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4.6 out of 5 stars
The Marsh King's Daughter
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on 7 April 2004
The marsh King’s Daughter is a delightful medieval love story between Miriel Weaver and Nicholas de Caen, whose road to true love is somewhat rocky and at times very tragic.
From the first chapter of this book I was totally entwined within the fabric of the entire book, because Elizabeth Chadwick character’s have so much depth to them that you start to relate to them personally. You start to begin to celebrate in their love and share in their tragedies as if they where people you have actually known and it is this aspect of the book which makes it such a great read.
The plot from the start grabs the reader’s imagination and takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride of the up’s and downs of Miriel’s live and finally speeds the reader on to the climax of the book.
This book is one of the best book’s I have read for a while and would recommend it to anyone. Although the story is a love story it has true depth and feeling and is not the usual mushy mumbo jumbo, a real gem.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 10 August 2002
Another excellent medieval historical from Elizabeth Chadwick! Her books never disappoint the reader. This is the sixth novel I've read by this author and it is one of her best yet!
This story involves the lives of Miriel Weaver and Nicholas de Caen. Miriel is physically and verbally abused by her stepfather continually until he decides against her will to dump her in a nunnery. She eventually excapes with the help of Nicholas whom she had nursed back to health in the convent infirmary. He had been a prisoner with King John's baggage train in 1216 carrying all the royal regalia until the fatal tide and quicksand ends everyone's life but his own. He takes a chest unknowingly containing a fortune in silver and Queen Mathilda's crown.
Literally down the road, Miriel parts Nicholas' company with some of the silver and Queen Mathilda's crown. He discovers this too late and becomes enraged and vows to one day get revenge. However, for much of the story they live out different lives with different people until they fatefully meet again.
I loved the detail and descriptions particularily concerning the wool trade, especially the different types of wool fabrics and colors. This book had me turning pages until 2 a.m. anticipating what would happen next. A very exciting read!
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2000
In the beginning I was disinclined to read Elizabeth Chadwick's novels due to the somewhat corny cover art which was reminiscent of every other historical bodice-ripper ever written. I'm so glad I looked beyond the cover. Chadwick gives us likeable characters and intriguing plots flavoured with just enough back ground colour that we feel we're really living the Middle Ages. My only complaint is that all of Chadwick's heroes are too much like contempory "nineties" men. This does make them seem immensely desirable to the modern reader, but their caring, sharing, tolerance of their women's independent behaviour is historically rather unlikely. Chadwick's books are not perhaps as intellectually demanding or multi-layered as Sharon Penman's masterpieces. Howvever, if you want a thoroughly enjoyable slice of history spiced with evocative descriptions and slick prose then I can highly recommend any of Chadwick's novels - they always satisfy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 30 January 2007
Born out of wedlock, Miriel Weaver adored her grandfather, a master weaver of fine wool. Her step-father takes over the weaving business upon her grandfather's death and Miriel rebels against him once to often and is packed off to a convent, although her rebellious nature continues and she doesn't exactly get along with life with the nuns either. Nicholas de Caen was a prisoner of King John until the baggage train is lost when the tide overtakes it as they are crossing the marsh. Nicholas reaches shore and finds quite a prize - a fortune in coin and the crown of the Empress Matilda. He is able to hide the treasure before he collapses from the ordeal and is eventually found by Miriel and another nun and nursed back to health.

Miriel follows Nicholas when he leaves and convinces him to escort her to safety in a new town, but when he falls asleep the lure of the crown and the silver is too much and believing she's entitled to some for saving his life she takes what she considers her fair share and soon sets herself up in the wool business. Unable to trace her, Nicholas cuts his loses and uses what is left of the treasure to purchase a ship or two and begins shipping goods. Miriel eventually marries twice, but neither marriage is for love and both are older men. Her second husband Robert is ambitious and controlling and will stop at nothing to achieve his ends, including murder. Of course fate ordains that Nicholas and Miriel's path will cross again - will it develop into love or hate for her betrayal? What will Robert do when he realizes the two have a past connection?

