THE TIME OF SINGNG is my third Chadwick read, after THE MARSH KING S DAUGHTER and THE WILD HUNT I absolutely adored those two books and I was really looking forward to this one.I ended upwell, not hating it, but being distinctly unimpressed The one thing that kept me reading was the author s grasp of language Chadwick s prose is often beautiful, extremely well crafted and a joy to read.The same cannot be said for her storytelling in this one I wonder if the reason for the drop in quality is because this book s based on real characters, so there s no opportunity to up the ante in terms of drama and emotion Instead, what we get is a plodding retelling of the lives of a number of people Is this book about Roger and his attempt to win his lands by right Is it about Ida and her relationship with the King Is it about the malevolence of Roger s half brother Huon, or the rivalry between his son and stepson This lengthy book is about all of them, and none of them.The era comes to life, often vividly, and the author s research is exemplary, as always But there s no drive, there s nothing to keep the reader enfixed or want to keep reading It s one of those books that I was desperate to finish Story strands come and go, but I never felt any sense of excitement, intrigue, desire or menace Initially there are romantic parts but these tail away and even the political incident is distinctly lacking in danger I didn t care about Roger very much, and certainly not for the maudlin Ida The sub plot involving Roger s stepbrothers is a good one, but even that fades away to be dealt with in a rather unsatisfactory and rushed way, in favour of long, detailed descriptions of scenes like tourneys that don t further the plot.In the end, I think this would have worked a lot better as a non fiction read As it is, it occupies the uneasy ground between fact and fiction, forced to follow minor events and never free to give way to literary devices My next Chadwick read will definitely be one of her earlier ones. Like with all fiction she does have some artistic freedom, because we don t know everything, like how old Ida really was But Chadwick always stays close to the truth and does her best to make it as historically accurate as possible, and that is what I love about her books They are true to facts, but at the same time she makes history come alive as she write about people that have lived, like Roger and Ida, or when she creates something new.Plot Ida de Tosney is a royal ward, and mistress of King Henry II, she gives him a son, but she wants freedom and finds it in Roger Bigod who is fighting over his inheritance with his half brothers This is the story of their love, children in a turbulent time.My thoughts I can really see myself there, Chadwick breaths life in times gone by and history feels like yesterday If it s court procedure, clothes or how they act In this book the characters have lived for real and from that she pieces together a wonderful story Ida does what she must, what could a ward do when the king wants her in his bed In Roger she sees a chance to get away He is here a very calm and sensible man, not at all like his father Together they make a good pair William Marshall also makes appearances, Henry II and his family, and Ida s son with Henry It sure it s a interesting way to learn about history than in a textbook.The story never gets boring, they go on with their lives, and because of the time there is always something going on Henry s son fighting against him, Richard the Lionheart going on crusade, and of course when Roger tries to get his lands back and his father s title The quiet moments are just as good, and I end the book with a smile.Recommendation and final thoughts To every HF fan yes, of course, and to the rest of you too This is a lovely piece of historical fiction The book makes me want to go there, just to breath that same air for a moment or two The book made me remembered why I loved her books in the first place.Cover Truly lovely I have to say something about the UK one too because that one I love too, there is this pre raphaelite painting just like it And she is stitching the Norfolk banner here so perfect. For the King s Favor is a worthy companion novel to The Greatest Knight It takes place during the same time during the reign of Richard II , and overlaps with William Marshal s story at a few points, so definitely read that book, and probably also its sequel, first It s great to see glimpses of William again from another perspective, but it s also great to learn about the Bigods William and Roger struggle in parallel to build their houses, but their obstacles are very different, and Roger s honor is just as fine as William s in his own way We also get Ida s full perspective in this book she is not just a prize to be won or given, but a woman doing her best to make a life in a world where she has no power and few choices.This is written in the same style as the Marshal books, covering many years in a way that is somehow not boring I love how Chadwick shows the capriciousness of kings and how it could make and break people s lives, sometimes than once I feel like I know the people who lived in those times, their ambitions, heartaches, successes through luck or