Sunday 31 October 2010

Review: For the King's Favor - Elizabeth Chadwick

UK Title: The Time of Singing

Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 560
US publication: September 2010

When Roger Bigod, heir to the powerful earldom of Norfolk, arrives at court to settle an inheritance, he meets Ida de Tosney, young mistress to King Henry II. In Roger, Ida sees a chance for lasting love, but their decision to marry carries an agonizing price. It's a breathtaking novel of making choices, not giving up, and coping with the terrible shifting whims of the king.

Like with all fiction she does have some artistic freedom, because we don't know everything, like how old Ida really was. But Chadwick always stays close to the truth and does her best to make it as historically accurate as possible, and that is what I love about her books. They are true to facts, but at the same time she makes history come alive as she write about people that have lived, like Roger and Ida, or when she creates something new.

Ida de Tosney is a royal ward, and mistress of King Henry II, she gives him a son, but she wants freedom and finds it in Roger Bigod who is fighting over his inheritance with his half brothers. This is the story of their love, children and about a country in a turbulent time.

My thoughts:
I can really see myself there, Chadwick breaths life in times gone by and history feels like yesterday. If it's court procedure, clothes or how they act. In this book the characters have lived for real and from that she pieces together a wonderful story. Ida does what she must, what could a ward do when the king wants her in his bed. In Roger she sees a chance to get away. He is here a very calm and sensible man, not at all like his father. Together they make a good pair. William Marshall also makes appearances, Henry II and his family, and Ida's son with Henry. It sure is a more interesting way to learn about history than reading in a textbook.

The story never gets boring, they go on with their lives, and because of the time there is always something going on. Henry's son fighting against him, Richard the Lionheart going on crusade, and of course when Roger tries to get his lands back and his father's title. The quiet moments are just as good, and I end the book with a smile.

Recommendation and final thoughts:
To every HF fan yes, of course, and to the rest of you too. This is a lovely piece of historical fiction. The book makes me want to go there, just to breath that same air for a moment or two. The book made me remember why I love her books in the first place. And you know when they invent a time machine I will go there (just as long as I take some heavy antibiotics and a toothbrush with me ;)

Cover: Truly lovely. I have to say something about the UK one too because that one I love too, there is this pre-raphaelite painting just like it. And she is stitching the Norfolk banner there, so perfect.

The Winners of Highland Hellcat by Mary Wine



Both winners have been notified and the books are on their way


  1. The story telling quality was that good that it made that world so real it made you think of antibiotics, huh?!? You make it sound convincing even to non-HF fan like me :)

    ...and ...Congratulations to JENNIE and ANACHRONIST!! Happy reading!!!

  2. Oh how I love the sound of this book. I going to start reading Chadwick's book with her novel, The Greatest Knight, and I really hope that I'll enjoy her works as much as you did =)

    Happy weekend!

  3. I'm seriously thinking about trying a Elizabeth Chadwick book but I have no idea which are the best. Or where to start. =P This one look good though.

  4. Awesome review!! I loved this one too, especially the romance between Ida and Roger. I like both covers, I do like that she is sewing his crest in the UK cover b/c it's straight from the book, even the colors :)

  5. Cherry
    Lol, yes my imagination went straight to antibiotics, especially when someone fell in a river and got sick. Nasty era, but the clothes were pretty :)

    I hope you like it, sadly it was one of two Chadwick I never really enjoyed :( Made me sad, but I think cos it was from a male perspective. Still everyone else loves The Greatest Knight, and William, I do fancy him lol.

  6. I'm glad you liked it! Never read a abd book by EC and I loved this one :) I like the new cover too but I hate when they change the titles!FLA5596J

  7. Patte
    Oh do try one! Where to start, well anywhere! My favs are The Wild Hunt, cos it was my first Chadwick :) The Champion, The Love Knot, and this one too. I have 4 more at home to read so it's gonna be a Chadwick month coming up.

    I didn't know that before I did what I always do, googled Roger and saw the Norfolk standard and realized it. But both are so lovely. Great covers.

  8. After reading your review it's definitely on my TBR list. Thanks!

  9. I don't read a lot of historical fiction, but I enjoy it when I do read it. This one sounds so good!!

  10. Great review! I've read two books by Elizabeth Chadwick and loved them both (The Wild Hunt and The Conquest). She is an amazing writer. I've started a collection of her books because someday I want to read them all. She has the most beautiful covers too!

