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4.7 out of 5 stars
The Champion
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2004
I am real fan of Elizabeth Chadwick's. Her novels are always believable and full of three dimensional characters who sweep you along with the stories.
The Champion is my Absolute favorite though. It is the story of Alexander and Monday, who meet on the jousting tourney fields of France. Their paths cross, they are torn apart by circumstance and when finally they meet again they are strangers, and have to rebuild their friendship despite Royal intervention and insidious family plotting.
This book thrilled me. Close your eyes and you will feel the cold damp air of the fields and the thundering vibrations of hooves, hear the shouts and whinneys from the lists and the moans of the fallen ones.
You won't be disappointed.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 28 August 2007
I am real fan of Elizabeth Chadwick's. I always find I can completely immerse myself in most of her novels and you cannot help but be swept along with the characters.
The Champion is my Absolute favorite though. It is the story of Alexander
(note -Stefan?? shame on you people who review without actually reading the books just to increase your reveiwer status)
and Monday, who meet on the jousting tourney fields of France. Their adolescent love is doomed to fail, and finding herself pregnant and orphaned, Monday flees the Tourney life to try and regain some semblence of security. When finally they meet again, the adult Monday and Alexander are strangers, and have to rebuild their friendship despite Royal intervention and insidious family plotting.
This book thrilled me. Close your eyes and you will feel the cold damp air of the fields and the thundering vibrations of hooves, hear the shouts and whinneys from the lists and the moans of the fallen ones.
You won't be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 28 July 2015
The perfect companion for all historical fiction enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

Probably more an example of historical romance than what I call historical fiction, but a great story. A young woman, Monday, is the daughter of a tourney knight. Alexandre de Montroi is the younger brother of a tourney knight. Their adventures and love story span the era of Kings Richard and John. At one point Monday becomes the mistress of Prince John. Alexandre eventually gains a spot in the retinue of William Marshall. And ultimately there is a happy ending.
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on 4 December 2009
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 March 2006
I don't usually read this type of historical romance but Chadwick was recommended and this was my first try: the first 100 pages or so was a bit of a slog for me (hence the 3* rating) but once it got going I couldn't put the book down. I really liked Alexander and the way he grew up in the book and even got to like Hervi who irritated me at the beginning. I'm glad I perservered and am even ready to try another Chadwick!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 24 February 2007
Set in the 12C, Alexander de Montroi, unwanted by his older half-brother, is placed in a monastery where he was abused by a monk. Alexander escapes the monastery and seeks his half brother Hervi who is a tourney knight in partnership with Arnaud de Cerizay and his wife Clemence and their daughter Monday. As Alexander is trained by his brother to be a tourney knight, he also earns the lifetime enmity of fellow tourney knight and all-around bad guy Eudo le Boucher. Eventually, Monday's mother dies in childbirth and her father is driven mad with grief and is killed by le Boucher, leaving Monday in the care of Hervi and Alexander. One night Monday and Alexander get a bit too tipsy and end up in bed together, leading Monday to leave the protection of the de Montroi brothers and seek employment with Lady Elise as a sempstress -- and finds herself pregnant. Hervi is injured and Alexander leaves him in care of monks (good ones) as he searches for Monday to no avail. The brothers fear she is lost to them forever.

John, Count of Mortaine, visits the castle where Monday resides and is smitten and makes her his mistress as Alexander, with no hope of finding Monday, takes service with William Marshal as a household knight. After several years, their paths cross and the rest of the story then revolves around extricating Monday from John's clutches along with those of Monday's well born grandfather - who now needs an heir and wishes to have Monday married to someone more suitable than Alexander - but Alexander must be put out of the way first.

This is one of Chadwick's earlier novels and while her attention to historical detail is outstanding as always, this book does have more of a romance feel to it, although I thoroughly enjoyed Alexander and Monday's love story. King John is delightfully evil as always as are the other baddies leading up to an exciting ending waiting to see if true love will win out in the end. While not her best novel, Chadwick's second best is head and heels above much of the rest in the genre, and as always the way she brings the medieval period to life with the smells, clothes, food and battles is just awesome. Four stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2013
i really enjoyed this story of love in the world of jousting. its not really a topic that comes about in books! usually the world surrounding Jousting tournements is rarely mentioned but this book focuses on the young Alexander and the daughter of his jousting partner Monday.

its a realyl interesting story and keeps you gripped throughout. i would quite happily read any sequals to this story should the author write it.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 6 November 1999
I have seldom read a novel so fast: her storytelling pulls you forward, page on page. I love the fact that all the history is trustworthy, but never forced on you: I absorb the history through the story and the characters. This should have won the Romantic Novelists Award in the year it was short-listed, without doubt!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 17 April 2001
I enjoyed this story, although perhaps the outcome was a bit predictable - the characters were good and most believable. I'd also suggest Helen Hollick's Harold the King if you are interested in the Battle of Hastings era - Ms Chadwick's book slots in very nicely after Ms Hollick's for "what happened next"!
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on 17 July 2014
I liked this book but didn't 'love it' the way I have loved most of the other Elizabeth Chadwick books. I think it was a little predictable and I could see what was going to happen even though it went off on a massive tangent to put you off the scent.
None-the-less very enjoyable and a good read.
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