hard work and loyalty, or their failures in spite of them Chadwick makes the history come alive. The Time of Singing retells the story of Roger Bigod, son of Hugh Bigod Earl of Norfolk, who joined the younger Henry in his revolt against his father Henry II When the revolt fails Hugh loses the Earldom and lands and when he dies there is a bitter dispute over the right to inherit the Earldom between Roger and his step mother and her two sons While Roger serves Henry and bides his time to claim his Earldom young Ida de Tosney arrives in court as the King s ward Henry is smitten and has other plans for Ida and he makes her his mistress and she eventually bears him a son, William Unhappy with her position as mistress to the king, Ida casts her hopes on Roger and Henry allows them to marry although she must leave her son behind.Henry still withholds the Earldom, but he does restore some of their lands and Ida and Roger build a life and family together and begin rebuild Framlingham Castle to greater heights than it was before Once Richard I takes the crown at the death of Henry the Earldom is restored to Roger, and the rest of the book recounts their lives as they struggle to keep everything they hold dear as the battle lines are drawn during Richard s absence on crusade and subsequent kidnapping threatens to bankrupt England.A very enjoyable surprise for me was the appearance of my personal favorite hero, William Marshal I did not expect him at all, or to feature so prominently but it appears Bigod and Marshal were contemporaries and friends Another big surprise was Ida s son William who readers of fiction set during the reigns of John and Henry III will recognize as William Longesp e, and I have to admit many of my favorite moments in the book were of William and his attempts at a relationship with his mother, Roger and their children While I enjoyed this book very much, this is not an action packed, page turning, sit on the edge of your type of book, but one to sit back and savor like a fine red wine or a box of chocolates or both As always with Chadwick s books, the way she brings the medieval period to life in such a graceful and effortless way, be it the sights, sounds, smells, food, clothes and battles is just awesome As quoted on some of her book jackets, the next best thing to time travel 4.5 5 stars. US Title For The King S FavorA Captivating Story Of A Mother S Love Stretched To Breaking And A Knight Determined To Rebuild His Life With The Royal Mistress, For The King S Favor Is Elizabeth Chadwick At Her Best Based On A True Story Never Before Told And Impeccably Researched, This Is A Testament To The Power Of Sacrifice And The Strength Of Love When Roger Bigod, Heir To The Powerful Earldom Of Norfolk, Arrives At Court To Settle An Inheritance, He Meets Ida De Tosney, Young Mistress To King Henry II In Roger, Ida Sees A Chance For Lasting Love, But Their Decision To Marry Carries An Agonizing Price It S A Breathtaking Novel Of Making Choices, Not Giving Up, And Coping With The Terrible Shifting Whims Of The King The fourth book under the William Marshal series and the first under Bigod s, it tells us the story of Roger Bigod and his bid to restore the earldom he lost with his father s rebellion, his royal duties as a lawyer and administrator, and his marriage to Ida de Tosney, King Henry II s former mistress.Like William Marshal, Roger Bigod lived a life of loyalty, wisdom and honor he was also an experienced soldier, having fought for the king s side since he was a young man Not much is written about our medieval hero, and so Miss Chadwick had to make use of a lot of ingenuity and flair and a few from the Akashic records, too, she admits to come up with a story that is credible and brilliant Indeed, it is amazing how she can easily conjure up a gripping story line for historical events without altering the facts Even the characters description their looks, traits, etc seem natural and realistic Halfway through the read I was already convinced that Roger Bigod was certainly all of these good things kind, gentle, honorable, patient, brave, and loving It s just too bad that I live in the present Where have all the chivalrous men gone Buddy read with Anna. 4.5 StarsIda de Tosney arrived at King Henry II s court at age 15 to be his ward But the King favored her immediately and she became his mistress Ida really had no choice and was his mistress for years and they even had a son together When a handsome, shy young lord, Roger Bigod, comes to the court for the King to settle his inheritance, Ida is smitten She flirts with Roger at every chance, but Roget is very cautious of not offending the King Will Ida be able to convince the King to give her up and let her marry, and what will become of her son This was my first book by Elizabeth Chadwick, but it won t be my last I am not used to fiction based on historical fact being so romantic Sigh, Roger was absolutely swoon worthy I loved that he was so shy and honorable Ida was pretty feisty and very forward about how much she liked Roger and she took control of what she wanted and eventually convinced the King to let her marry Roger.I loved Ida and Roger s flirtation at Henry s court, but I loved even how the story told about