A Place Beyond Courage by Elizabeth Chadwick
Genre: General Market Fiction Historical & Biographical: Historical
Pages: 512 Paperback, eBook
Date Published: September 1, 2012 (orig. UK 2007)
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Sometimes keeping your honor means breaking your word…
The early twelfth century is a time for ambitious men to prosper, and royal servant John FitzGilbert is one of them. But when the old king dies and his successor is appointed, John faces a terrible choice: he must join the rival faction—his enemies— or risk losing everything. His new wife helps him carry his burden, but his final choice will seal not only her fate, but those of his young children. As the fight for England’s crown enters a new phase, John may be forced to make a terrible sacrifice…
When I discovered there was a new Elizabeth Chadwick novel attached the William Marshall series coming from Sourcebooks in the fall of 2012 I was so excited. I did not realize that this had been previously published (different cover etc before in 2007) but that does not affect me as I have not read all of her backlisted titles yet. I am so glad that I jumped in now. As a reader that primarily stays in the Christian Historical Fiction realm there are less than a handful of General Market Historical Fiction authors that I venture out for and jump for joy at each new book and Elizabeth Chadwick is one of them.
While in my recommendation this is definitely an adult, or mature reader, novel due to some physical intimacy, as always her scenes are tasteful and the situations authentic to the time period. A Place Beyond Courage is a prequel to The Greatest Knight in the William Marshal series, essentially making it the first book in the series, however these can definitely be taken out of order and leave you with a thirst to jump into the other novels finding the back story of characters of history you only partially know. Chadwick definitely brings history to life and right off the page. It may be muddy and raining, but there is nothing dreary about her descriptions. Again as I’m finding with all Elizabeth Chadwick it is a portion of history that I have never really known and want to delve further in and I find that these fiction novels are just the way to do it for me. I love how she really goes for most likely accurate portrayals. Her novels bring it all alive. I can really see what she’s drawing an imagery of and even hear things such as the wind flapping the walls of the tents.
*Thanks to Sourcebooks for providing an ARC for review.*
I thoroughly enjoyed For the King’s Favor/The Time of Singing (my review is here) as my first introduction to Elizabeth’s writing and I am delighted to continue my journey of her historical research and imagination.
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 of the landmark historical novels of the last ten years.
When not at her desk, she can be found taking long walks with the dog, baking cakes, reading books (of course!) exploring ruins, listening to various brands of rock and metal music, and occasionally slaving over a steaming cauldron with re-enactment society Regia Anglorum.