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May 13, 2019

Templar Silks by Elizabeth Chadwick

Templar Silks by Elizabeth Chadwick
Sourcebooks Landmark, June 4 2019 USA edition
Historical Fiction, Medieval
Review copy via NetGalley

A new historical fiction masterpiece from highly acclaimed, New York Times bestselling, Elizabeth Chadwick!
England, 1219. Lying on his deathbed, William Marshal, England’s greatest knight, realizes it is time to fulfill his vow to the Templars and become a monk of their order for eternity.
As he waits for his sacred burial shrouds to return, he looks back upon his long-ago pilgrimage with his brother Ancel, and the sacred mission entrusted to them—to bear the cloak of their dead young lord to Jerusalem and lay it on Christ’s tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The third story in a tale of deadly politics, devious scheming, and the lusts of powerful men and women at rule, Templar Silks is the tale of one man attempting to uphold his honor and his life to become England’s greatest knight.

Read my reviews of Elizabeth Chadwick's other works here. An author guest blog is also available here and another here and here.

The Winter Crown
The Summer Queen
Lords of The White Castle
Shadows and Strongholds
A Place Beyond Courage
To Defy A King
The Scarlet Lion
The Greatest Knight

As you can tell from the list of links here Elizabeth Chadwick is a favorite author, and I have read at least one more that I never reviewed here which means this is about the tenth Chadwick novel that I have read. The author has a reputation for meticulous details and an obvious passion about what she writes. A favorite character, William Marshal, is featured in several of her other historical novels and the author has created quite a following for Marshal himself, so this one should be a no-brainer.

Unfortunately for me this is not one of my favorites from the author as it truly focuses on a limited scope of Marshal's pilgrimage to Jerusalem which is something she had not been able to fit into the other novels - which would have been specifically about England and the troubles of King Henry and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine.

This novel is much more of a character study of William Marshal and his immediate relations who were with him on the journey to Jerusalem and who he met there. I found it slow going and was not very interested in William's love affair with a powerful man's mistress but found myself wishing for more direction towards his brother Ancel who truly seemed to be the humble hero in this telling. I am very aware I am in the minority of Elizabeth Chadwick followers and I will still be eager to read the rest of Chadwick's work, this one just was not a favorite for me. I prefer her writing to be more on the saga-like historicals which were broader storylines on a particular medieval time period with multiple warring families and lots of court intrigues and arranged political marriages. This novel did not interest me in particular so much that I even skimmed some pages of the very descriptive and detailed thoughts of William Marshal as he struggled between who to trust along his journey.

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