For the King’s Favor by Elizabeth Chadwick – Book Review

For the King’s Favor by Elizabeth Chadwick
Published by Sourceboks

When Ida de Tosnay’s wealthy father died, she became a ward of King Henry II. Ida’s arrival at court followed closely on the heels of the death of the King’s mistress and great love, Rosamund Clifford, and Henry decided quickly that the young girl would be the perfect salve for his wounded heart. Unfortunately, a young girl with no family does not have much choice when chosen by the King to share his bed, whatever her opinions are on the subject. At the same time, Roger Bigod is having problems of his own. Upon the death of his father, Roger inherits his estates and the earldom he hopes the family will regain after his father’s treason against the King, but Roger’s stepmother is determined that her sons will inherit and that Roger will be left penniless. As they are thrown together at court, however, a tentative attraction begins to form between Ida and Roger. Fearing that she will eventually be pawned off on a husband she has no choice about, Ida decides to take matters into her own hands and arrange a marriage with the kind Bigod – with Henry’s approval, of course. Their union can bring the two happiness, but they must still navigate the treacherous waters of the late 12th and early 13th centuries, attempt to restore the Bigod name, and maintain the favor of their King(s).

I swear, each Elizabeth Chadwick book I read is even better than the last. Chadwick breathes such life into characters so long dead; to read one of her books is to have a peephole on the past. Part of her magic is that she lets the innate drama of history shine through, without feeling the need to imbue events with additional conflict to make for a more sensational story. Chadwick’s approach has the benefit of letting the reader connect with people who lived hundreds of years ago, and yet still had many of the same essential concerns that we do today.

In “For the King’s Favor,” Chadwick does what she does to full effect. I was fully engaged and invested in the lives of Roger and Ida, even more so than I was for William Marshal. I highly recommend this, and can’t wait for Sourcebooks to release more of Chadwick’s books in the United States.

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9 comments to For the King’s Favor by Elizabeth Chadwick – Book Review

  • The fact that you can relate to the emotions and every day concerns of the characters despite the very different world we live in now is one of my favourite things about reading Chadwick!

  • “I swear, each Elizabeth Chadwick book I read is even better than the last.” That is just what I want to hear :) Adding this title to my wish list!

  • I’m always reminded that I need to read more Elizabeth Chadwick – I have I think four of her books on my TBR pile and I really need to prioritise them!

  • Fantastic review! And I fully agree with you that Chadwick lets you connect with the characters, and also the setting, I haven’t read much of her work yet (need to remedy that!) but what I have read I’ve been absorbed in from the first page, the history really does come alive.

  • I don’t read a lot of historical fiction, so I’m picky about what I do read. Chadwick sounds like an author I should try.

  • You know something, I found myself more invested in the characters of Roger and Ida than I did in William Marshal, too! (We almost always think the same when it comes to HF, so no surprise there). And it’s interesting too, because after reading The Scarlet Lion, and encountering William and Ida as supporting characters, I was eager to read more about their family. This is my favorite of Chadwick’s books so far.

  • I still have not had a chance to read any of Chadwick’s books. I must remedy this immediately.

  • This was my first Chadwick book and I can hardly wait to read more by her! I had been wanting to try her for ages and leaped at the chance to get a review copy of this book. It did not disappoint.

  • I finally read a Chadwick novel just recently and loved it, so I am looking forward to reading more from her in the future!