Sunday, March 10, 2013

Shadows and Strongholds-Elizabeth Chadwick

Shadows and Strongholds

Elizabeth Chadwick

Sourcebooks, Mar 5 2013, $14.99

ISBN: 9781402274596

In 1148 at St. Peter’s Fair in Shrewsbury, a noble’s spare ten year old Brunin FitzWarin wanders alone as his father’s searjeant is distracted by a buxom. He takes a beating from the squires of his father’s enemy Gilbert de Lacy. Learning of his second son’s battering, Lord of Whittington and Alburbury Castles and numerous other estates, Brunin’s irate dad Fulke wants to avenge this insult as the bullies used a knife, but his friend and trading partner Joscelin de Dinan says he will mentor Brunin at Ludlow Castle.

Joscelin's wife Sybilla welcomes the lad, setting an example of kindness for others to emulate like her daughters. Brunin and one of the hosts’ offspring Hawise become friends. Over the years the lad proves adept at war and recognizing talent in others like his wife Hawise who he wed in a marriage of political expediency between friends and lovers. As the Civil War engulfs Wales, Brunin becomes the Lord FitzWarin.

This prequel to Lords of the White Castle is a strong medieval romance starring a powerful cast especially the lead couple, their families and their enemies. Using real persona, Elizabeth Chadwick brings to life the Shadows and Strongholds at a dangerous time when the innocent die while Stephen and Matilda vie for the throne.

Harriet Klausner

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