  11. Elysium
    It does get confusing when they change titles, but I read why they did it, and it made sense. I just have to remmeber this now

    I just love good HF, it makes my heart jump from joy

    I am sure you would enjoy this one then

  12. Great review! I really want to start reading Elizabeth Chadwick's novels and I'm glad you found one of her books - that is on my wishlist - so enjoyable. Oh, the cover is gorgeous, I would love to wear such a dress for a day.:)

  13. I like the UK cover better because it really reflects her embroidery which she does a lot of throughout the book. I loved it too and will be reading more of Chadwick!

  14. Diana
    I love love the Wild Hunt! And Conquest is coming up this month, I borrowed 3 Chadwick books from a friend, yay.

    You and me both, those dresses were just so beautiful. One day I am so gonna wear one.
    And yes I do recommend her

    That is true, she did love to do that, and I do like covers that portrait something the character loves :)

  15. I'm not a big historical fiction fan, but this sounds good and you did a great review.

  16. Wow! Must be a real good book. I'll have to check it out. Don't forget the topical ointments and bug spray. ;)

    ...oh and Happy Halloween!

  17. I haven't read anything by this author so I am willing to try this one - I love historical novels, especially when the author doesn't change history too much. I like your idea of the Chadwick month - I am looking forward to your other reviews of her books! Thanks again for my lucky chance of winning a book!

  18. *waves hi*
    Too historical and too many pages for me. ;)

  19. Thanks Yvonne
    Hf is not for everyone, but I have loved it since I was little :)

    Aye, it was great, I love that era so much, my fav actually.

    Thank bf, he picked your number :D
    As you have never read anything by her I do recommend you to try one or two books. But since 3 more reviews will be coming up, you can make up your mind then :)

    But chunky books are the best! Hihi, just more good things in them.

  20. Yay, another Chadwick fan! I am slowly working my way through her backlist, savouring every one because I know that I am not too far away from the point where I am going to have to wait for each new book to come out with no others to fill in the gap.

  21. bf, thank you very much for picking my number! Have you been drunk or something? :p :DDDD Who is bf btw? ;)

  22. Marg
    Oh I dread that too, I will really be closing in after November has gone by. But then I can always re-read those I read 10 years ago :)

    Lol, bf is my boyfriend. It's not the first time I order him to pick a number between 1 or something when random generator can't pick a number that had entered.

  23. Awesome review! This sounds so descriptive and lovely...I'm adding this to my list, for sure! :)

  24. I like the UK cover the best. I generally do.

    Any how - I have a book for you. If you have not seen it already. Here is the author's web site. :)

    Its a little earlier in your favorite era but you will love the cover.

  25. Well you've sold me! If they are that good then I must read this!

  26. I have to admit that I like my historical fiction on the lighter side. I do love the cover, though.

  27. Melissa
    Add away, I just love her books.

    Thanks :D
    It sounds nice, and truth be told, yes I have my fav era, but I do love anything set before the renaissance, people got so smart after that, lol

    They are, she is just such an amazing storyteller.

    I wouldn't say this wasn't light, I mean it was, cos it was mostly focused on them

  28. I love historical fiction books, and I have o idea why I haven't read this author yet! I am going to have to change that now!

  29. wow! This sounds absolutely FABULOUS! I totally want to check this book out. It's been a really long time since I last read historical fiction that made me feel that way!

  30. Wonderful review B, I've loved all the Elizabeth Chadwick novels I've read. This is the next one on mt tbr - I've got the UK release :)

  31. This does look like a good historical fiction read. I have heard good things about her writing, but I haven't read that sort of historical fiction in a while.

  32. Bucky
    Kind of my nickname on that name ;)
    Yes read read! I have loved her books since I was like 12

    I do love that feeling HF gives me, all warm and fuzzy inside, mostly those that give an accurate picture of the world :)

    have fun :D I am so so so long I won this one, thrilled to get to read it.

    I would say try her out, cos she has sure much to choose from so one perhaps it just right for you

  33. Don't forget some deoderant too! I have a hit or miss relationship with Chadwick, but I keep giving her a try. her covers are really lovely aren't they?

  34. Juju
    I know, so lovely

    So far only one miss for me, I hope it stays that way :)
    Lol, yes that and some female hygiene products



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