Title: To Defy A King
Author: Elizabeth Chadwick
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
Paperback: 544 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
The adored and spirited daughter of England’s greatest knight, Mahelt Marshal lives a privileged life. But when her beloved father falls foul of the volatile and dangerous King John, her world is shattered. The king takes her brothers hostage and Mahelt’s planned marriage to Hugh Bigod, son of the Earl of Norfolk, takes place sooner than she expected. Mahelt and Hugh come to care for each other deeply, but Hugh’s strict father clashes with the rebellious Mahelt. When more harsh demands from King John threaten to tear the couple’s lives apart, Mahelt finds herself facing her worst fears alone, not knowing if she—or her marriage—will survive.
A brilliant story of a vibrant woman in a tyrant’s world, To Defy a King is another impeccably researched masterpiece from a beloved author.
Elizabeth Chadwick has created yet another masterpiece, this time in her historical fiction novel To Defy A King. The two main characters of this magnificent book are Mahelt Marshal and Hugh Bigod. Mahelt’s family has fallen out of favour with King John and the solution appears to be a marriage to heir of the Dukedom of Northumberland, Hugh Bigod. To Defy A King occurs during the time of the Magna Carta, readers unfamiliar with this time should not fear, as Chadwick expertly takes the reader deftly back to this time in history. Chadwick’s choice of heroine is strong, intelligent, feisty, and brave. Mahelt lives through numerous highs and lows and manages to maintain her dignity and fights for her beliefs even at the potential cost of losing all she holds dear. To Defy A King spans fourteen tumultuous years and is one of Chadwick’s most emotional books yet. Chadwick’s extensive research, vivid and detailed prose, and the life she breathes back into characters that lived eight centuries ago is pure genius. Often I am asked if one needs to know a lot about a time period to understand a work of historical fiction and in this case the answer is no. Chadwick offers the reader plenty of information and quickly, and with extraordinary skill, whisks the reader back to the very beginnings of the thirteenth century. While To Defy A King is over 500 pages, the time will fly by and the reader, if like myself, will not be able to set the book down. I cannot praise To Defy A King highly enough and strongly recommend it to all readers.
Elizabeth Chadwick (UK) is the author of 17 historical novels, including The Greatest Knight, The Scarlet Lion, A Place Beyond Courage, Lords of the White Castle, Shadows and Strongholds, The Winter Mantle, and The Falcons of Montabard, four of which have been shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Awards.
For further information, please visit the author’s website.
I received a complimentary copy of To Defy A King by Elizabeth Chadwick from Sourcebooks. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.