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The Shield of Three Lions (Alix of Wanthwaite #1)

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  733 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
The return of a classic, by bestselling author Pamela Kaufman.

“Richly rewarding, superbly written. . . . The richness of the characters, the historical details, and the story as a whole make this novel a memorable reading experience.”—Chicago Sun-Times

Eleven-year-old Alix is the daughter of the baron of Wanthwaite, whose lands along the Scottish border are among the best i
Paperback, 496 pages
Published July 23rd 2002 by Broadway Books (first published 1983)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,643)
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Ann L.
Jan 30, 2011 Ann L. rated it it was ok
While I found the story interesting enough to keep reading, I found the prose awkward. The mixing of archaic words and phrases like "soothly," "'twas," and "be as be may" seemed to me intruders in an otherwise modern voice of the narrator, Alix. On the other hand, I did find the creative spelling that rendered Enoch's Scottish accent to be quite interesting and I suppose realistic. I understand that Mrs. Kaufman's use of the those few jarringly outmoded phrases was probably meant to add historic ...more
Feb 10, 2009 Paigersoccerfan rated it really liked it
This book was first published in 1958, and silly me, I had very low expectations, thinking it would be written with the same stereotypes and constraints as "I Love Lucy" and "Father knows best." I was pleasantly surprised! After the first 3 chapters I was completely hooked! It takes place in 1189, in England, and reminds me a lot Sharon K. Penman's books.

The main character is an 11 year old girl, who through a series of tragic events ends up going with Richard the Lionhearted on his crusade to
Jul 28, 2008 Rachel rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical-books
Fun read. Sometimes a bit unbelievable, but I'll give the writer the benefit of the doubt. Alix is a wonderful character. I was worried about relating to an 11 year old at first, but if she'd been written any older, her innocence would have been unbelievable.

I adored Enoch, however for much of the book I thought he was quite old. (I don't think his age is ever stated.) Then we learn that he's 10 years junior to Richard (who I thought quite young). Also, too many times, I couldn't puzzle through
Jessica Brockmole
Jun 16, 2007 Jessica Brockmole rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels
Set at the time of King Richard the Lionheart's reign and the Crusades, this book follows Alix, a young orphaned girl trying to win back her family's castle and estate. Forced to disguise herself as a boy for safety, she becomes Richard's page and travels with him to the Holy Land. She has to wrestle with puberty and the budding feelings of love, while trying to keep her disguise intact.

Bawdy, crass, and coarse in its language, this book brings to mind the Canterbury Tales. And, reading it as an
Jan 04, 2012 Anna rated it did not like it
Absolutely ridiculous waste of money. I can only assume that the author was pulling a prank of some kind and only continued with this series because of the money rolling in. The plot, which consists of an 11 year old heiress riding off to Crusade and catching the eye of the King, was flimsy enough, but the book itself is poorly written and clunky. The author tries far too hard to be earthy and authentic, and instead comes off as someone who has spent far too much time at a cheap Renn faire.
Sep 18, 2007 Leigh rated it really liked it
OMG if you can find this book you must read it! It's kind of cheesy but totally addicting...Jessie will disagree but many, myself included, were totally sucked in. I bought this for 50 cents at the Smith Library in Lakeview and it was the best purchase ever! I literally stayed up all night to finish it-- I lent it to Walt when he had mono and he was sucked in too! My copy became a Katrina victim, so will have to purchase a new one soon...
Apr 01, 2008 Val rated it it was amazing
LOVE this book! And the two follow-ups. Tells the story of Alix of Wanthwaite, an 11 year old girl, who disguises herself as a boy to ride on the Crusade with King Richard. Very fun page-turner. There are some questionable themes, so be prepared, but overall a good read.
Lady of the Lake
Aug 01, 2008 Lady of the Lake rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: HF/HR (non-purists)
Many parts of this story are far fetched but I really enjoyed it and this is one of my favorite non-true HF HFR stories. It is well written for what it is. However if you are a HF purist do not even go here! You will toss this book long before you finish it! It is kind of a farce in that sense. But I remember it wrapped up nicely and although I was sad that it ended I didn't walk away feeling not satisfied.
(Now I am writing this review MANY years later from when I have read it so keep that in mi
Rose Fox
Dec 18, 2014 Rose Fox rated it did not like it
In 1983 apparently it was perfectly fine to introduce the heroine's eventual love interest by having him scam the heroine six ways from Sunday, including forcing her to swear a blood oath, while thinking she's an eight-year-old boy. I flipped to the end to confirm that they do actually ostensibly fall in love, and yes, they do--though even in that final scene it is completely implausible.

