Elizabeth Chadwick Mega-review post.

May 2016
Disclaimer: This review was written over the course of a day and an evening, so the chances of the reviews being a little harder than usual is there.
Any views that follow are my own and I will say this: Elizabeth’s books here may not be the best of the best of her writing, I know two are from her earliest writings and so may not have held up as well.
Book 1: The Running Vixen.
The Author’s Note at the beginning is charming enough.
The book itself is an easy read, harmless but not exactly massively engaging sadly. It may be worth a second chance later on, but, at the moment the lack of engaging characters is definitely off-putting. I know I have liked some of Elizabeth’s other books in the past so let’s see how I get on with the other five.
Book 2: The Leopard Unleashed.
Again the author’s note is charming.
Sadly this book is harder to read and runs into the same problem as the first book, the plot is simple enough and it is a quick read once you can get into the flow, however, the characters are still not engaging and so, if you didn’t enjoy Running Vixen, you won’t like this one either. Elizabeth now has four more chances to surprise me.
Book 3: To Defy A King.
This book has no author’s introduction. Not sure if that may be a good sign.
Mahelt Marshal holds a lot more interest than the characters we met in the last two books. The rest are still sadly a little frustrating but there have been a lot worse. The book and it’s plot remain simple enough although this is not as fast of a read. This book is a little better but the effort to finish it will be greater. Overall a far better book, the patience required does pay off as, when the novel gets going, it makes it clear just how much Elizabeth’s skills have grown.
Book 4: A Place Beyond Courage.
We have an acknowledgements page here that is utterly charming.
We have maps and family trees to start, which bodes well.
The book reads easily and, finally, we have characters that hold my attention from the beginning. The others are great books, however, as someone who writes myself I can be terribly picky, it’s not that Elizabeth’s other books aren’t good, it’s simply that they haven’t resonated with me until this one. I admit that.
Book 5 &6 : The Summer Queen & The Winter Crown.
Now these two are the start of a trilogy, of which I only have the first couple to read/review for now… we’ll see how this goes. The fact it’s an Eleanor of Aquitaine novel means that I will potentially judge it slightly harshly, but I also seem to remember this was the novel that got me interested in Elizabeth’s writing so, hopefully I will end up eating my words.
We get maps and family trees/character lists, which as I said before bodes well.
These books are far, far better in my opinion than the ones that I began with, here is proof of what I said before, this is clearly what the earlier books were practice for. The characters and plot here move swiftly and although the books are an easy read and also entertaining. Eleanor as written here is fantastically easy to empathise with. These two are the books to borrow.

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