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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 8 May 2017
What a fantastic story. The author really brings the world of the past to life and you actually feel a part of the story
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on 7 May 2017
Very well written giving a real feel for the conditions and politics of the times. A lovely educational book, giving hours of enjoyment, would recommend this one to anyone interested in history, or as an excellent introduction to the era. As always Elizabeth Chadwick has excelled yet again.
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on 10 May 2017
Enjoyed the book, the first I've read of Elizabeth's, but I'm sure I'll read more! Not a period of history I know too much about.
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on 12 May 2017
Loved it thank you
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on 2 May 2016
Brilliant writing loved it all.
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on 13 August 2013
I read this book about 15 years ago and decided to read it again as the great story has stayed in my mind all this time. I was not disappointed. The protagonists are strong and likable: Guyon is a confident Norman with a heart; Judith, his teen bride is a little untamed (in a good way) and just needs a gentle but loyal man to help her blossom! She does and it's great to see her become strong and passionate. The dialogue and interaction between the two is engaging and actually quite addictive.
This is certainly not a gentle love story: many things happen in this brutal Norman society which are shocking and disturbing. Judith and Guy face many challenges and threats, keeping you turning the pages.
I will now read some of Elizabeth Chadwick's other books, because if this one is anything to go by, they should be great stories.
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on 10 October 2016
This is EC's first novel and I am so glad I took the time to go back and read it. As a huge fan of her later novels I was not disappointed to read this.

It kicks off a trilogy of books based in the Welsh Marches, each book focusing on a different member of the same family. I loved this as I could follow favourite characters through all 3 books.

It is a great introduction to how EC incorporates historical fact with her fiction, you can really picture the scene and understand the characters reasoning.

Her first two romantic leads, Guyon and Judith, are a joy to get to know and follow as their relationship develops amidst some turbulent times.

For anyone looking for an introduction to EC this is a great place to start (chronologically as well as thematically). While her later books are still my favourite just for their amazing detail and quality, I have yet to read a book of hers I did not like.
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on 5 April 2012
Welsh Marches, Eleventh Century, and William Rufus is on the throne, steps shadowed by the wily Prince Henry and the eldest of William the Bastard's brood, Robert Curthose, from across the water. And then William is killed in a suspicious hunting accident, and Henry flies to claim the throne. In these turbulent times, war always beckons, but now its shadow looms large over the lives of those living on the Marches, who will be called upon to choose sides...

Elizabeth Chadwick's first novel is, as she says herself in her foreword, more romantic than some of her later works where she always writes about real as opposed to fictional characters, but for me, that extra touch of hope, laughter and love mixed in with her usual realism of the times just makes this story all the more appealing. Both her hero and heroine are steeped in the times, and because perhaps they aren't reproduced figures from the history books, she has been able to make of them strong, sexy in places and yet vulnerable people who embrace their environment and no matter if they win or lose, come up fighting - the best kind of characters!

I would thoroughly recommend this book, not only for the relationships and dealings with the events of the times, but the wonderful evocation of that era, which she is so skilled at reproducing.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 27 October 2007
Guyan, a Marcher Lord marries Judith of Ravenstow at the order of King William Rufus. They meet on their wedding day, and Guyan finds himself with a not fully matured 16 year old wife. Judith is skittish around her new husband as her now dead father was extremely abusive to both her and her mother. Not everyone is happy with the union, as some would prefer Judith married elsewhere and Guyan must guard his back against attempts on his life. As Guyan and Judith struggle with the treachery and intrigues of the courts of both William Rufus and his brother Henry, they manage to forge a strong and passionate marriage, and Judith grows into a strong willed woman and a force to be reckoned with.

This is the second time I've read this book, the first being two years ago before I had read much of the author's later works. It was very interesting to revisit one of her earlier books and see the contrast between them and how the author has grown. While a very well told tale, I did not find the effortless sense of time travel she shows in her later works, as she seamlessly blends the sights, sounds smells, clothing of the medieval period into her stories. I understand she will be rewriting this book in the coming year and would like to see how her current writing style might bring this story up to the five star quality of her later books.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 3 December 2008
Note: this edition is a newly rewritten version of this book, and my review is based upon the earlier version. I'd very much like to see how her current writing style might bring this story up to the five star quality of her later books.

Guyan, a Marcher Lord marries Judith of Ravenstow at the order of King William Rufus. They meet on their wedding day, and Guyan finds himself with a not fully matured 16 year old wife. Judith is skittish around her new husband as her now dead father was extremely abusive to both her and her mother. Not everyone is happy with the union, as some would prefer Judith married elsewhere and Guyan must guard his back against attempts on his life. As Guyan and Judith struggle with the treachery and intrigues of the courts of both William Rufus and his brother Henry, they manage to forge a strong and passionate marriage, and Judith grows into a strong willed woman and a force to be reckoned with.

I've read this book twice now, the first being about two years ago before I had read much of the author's later works. It was very interesting to revisit one of her earlier books and see the contrast between them and how the author has grown. While a very well told tale, I did not find the effortless sense of time travel she shows in her later works, as she seamlessly blends the sights, sounds smells and clothing of the medieval period into her stories.
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