There's graphic rape, murder, battle, prostitution, etc. That doesn't bother me, though I did feel Kaufman w
Mar 24, 2010 C rated it really liked it
First book in a series. If you love English history [Richard the Lionheart time period:], this is a interesting fictional account of a young noble woman whose family is slaughtered in a poltical/power struggle. She is advised by her dying father to disguise herself as a boy and to travel to London to seek out the help of King Henry. Unfortunately, she soon finds out that King Henry has died, and his son Richard has become king. Her adventure unfolds as she attempts to find a way to restore her f ...more
Aug 19, 2012 Carol rated it liked it
This book was a lot of fun. It's the story of Alix of Wanthwaite, whose parents are killed when an unscrupulous neighboring lord attempts to take over their lands. Alix survives, dresses as a boy, ends up teamed with a Scotman named Enoch, and goes in search of King Richard in order to regain her lands. She ends up studying in Paris, travelling with a minstrel troupe, and ultimately going with King Richard and Enoch on Crusade. There's a lot of adventure, and some romance (both with Richard and ...more
Oct 11, 2008 Lynn rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
There used to be this awesome book-shop slash coffee boutique in downtown Easton, PA that I loved to go to. It was off of the main streets and in a grand old building. Soooooo many books, you could get lost in the shelves. I really hope it is still there.... I will have to look for it this Thanksgiving...
This was an odd-ball find that simply looked interesting. It's the journey of a young noble-born girl in Medieval England escaping from pillagers of her father's castle with a twist. It was a gr
Sara Giacalone
Mar 05, 2011 Sara Giacalone rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this a very long time ago and realize now it was the first historical novel I ever read. I enjoyed it very much (and believe I read it twice). Ultimately it inspired me to find other historical fiction authors, which has enriched my life greatly. I need to find a copy of this book (ideally hardback; don't know what happened to my copy) and read again. (I suspect my more knowledgeable self will be dismayed that it's not historically accurate).
Alison Miller-astor
Apr 02, 2014 Alison Miller-astor rated it really liked it
I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. Rich in historical detail (whether it's accurate or not, I have no idea, since I've read very little about the time of King Richard and the Crusades), the book is just plain fun to read. The main character, Alix, 11-year old heiress to an estate is suddenly left orphaned and in mortal danger, and per her father's dying instructions, runs off to London dressed as a boy to seek the king's favor. She of course manages to meet almost everyone of note in ...more
This was such a great book. When I first picked it up I thought 'Historical romance set in Scotland about a girl who pretends to be a boy?? What?' but I am so glad I read it because it was awesome! Lovely writing, strange dialogue, loooots of description and a GREAT ending :)
Trebonius Octavianus
Mar 27, 2012 Trebonius Octavianus rated it it was amazing
Pamela Kaufman tells a vivid tale of King Richard that is most entertaining. My wife was laughing every three minutes while reading this one. I picked it up the moment she put this one down. I read the entire series soon after… read, The Shield of the Three Lion’s.
Apr 15, 2008 Keri rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those who like Historical Fiction
3+ Like many Historical Fiction this is fun and somewhat educational. I like the character Alix and her lands are near Scotland a plus for me. Nina liked this too after I passed it on to her and then she found the next in the series and now I am reading it.
Nov 09, 2008 Tammy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who enjoy historical type novels
This was the first "real" book that I picked up.... and then couldn't put down. I've read it several times and still enjoy it. Years later I found a sequal, not as profound of a momment, but I enjoyed it as well.
Rowan Winter
Jan 08, 2014 Rowan Winter rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
I first read this as a teenager and although the story is fairly cheesy, the treatment of it is excellent and, to my mind, authentic. A chick lit version of The Religion, maybe ;)
Dawn Dorsey
Jun 07, 2016 Dawn Dorsey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Go along on the third Crusade with Richard the Lionhearted, his newest and youngest page, and the page's gruff but protective Scottish blood brother. Of course, things are not always as they seem, and neither are pages, brothers, or the kings they idolize. Eventually, Alex must leave the Crusade and return to his home in Northumberland, which he must wrest from a usurper and restore from his ravages and subsequent neglect. Along the way, he has joined a troupe of performing troubadours, met King ...more
This book, as other readers already pointed out, is a mixture of historical fiction and historical romance. I'm not sure if I will read the whole trilogy.
Aug 31, 2014 ~Leslie~ marked it as to-read
Shelves: re-read, do-not-own
One of my all-time favorite historical/romantic fiction novels. Read it a long time ago. Girl pretends to be a boy and goes crusading. What could be better.
Carol Storm
Dec 02, 2013 Carol Storm rated it it was amazing
A cute but very powerfully written story about a Medieval tomboy and the Scots warrior who saves her life during the crusades. Wonderful stuff!
Jun 23, 2009 Shannon rated it really liked it
These books are addicting... didn't realize there was a third one out... looking forward to it!
Sandra Visser
Apr 05, 2016 Sandra Visser rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm so glad I gave this book a chance and kept reading, because at the start it was a bit boring, but it became so enjoyable once Alix meets Richard and they travel to Jerusalem. The vibes between her and Richard were really sexy and the ending (view spoiler) was really lovely.

