Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Shield of Three Lions (Alix of Wanthwaite, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Shield of Three Lions (Alix of Wanthwaite, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  689 ratings  ·  60 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)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Shield of Three Lions, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Shield of Three Lions

The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay PenmanHere be Dragons by Sharon Kay PenmanWhen Christ and His Saints Slept by Sharon Kay PenmanKatherine by Anya SetonFalls the Shadow by Sharon Kay Penman
Historical Fiction: The House of Plantagenet
53rd out of 197 books — 387 voters
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken FollettThe Name of the Rose by Umberto EcoThe Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey ChaucerBeowulf by UnknownA Distant Mirror by Barbara W. Tuchman
Best Middle Ages Books
264th out of 921 books — 1,131 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,480)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Ann L.
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
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
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
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.
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...
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 4 of 5 stars
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
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
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
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 4 of 5 stars
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
Jessica Brockmole
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
Sara Giacalone
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
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 :)
Paul Tonantius Ferreolus Gober
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 3 of 5 stars
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 5 of 5 stars
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
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 ;)
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
A cute but very powerfully written story about a Medieval tomboy and the Scots warrior who saves her life during the crusades. Wonderful stuff!
These books are addicting... didn't realize there was a third one out... looking forward to it!
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
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
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
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.
Christina Dudley
I first read this book when I was fifteen and saw it on a bookstore shelf in London. I loved it then and I still love it! I was reading a history of the Plantagenets and got a hankering to revisit this book. I'm amazed how well Kaufman brings the period to life and slots her story into the real goings-on.

Adventure, humor, romance. Young Alix of Wanthwaite loses her family and is in danger of losing her inheritance. To save her estate from the marauders, she disguises herself as a boy and goes in
Sarah Wagner
Alix of Wanthwaite makes for a lively, albeit naive, narrator in this adventurous tale set among medieval castles, crusades, secretive kings, and chivalrous knights. After her father's castle is raided and her parents' are brutally murdered, Alix assumes the disguise of a boy to travel to the king to regain her lost estate. Along the way, she gains a quarrelsome Scot as a travelling companion and finds herself embarking on crusade with King Richard I. Alix makes for a spirited narrator, although ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 49 50 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Uncrowned Queen (War of the Roses, #3)
  • The Passionate Brood
  • Duchess of Aquitaine: A Novel of Eleanor
  • Within the Fetterlock
  • The Flowering of the Rose (We Speak No Treason, #1)
  • Fortune Made His Sword
  • The King's Witch
  • Avalon
  • In Pursuit of the Green Lion (Margaret of Ashbury, #2)
  • The Lute Player
  • A Bloody Field by Shrewsbury
  • The First Princess of Wales
  • Hammer of the Scots (Plantagenet Saga, #7)
  • Rivals for the Crown (Highland, #2)
  • Crown of Destiny
  • The Rain Maiden
  • The Knight of the Sacred Lake (Guenevere, #2)
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)

Share This Book