval fiction writers I think of Elizabeth Chadwick. She is the go to author for me and this was another great novel.

John FitzGilbert was the father of the more famous William Marshal. But this is John's book. He was King Henry II's marshal, he was young and went for what he wanted. I liked how he was portrayed, even in his darkest moments. Because in the end you can't know what he thought and felt and I felt what she wrote here was very possible.

His first wife was Aline, yeah, the less we talk about her the better. She was weak. His second marriage was a political one since he was feuding with his neighbor. So he out aside Aline and married Sybilla. Again this could have made me dislike him, but to save his children, his future and life it was just something he had to do. Life back then was not easy for women, but we all know that already.

The novel takes place during the civil war when Matilda and her cousin Stephen fights for the throne. And of course we got John in the middle of it all, trying to pick a side and stay alive. Not that easy in a time like that.

Chadwick is always so good with the little details. I feel like I am there over 800 years ago. It feels real. I am watching the story in my head while reading it.

And the things I learn, it was the Marshal's job to take care of the royal whores. Yes, he brought in new blood and saw to that they kept their standards. He did sample the wares too ;)

Conclusion:
I know that when I want good historical fiction then Chadwick's books are the ones to read. Medieval life comes alive in them.

Cover: 
Works

Series: William Marshal #1
Genre: Historical fiction
Pages: 512
Published: Sep 1st 2012 by Sourcebooks Landmark (first published 2007)Source: For review

48 comments:

  1. This one does sound really good, glad you loved it.

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  2. I haven't read anything by Elizabeth Chadwick, but after this review I think I need to fix that.

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    1. I have read her books since I was..like in elementary school, lol, I went for the big books fast

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  3. This sounds awesome and I totally agree about Chadwick.

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  4. I've read couple of novels by Chadwick and I totally agree with you. She is really good at what she does, plus she always has the most excellent book covers :) Glad you loved this book!

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    1. I love her covers, but then I love medieval images in general :)

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  5. Why haven't I read any of her books? I must! :)

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  6. I really like Elizabeth Chadwick too. :)

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  7. I wasn't fan of Aline and I was actually glad he married Sybilla. And I like this new cover more.

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    1. I hear you, she was such a timid little mouse and I felt so sorry for him. The sex was so horrid

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  8. OooH! I'm going to have to add this author to my wishlist. I love that you feel right there... while actually having indoor plumbing IRL. That is the way to time travel! :D

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    1. Yes you must read her books :)
      Lol, I do love indoor plumbing..and toilet paper ;)

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  9. I don't think I've ever read anything by Chadwick, but it sounds like I should.

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  10. whoa, i did not know that was one of marshall's jobs!

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  11. I'll have to read something by this author, as I love historical fiction that's full of detail.

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  12. Hmm, I never thought of reading medieval fiction, but I think I might like it. Thanks!

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    1. You know..it's like fantasy..only real, lol

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  13. I enjoy Chadwick's writing too. GGlad to know that she doesn't disappoint with this series!

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  14. Shame on me, I'm a big fan of historicals but have yet to read Elizabeth Chadwick. Nice review!

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    1. Yes shame on you! ;=D
      There is just one way to fix that

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  15. Very interesting about Marshal and the royal whores...I guess someone had to do it!

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    1. Aye, you can't have every skank in the city around, you need class

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  16. I love good historical fiction so I must add this author to my list.

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  17. So far I have resisted reading medieval fiction like this one, but I'll admit this one sounds interesting! ;)

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    Replies
    1. No no, do not resist. Resistance is futile!

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  18. The king's whored did it for me. I might try this one ;p.

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    1. Lol. Dang, I did love that part, I amuse easily

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  19. It's always nice to have a good historical fiction author.

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  20. I am no usually a historicals fan. I am more of an urban fantasy girl, however I do read an occassional historical but I've never read Chadwick before. It might be worth trying her out. Thanks for sharing your opinion!

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    1. And I love everything :D His fic speaks to my fantasy side too, so that is good. And i love this period in time

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  21. I haven't read too many books set in medieval times, but the ones I have read I've loved. I'll be checking out Elizabeth's books for sure!

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    1. Yay :D I hope you will like them, and she has a lot to choose from

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  22. I love Elizabeth Chadwick's writing and collect all her books, the covers are gorgeous. Still have to read this one though ... my bad lol

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    1. I do love her too, lol, pretty obvious ;D

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  23. I have never read anything by this author- but I do love a good HF book and this one sounds excellent. I will have to read something by Chadwick soon!
    ~Jess

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    1. You must read Chadwick, she is truly wonderful :)

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