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Greatest Knight

Greatest Knight

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4.06

(193)
|Views: 81 |Likes:
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Publish date: Sep 1, 2009
Added to Scribd: Jul 16, 2010
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9781402228636
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12/11/2014

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9781402228636

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Publishers Weekly reviewed this
William Marshal, the younger son of a wealthy family, shows early prowess with a sword and uncommon chivalry, which he puts to good use saving the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Afterward, she makes him arms tutor to her sons, the young princes. Marshal pledges his service to heir Henry and stays with the prince, out of loyalty to Eleanor, throughout Henry's turbulent manhood and rebellion against his father. When Henry dies, Marshal swears loyalty to Henry's brother Richard, putting him at odds with his own brother, who is loyal to Prince John. When Richard leaves on crusade and John conspires to take the crown, Marshal must decide between family and honor. A true historical hero, if little known, William Marshal served under some of England's most famous kings and proved himself again and again throughout the troubled 12th century; Chadwick's novel immerses readers in Marshal's life and times, which should prove intriguing to any fan of historical fiction. The royals, and especially Eleanor, are particularly fascinating characters whom Chadwick employs to great effect. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

2009-07-20, Publishers Weekly
elekstrom-1 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
Pretty great!

"The Greatest Knight" gives us the David Beckham of his time - William Marshal, also called "The Marshal." Once again Chadwick's writing delivers and I learned more about the medieval tournament during its heyday than I've read before - and I loved it. Marshal served three volatile kings and was a champion in the tournament world of his time. Marshal is known to most people as the elder knight in "A Lion in Winter," yet at the time Goldman's play opens in 1183, Marshal was actually 41 - okay, old for that period. But I digress. I'm intrigued by Marshal now and will hit the bookshelves to read Ms. Chadwick's recommendations from her bibliography. I would have liked more about Marshal's journey to Jerusalem and a bit more on the tourney circuit, but it was again yet another entertaining and well-written book by Elizabeth Chadwick.
dubaireader reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Aptly named 'The Greatest Knight'. I listened to this as an abridged audiobook about 8 months ago, so I've forgotten some of the content. I know I enjoyed it and can still remember some of it, so, maybe that is a fairer accolade than something I might write when I'd just finished.We first meet William Marshall as a young boy. His father is in debt to King Henry II and is unable to pay, so he gives instead, his youngest son. Henry takes a liking to the young lad and even though his father is unable to redeem his son, Henry takes him on.William trains in the joust in King Henry's court and proves himself to be a fast learner. His skills eventually come into their own when his rescues Henry's Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, from her enemies, but he becomes injured and taken as hostage.When Eleanor pays the ransom, William enters her service as a knight and tutors her young sons in the skills of battle.William is not just braun, however, he also possesses considerable political skills and gradually takes on an advisory role within the court. Inevitably this attracts jealousies and he falls foul of scheming, becoming an outsider for a while.When he is welcomed back, the one prize he requests is the hand of the beautiful Isabelle. Although she is 18 to his middle age, it seems to have been a marriage made in heaven and they lived to have many children.As I listened to the abridged version of this book, I may well track down a hard copy (or Kindle one) and read the full version at some time in the future.Also read:Daughters of the Grail by Elizabeth Chadwick (2 stars)
limelite_1 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
It isn’t easy to be at once both historically accurate and fictionally interesting, much less to be literary on top of that. Chadwick manages to do all three in creating William Masters, knight, first of the hearth, then servant of the Plantagenet kings. . . and Queen Eleanor.Masters is as upright as they come, loyal, honorable, savvy about court, a dynamo of the battlefield, and the best knight since Lancelot on the tourney circuit. How Masters remains likable while embodying all this perfection is due to the author’s talent. Masters weaves among the conspiracies and intrigues of court with increasing agility as he ages. He is falsely accused while serving Young King Henry, but clears himself, the only blot on his escutcheon.But there are faults in this novel: William Masters is a rather dull personality, emotionally flat and frankly unappealing because he’s not intellectual (in fact, he's illiterate) or devious himself. He is too transparent to the reader and his contemporaries.Chadwick sends him to Jerusalem for a year to carry out a death wish of Young King Henry, but she doesn’t spend any real or meaningful novel time with him there: he went, he saw, he returned.By the end of the novel, when Masters acquires the well-heeled heiress, Lady Isobel for his wife, it takes no time at all for her character to upstage that of her husband. She is intellectual, she is livelier, she is more unpredictable, and therefore, more exciting. The sequel to this novel only promises to be interesting if she figures into it.
jaimjane reviewed this
Rated 5/5
This is the first Elizabeth Chadwick book I have read and definitely not the last. It was fantastic! The details and descriptions made me feel I was really there and I didn't want to leave this fascinating time in history. King Henry and his sons fighting over power and the crown and in the middle is William Marshall, a loyal knght being pulled between them. Chadwick certainly knows her history. Wow is all I can say!
goth_marionette reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Not bad, not amazing... A good historical fiction for the late 12th century. She stayed very true to the known events of William Marshall's life and those around him so this earns a large thumbs up in my book.
dslynn reviewed this
Rated 3/5
As others state this book is an interesting read but to long. I found some of the sporting stories or activities of the Knights just to redundant for me. However, I found William Marshal's medieval successes with Kings and Queen's fascinating.
lollypop917 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
The Greatest Knight details the life of William Marshal from his early childhood through the reign of Richard the Lionheart at around 1195. The story of William Marshal is continued in The Scarlet Lion which I have yet to read.I was immediately drawn into the story as it opens with 5 year old William being given as hostage to King Stephen to ensure his father's promise to surrender Newberry Castle. His father refuses to keep his word and this is where the story of William Marshal's life really takes hold. The author manages to make history a page turner and does and excellent job bringing William back to life in the pages of this book. As the reader you will be transported back into a time of chivalry, honor, and loyalty that are truly the epitome of William Marshal. He manages to stay loyal to his word while Henry II's children battle for the throne of England and their piece of the pie. This is a great read for lovers of historical fiction and I highly recommend.
creighley_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
The days of loyalty for one's king is delightfully told. The story reminds me of Forever Queen only it focuses on a knight at the time of the quarreling King's sons: Henry, Richard, and John. As per the day, the common man suffers most by fighting their wars.
fromkin_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
When I was a boy, my parents subscribed for me to Children's Digest, a kiddie version of Readers Digest. I remember a graphic story about William Marshal - actually, I remember only one panel, a lance striking his helmet, temporarily blinding Marshal during a tournament. That episode is in Chadwick's The Greatest Knight. This is a rousing tale of medieval times, of training, tourneys, intrigue, battles, romance, and chivalry. Although the book is rich in detail and memorable characters, the most indistinct character is William Marshal. His externality is on ready display, but I never felt I got to know much of him other than his devotion to loyalty and duty. Yes, he was calm, yes he was thoughtful, yes he loved his wife and children. I just never felt that Chadwick spent enough time in his head. I liked the book, but I'd wanted to love it.

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