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For the King's Favor (William Marshal #3)For the King's Favor by Elizabeth Chadwick

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really, really, reeeeaaaallly wanted to like this book. It is set in a period I love, and talks about historical figures I don't know very well (the Bigods, Longspee), with ones I have read a lot about playing supporting roles (Henry II, Richard I, Eleanor of Aquitaine, John Lackland, William Marshall, among others).

But Chadwick takes too many liberties, and gets too much wrong (really--she's a member of Regia Anglorum, and yet she writes of the heroine "pinning her wimple under her chin with a round brooch." Ummm. No. A small detail, but telling.). Then, in full disclosure, at the end she talks about how she gets a sense of her characters through the"Akashic Record." Okay--I really, really believe there's more to life than just what we see and hear, but even for me this is a little...out there. It reminds me disturbingly of Taylor Caldwell and her "methods" in writing I, Judas, among other things. When coupled with some of what I know she got wrong, based on historical record, this pushed me over the edge.

Maybe if I'd liked the heroine more, or even the hero, it would have worked better for me. Ultimately, the entire book felt like a tangent--which, in fact, it was. Chadwick wrote the book because in writing her series on William Marshall she found Hugh Bigod's frequent appearances in history interesting, and that his wife was the mother of one of Henry II's most famous bastards, equally so. Thus, this book.

A pleasant summer read, I suppose, but I can't recommend going out of your way to find it.

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