Well, you know I'm not telling - read it for yourself. This was another outstanding saga from Elizabeth Chadwick, I simply cannot get enough of her books, and every one of them sends me back to another world, another time. This was a bit different from the author's usual story; you won't find any lords, ladies or knights in this one. Just a fascinating look at the ins and outs of the wool trade, an interesting foot note in history on the disappearance into the quicksand of King John's treasure. I really enjoyed the pairing of Nicholas and Miriel and as for Robert, what a delightfully OTT baddie. Oh, and for the record I do enjoy a good well-rounded bad guy, I just dislike it when authors use cheap tricks like yellow teeth and stinky breath *telling* me how bad the baddie is instead of *showing* me. Hats off to Ms. Chadwick for knowing the difference. Five stars.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 1 July 2007
Born out of wedlock, Miriel Weaver adored her grandfather, a master weaver of fine wool. Her step-father takes over the weaving business upon her grandfather's death and Miriel rebels against him once to often and is packed off to a convent, although her rebellious nature continues and she doesn't exactly get along with life with the nuns either. Nicholas de Caen was a prisoner of King John until the baggage train is lost when the tide overtakes it as they are crossing the marsh. Nicholas reaches shore and finds quite a prize - a fortune in coin and the crown of the Empress Matilda. He is able to hide the treasure before he collapses from the ordeal and is eventually found by Miriel and another nun and nursed back to health.

Miriel follows Nicholas when he leaves and convinces him to escort her to safety in a new town, but when he falls asleep the lure of the crown and the silver is too much and believing she's entitled to some for saving his life she takes what she considers her fair share and soon sets herself up in the wool business. Unable to trace her, Nicholas cuts his loses and uses what is left of the treasure to purchase a ship or two and begins shipping goods. Miriel eventually marries twice, but neither marriage is for love and both are older men. Her second husband Robert is ambitious and controlling and will stop at nothing to achieve his ends, including murder. Of course fate ordains that Nicholas and Miriel's path will cross again - will it develop into love or hate for her betrayal? What will Robert do when he realizes the two have a past connection?

Well, you know I'm not telling - read it for yourself. This was another outstanding saga from Elizabeth Chadwick, I simply cannot get enough of her books, and every one of them sends me back to another world, another time. This was a bit different from the author's usual story; you won't find any lords, ladies or knights in this one. Just a fascinating look at the ins and outs of the wool trade, an interesting foot note in history on the disappearance into the quicksand of King John's treasure. I really enjoyed the pairing of Nicholas and Miriel and as for Robert, what a delightfully OTT baddie. Oh, and for the record I do enjoy a good well-rounded bad guy, I just dislike it when authors use cheap tricks like yellow teeth and stinky breath *telling* me how bad the baddie is instead of *showing* me. Hats off to Ms. Chadwick for knowing the difference. Five stars.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Well done! Another sensational book from Elizabeth Chadwick!! Like another reviewer of this book, I too had to stay up way past my bedtime to finish this - too hard to put down!

In my last review for The French Revolution series by Jean Plaidy I mentioned that I just didn't feel the emotional connection with the characters, but not so with The Marsh King's Daughter! The heroine, Miriel, is a woman after my own heart. She is a strong, intelligent and passionate woman who fights for what she wants in life. The more people try to beat her down the more she will fight back.

The love story between Nicholas and Miriel is deliciously sweet and the love scenes will leave you needing a cigarette after reading!

I love the way a good novel brings you right into the action and into the feelings and emotions of the characters. I felt a wide range of emotions during my reading experience...from pity to love to wanting to jump through the pages and rip a guy's head off! That's the beauty of Elizabeth Chadwick! Thanks EC!

Overall: 5/5

Song: Won't Back Down by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 18 July 2015
The perfect companion for all historical fiction enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

Miriel is an unruly, headstrong girl, whose stepfather places her in the convent of St. Catherine. While there, she comes into contact with Nicholas de Caen, a rebel against King John. While still a prisoner, Nicholas rescues John's infamous treasure from the swamp, and attempts to run away--accidentally (or not) taking Miriel with him. Their adventures, together and apart, take place over the course of about five years, as hate eventually turns to love.

