The privileged daughter of one of the most powerful men in England, Mahelt Marshal’s life changes dramatically when her father is suspected by King John. Her brothers become hostages and Mahelt is married to Hugh Bigod, heir to the earldom of Norfolk. Adapting to her new life is hard, but Mahelt comes to love Hugh deeply; however, defying her father in law brings disgrace and heartbreak. When King John sets out to subdue the Bigods, Mahelt faces her worst fears alone, knowing neither she, nor her marriage are likely to survive the outcome. A story of huge emotional power set against the road to Magna Carta and the fight to bring a tyrant king to heel.
One of my favourite medieval authors, the super talented Ms. Chadwick, is at it again with her latest offering, To Defy a King. It focuses on Mahelt Marshal – who is the eldest daughter of William Marshal from previously. I always marvel at how easily she seems to bring these characters to life all the while helping her 21st century readers understand and appreciate times from long ago.
I would say that is a stand alone novel, but I would recommend reading the previous books about the Marshals, “The Greatest Knight”, “The Scarlet Lion” and the “Time of Singing”. Not only to get the background of the characters, but because they are EXCELLENT! Nice long juicy books to keep you entertained for hours on end.
Make sure you check out my next post where Elizabeth shares with us her connection to Mahelt and what made her want to write about a lesser known character of the times.