Wednesday, January 12, 2011
To Defy a King by Elizabeth Chadwick
The themes of family and honour are repeated throughout To Defy a King; it is easy to see that Chadwick wants us to understand that these were the driving forces behind the lives of those under the thumb of John's erratic, often cruel, behavior. Mahelt herself is written with such fervor that her spirit literally leaps off the pages; I could feel her anguish over the predictaments her blood family faced while being torn over her love for her husband. There is so much action, both large and small, throughout this novel that is almost impossible to read it quickly, and really, who would want to?
To Defy a King is tightly written, with differing points of view to shed light on character motivations and push the story along. The characterizations are spot on, making the characters real enough to show their flaws; the conversations pull you further into the lives of these people who lived so long ago. I felt as though I were present in their daily lives and I wanted to savour that feeling so much that I purposely dragged out the finishing of the book. Chadwick is head and shoulders above all historical writers out there today, and To Defy a King just proves that her skills are growing. Her fan base should grow as well because this is a book that will defy you to let it go.