It's true that Elizabeth Chadwick's books, especially those about fictional characters, tend to follow a certain pattern: two would-be lovers are torn asunder by circumstances beyond their control, and they must battle against the odds to eventually return to one another. The main female character usually is very headstrong., and there's often a nails-on-a-chalkboard bad guy thrown in to complicate the plot. The Marsh King's Daughter is a little different, however; the excitement in this book lies in the fact that Nicholas and Miriel don't know that they're attracted to one another--in fact, they have every reason to hate the other! So it's this tension that gives the novel that extra excitement. I've described Elizabeth Chadwick's heroines as headstrong, which usually equates to modern; not so with Chadwick's female characters. I never get the feeling that Miriel, or even Nicholas or the other characters, never stepped out of the thirteenth century.

Elizabeth Chadwick is also extraordinarily skilled at recreating the feel of the thirteenth century. She's mostly known for her novels about the twelfth century, but she depicts this period of time just as well as she does the other. With Chadwick's novels, you're guaranteed a historically accurate read, without being bogged down in too much overwhelming detail. There's only so much that anyone can really know" about people or places from 700 years ago, but Elizabeth Chadwick really knows how to pull the pieces together. In all, this is another good, solid novel from Elizabeth Chadwick. I've only got four novels left of hers to read (including the forthcoming To Defy a King) and I'm really tr
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 January 2007
Much of Elizabeth Chadwick's research is carried out as a member of Regia Anglorum, this is an early medieval re-enactment society. Her writing in recent books has become much more accomplished. She now writes about the period with the convictions of her obvious knowledge of the subject and has also made a subtle change from writing what were in effect historical love stories (nothing wrong with that) to historical novels with a love interest.

This book is set in 13th century England. The country has been through a turbulent time the Lionheart a King who was virtually never seen by his subjects, either away at the crusades or in his lands across the channel is long dead but the ransom money raised by Richard's mother for his release from captivity has left his subjects much the poorer. The Lionheart's younger brother King John is coming to the end of a reign fraught with troubles, many of his barons and subjects unforgiving over John's attempts to usurp the throne while Richard was away. Amid all of this Nicholas de Caen, a knight injured fighting King John's troops is nursed back to health in a nunnery . . .

The author's style is slowly changing, to my way of thinking for the better, but what does remain constant is her knowledge of the period about which she writes and her ability to draw the reader into the story, until they could almost be there. This is a rare talent indeed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I loved reading this book. Elizabeth Chadwick rarely disappoints and I found I couldn't put this book down. Miriel and Nicholas are excellent characters that the reader will simply love.

The story has good pace, wonderful period details and a gripping story. Enjoy this one!
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 20 February 2007
Much of Elizabeth Chadwick's research is carried out as a member of Regia Anglorum, this is an early medieval re-enactment society. Her writing in recent books has become much more accomplished. She now writes about the period with the convictions of her obvious knowledge of the subject and has also made a subtle change from writing what were in effect historical love stories (nothing wrong with that) to historical novels with a love interest.

This book is set in 13th century England. The country has been through a turbulent time the Lionheart a King who was virtually never seen by his subjects, either away at the crusades or in his lands across the channel is long dead but the ransom money raised by Richard's mother for his release from captivity has left his subjects much the poorer. The Lionheart's younger brother King John is coming to the end of a reign fraught with troubles, many of his barons and subjects unforgiving over John's attempts to usurp the throne while Richard was away. Amid all of this Nicholas de Caen, a knight injured fighting King John's troops is nursed back to health in a nunnery . . .

The author's style is slowly changing, to my way of thinking for the better, but what does remain constant is her knowledge of the period about which she writes and her ability to draw the reader into the story, until they could almost be there. This is a rare talent indeed.
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