Misc. Historical Fiction.

The Falcons of Montabard by Elizabeth Chadwick 

“If not forever, we have tomorrow, and such days beyond that as heaven sees fit to grant us….and I pray for the grace to grow a little older yet…with you,” 

This book is a continuation of the story started in another Elizabeth Chadwick book, The Winter Mantle, it tells the story of Sabin,  the bastard son of an earl who is always getting into trouble. A journey to Jerusalem with a senior knight and his daughter holds the potential to be a form of redemption for everyone involved.

I didn’t read this book for ages after first purchasing it years ago but tidying out my bookshelves brought it to my attention. While I didn’t adore it, I’m still pretty impressed with it as a book.

I loved the emphasis on food and its descriptions. It was a delight to read and brought the environment of 12th century Jerusalem to life. The battles were also described in grisly detail. Chadwick clearly does her research and it shows. All characters, including secondary and background characters, are fleshed out and made more than background noise.

The central romance arc between the characters of Sabin and Annais felt realistic. Their union is initially borne out of duty to Annais when she is chateleine of her dead husband’s fortress, so as a reader I got to watch the romance grow between the pair which was far more satisfying than a marriage borne out of misplaced lust or suchlike.

The story had many twists and turns, because while it’s inevitable that there would be a happy ending it is yet a good thing to see how the story reaches it. I loved the relarionship between Sabin and his stepson Gulliume as well.

MY RATING: **** / *****

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