Only after I'd finished reading did I realise how much I liked Alix as well as how wonderfully real Kaufman makes the Medieaval world. Really a masterpiece, and also funn
Apr 20, 2015 Alissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-ebooks
I picked this one expecting a solid historical romance fiction book set during the Third crusade with young adult flavor.

Sure enough, the protagonist is an eleven-year-old girl, and the plot is linear, a coming-of-age-quest story with gender-bender elements but it is, by my standards, wholly adult. First of all Alix, the protagonist, is basically the only character so young, then the book deals a lot with very delicate subjects, ones that may be out of the comfort zone for some, like rape, ghast
==A pixie befuddles King Richard the Lionhearted==
The setting covers northern England (the Scottish border), France, Italy, Sicily, Cyprus and the Holy Land (Dominions of Saladin) from 1189 to 1192. Although "Shield of Three Lions" follows a fictional story line it is true to the main events of the Third Crusade by King Richard I (the Lionhearted) of England and King Philip II of France. After her home, Worthwaite Castle has been sacked and her parents killed, the young pre-teen heroine, Alix, e
Betty Strohecker
Mar 09, 2015 Betty Strohecker rated it liked it
I enjoyed this first book in the trilogy telling the story of young Alix of Wanthwaite whose family was killed durong a raid on the home. Brave at the age of 11, she disguises herself as a boy to undertake the journey of finding her king, Richard the Lionheart, and plead for her family's birthright to be given to her. But Richard is already fighting in the crusades, so this is a journey filled with many obstacles. Alix finds herself in dangerous and outrageous situations, oftentimes unbelievable ...more
Jan 26, 2014 Min rated it it was ok
maybe this would've worked better for me if i was in high school and went through a surfeit of historical fiction.

i kept reading reviews about how delightfully amusing and hilarious this book is, which is what sold me into reading it, but i fail to see its humor or delightfulness. i probably have a broken sense of humor (likely) or just found the overall crudeness not particularly enjoyable (also likely).

also... robin hood? wow that came out of nowhere. i understand the reasoning why but it re
Shantel Ramlo
Jul 31, 2015 Shantel Ramlo rated it liked it
I'm going to be completely honest - I couldn't even finish this book. I gave it a good try, but found myself utterly bored after the first third of the story. It brought absolutely no new or interesting information in a genre that requires imagination to succeed. This novel is not bad, but not good either.
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Pamela Kaufman, Ph.D., is the author of the bestselling medieval novels Shield of Three Lions and Banners of Gold. She lives in Los Angeles.
More about Pamela Kaufman...

Other Books in the Series

Alix of Wanthwaite (3 books)
  • Banners of Gold (Alix of Wanthwaite, #2)
  • The Prince of Poison (Alix of Wanthwaite, #3)

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