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A brilliant evocation of early mediaeval Britain and enchanting love story
Elizabeth Chadwick lives near Nottingham with her husband, two sons and assorted animals including cats, dog and guinea pigs. She is the author of 16 historical novels, four of which have been shortlisted for awards.
This first novel tells the story of Guyon FitzMiles, Lord of Ledworth, who has been given the 15-year-old heiress Judith of Ravenstow by King William Rufus to safeguard the Welsh Marches, always dangerous in Norman times. Guyon makes the marriage, incurring the enmity of Judith's brutal uncle, Robert de Belleme, who covets Ravenstow. Judith is terrified of men, having watched her mother suffer her father's cruelty. Guyon sets out to win his wife's love, as well as her castle, and protect his holdings among shifting alliances after Rufus is succeeded by his brother Henry. The story is primarily the romance between Guyon and Judith with a richly detailed overlay of medieval history and tradition. Recommended for large collections.-- Mary Ann Parker, Dept. of Water Resources Law Lib., Sacramento, Cal.
'A delight...with its brilliant evocation of early mediaeval Britain, enchanting love story and amusing narrative twists. THE WILD HUNT is highly recommended' - TODA 'Thoroughly enjoyable' - MAIL ON SUNDAY
YA-- During the 12th-century Welsh March Wars, King William Rufus orders Guyon, 28, to marry nearly 16-year-old Judith in order to secure lands from Judith's despised uncle, Lord Robert de Belleme. As the marriage begins, Guyon is angry and Judith is terrified. He is experienced in both love and war, and is hostile about marrying this child and surrounding himself with such a nest of political vipers. Judith, having watched her father abuse her mother, expects her own marriage to include rape, beatings, and humiliation. What gradually develops between them is a trust and respect that eventually blooms into a passionate love. Their story is tightly interwoven with a tenuous political situation as brothers battle for the kingdom and the barons divide themselves between the factions. With predictable elements, Chadwick has developed likable, credible, and imperfect characters; an interesting plot and subplot; and a believable medieval setting. Although the main characters are the epitome of physical beauty and strength, this is a fine example of a historical romance that can transport readers into another time and setting. Teens who enjoy the genre will love it. --Sue Davis, Cedar Falls High School Library, Cedar Falls, IA
Winner of the 1990 Betty Trask Award, this engaging historical romance takes place on the feudal domains of Norman lords occupying Wales during the reign of king William Rufus. A marriage of political expediency unites 15-year-old Lady Judith of Ravenstow and Guy FitzMiles, lord of Ledworth. Judith has been traumatized by a brutal father and is terrified of men. Guyon, a decade older, is a handsome and powerful Norman nobleman, well versed in the arts of love and of war. A compassionate man, he is so moved by the terror of his child bride that he refrains from sex on their wedding night. The novel follows parallel lines: the personal history of Judith and Guyon, and the history of 12th-century feudal England. Along with Guyon's tender wooing of Judith, her coming-of-age and the final consummation of their marriage, there are border skirmishes, Welsh raids, full-scale battles, murderous schemes and dreams of power. The daily life of the occupied Welsh and the occupying Normans is described in extensive detail. Chadwick's first novel is typical of the genre, with many dark deeds afoot and many dark secrets to be unveiled before Judith and Guyon, now passionate lovers, triumph over their evil enemies. (Oct.)