their actual marriage Ida feels things for Roger that she had never felt for Henry Ida and Roger have lots of ups and downs in their loving relationship, and Roger s service to King Henry makes everything difficult for them and their family.Roger s love of hats was an ongoing joke and never failed to make me smile Little things like this made the characters really come to life.I liked how the author wasn t afraid to use jealousy as a plot line Of course Roger would be jealous if his wife had been the King s mistress Who wouldn t be The only reason this book didn t get all five stars from me was because the last 100 pages or so seemed to deal with Ida s two oldest sons instead of Ida and Roger I liked the ending and it was good to see everything come full circle, but I felt like the focus on the sons moved too far away from the main story.Overall, this is fantastic historical fiction with a lot of romance ARC sent by publisher in exchange for honest reviewreviewed for I really, really enjoyed this story The one drawback was that the review copy I received had translation issues between formats because there were numerous obvious typos in it that were distracting The story was a bit too long as well Regardless, I found it to be a very enjoyable read and I would recommend it to people who enjoy a good medieval romance This author certainly knows how to deliver on that account Ms Chadwick s writing style was thoroughly engrossing and I found myself living in the 1100s along with the characters The deflowering of Ida by the king at such a young age and her subsequent service to him was realistically portrayed I really grieved her situation She was truly trapped and was such a sweet girl with a good heart So when Roger Bigod came along and there was an obvious attraction between them, I was hoping and praying that she would be allowed to marry him Their relationship with exciting and I enjoyed experiencing their budding relationship along with them Their marriage was intense and sweet at the same time Their love for each other was powerful and real I think the author s greatest strength was in her ability to develop powerful love relationships between characters She also did an outstanding job with the setting and with showing inter familial rivalries and the desire to possess land and power I agonized with Ida when she had to leave her oldest son behind and I grieved for her every time she reflected on the loss I also rejoiced in her other children who were a comfort to her I understood Roger s pain when he felt like he was in competition with the king even though he knew deep inside that he was not, and that she truly loved him, not Henry It did make for some awesome chemistry and set up the sexual tension between them as husband and wife very well This story was hot, but done in good taste The romantic elements were strong but not overarching because the story was chock full of history and historical subplots that made for a well rounded novel. You are stronger than you think Ms Chadwick s latest novel draws additional historical figures from the shadows of the 12th century and imbues them with vibrant life Roger Bigod, is the disputed heir to the earldom of Norfolk from approximately 1177 This dispute, which involved Roger s stepmother and stepbrothers, commenced during the reign of Henry II and extended for over a decade before being resolved by Richard I The dispute brings Roger to court, where he meets Ida de Tosney who is Henry II s young mistress and the mother of his son Eventually, Ida and Roger marry and while the marriage is a consequence of mutual attraction, it has its costs and burdens.Ms Chadwick s greatest strength is her ability to combine historical accuracy and characters whose actions can be viewed from a contemporary perspective without any loss of authenticity This accuracy is important to Ms Chadwick, and it is conveyed to the reader in a way which, while it seems effortless, is a tribute to detailed research We may not know, with great certainty and at this distance, exactly how Roger and Ida interacted with each other on a personal basis but the novel largely accords with the known facts and provides a fascinating insight into a particularly turbulent time in English history The medieval code of chivalry carried with it both burdens and costs as well as benefits and privileges.For me, an added attraction is the links between the Bigods and another of my personal heroes William Marshal I was aware of Roger Bigod before reading this novel but not especially interested in him Now I find that Ms Chadwick has yet again introduced me to an historical character about whom I need to know Fortunately, I am provided with a select bibliography which gives me a great starting point.
Best selling historical novelist Elizabeth Chadwick won a Betty Trask Award for her first novel The Wild Hunt She has been shortlisted for the UK s mainstream Best Romantic Novel of the Year Award 4 times and longlisted twice Her novel The Scarlet Lion about the great William Marshal and his wife Isabelle de Clare, has been selected by Richard Lee, founder of the Historical Novel Society as one
- 514 pages
- The Time of Singing
- Elizabeth Chadwick
- 15 October 2019 Elizabeth Chadwick