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The Leopard Unleashed (Ravenstow Trilogy #3)

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  566 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
Renard, Lord of the Ravenstow estate and Crusader knight returns from Antioch, but he does not return alone. He brings with him a mistress, Olwen, a beautiful but untrustworthy dancing girl. Renard has returned home because of his father's ill health and imminent death. Also there is tension locally caused by the dispute over the succession to England's throne. He must als ...more
Hardcover, 329 pages
Published May 1993 by St Martin (first published 1992)
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Dec 29, 2009 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

I've a problem with Elizabeth Chadwick. Well, not personally, I've a problem reading her work. I pick it up intending to read one chapter, but somewhere between points a and b, I fall through the damned pages and lose all sense of time and responsibility. I should have started the laundry two hours ago, but what was I doing instead? Tramping around the Welsh Marches.

Am I sorry? Not in the least. Okay, maybe a little. I'll be
Aug 20, 2008 Misfit rated it really liked it
Book Three in the Ravenstow Trilogy. The book opens as Guyan and Judith's oldest son and heir Renard is on crusade, that being the most expeditious method of his avoiding the civil war raging between King Stephen and Empress Mathilda. Renard involves himself with a beautiful exotic dancer, Olwen, and when the summons arrives for Renard to return home to his ailing father, she manipulates Renard into taking her along with him. Once home, Renard must marry the much younger Eleanor, who he was betr ...more
Krista Baetiong Tungol
This is Elizabeth Chadwick’s third book, the first two being The Wild Hunt and The Running Vixen. Tagged under Ravenstow Trilogy, this book is set during England’s civil war between King Stephen and Empress Matilda, and features the marriage of Renard, heir of Ravenstow and son of Guyon (who is the main man in The Wild Hunt), to Lady Elene of Woolcot.

I loved Miss Chadwick’s William Marshal series, and I would say that Ravenstow series, being her first writing job, is good enough. I only thought
Rebecca Huston
It finally arrived from England! (Hurray!) As soon as I finish the current book, I'm diving into this one -- I simply can't resist an unread EC novel at hand. Ok, after blasting through this one in a day, I can say, I keep being impressed. Quite a tangle of characters here -- Misfit, you are right about Olwen! Great story, plenty of history bits, and great pacing to boot.

For the complete review, please go here:
Feb 15, 2013 Lucinda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gloriously rich and acutely evocative, this beautifully atmospheric tale is simply breathtaking!

In the Twelfth century, to have is not always to hold…

I am a huge fan and avid reader of Elizabeth Chadwick’s work, for I truly believe that she is one of the greatest writers of historical fiction. Bringing the medieval era vividly and realistically to life, Chadwick captures the intensity and passion of the times in such meticulous and exacting detail as to delight. With its shimmering gold cover an
Ana T.
Jan 29, 2008 Ana T. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: medieval
have long been fascinated by Elizabeth Chadwick’s stories. I take my time reading them because I want to savour every word. Besides her current books in print she has 3 books – the first ones she wrote, The Wild Hunt, The Running Vixen, The Leopard Unleashed– that are OOP and are very HTF. I’m lucky enough to have all 3 and yesterday I finished the third one.
They are known as the welsh trilogy and feature several members of the same family.

Renard of Ravenstow comes back from the crusades after
(8/10) It took me a little while to get to the end of this as I got waylaid with another book and normal life! That being said I really enjoyed it, I felt that it ended the Ravenstow trilogy very well and loved the revisiting of characters from older books (always a little bittersweet as they age and their own stories conclude).

I really liked that the book starts with Renard on crusade (something you get much more detail on in Chadwick's novel The Falcons of Montabard btw), it added an extra ele
I would have given a higher rating if the characters and emotional impact had supported the level of writing skill in this novel. Unfortunately I found the characters to be undeveloped and the emotion in the novel rather flat, even as I enjoyed the wonderfully crafted plot and writing style.

As an overarching criticism I would say that this was a very emotionless novel, considering there was so much turmoil and danger and so much lust and romance. I didn't once feel any kind of love between Rena
I picked this up in one of those pesky "buy two get one free" offers that always seem to catch me out.

Renard is a crusader in Antioch, a long way from the estate on the Welsh border that he is heir too. He meets the wild, exciting Olwyn, a dancing girl who dreams of leaving her hard life behind to find power and wealth...and when Renard is summoned home to attend his dying father, Olwyn tricks her way onto his retinue. But Renard is betrothed to Elene, daughter and heir of the lands next to his,
Deborah Pickstone
2.5 stars

I read this to complete the set, really. Olwen is so unlikely it would make a cat laugh. Elene (apart from yet another magical rescue from rape) is believeable. Renard is a bit of a dill. Characterisation is poor though writing ability - making a story that flows and hooks you in - is really good. The devil is in the detail and the detail undermines this novel seriously. The Welsh leaders are like caricatures and what in Heaven Owain sees in Olwen is enough to make one goggle.

Pretty dre
Sep 06, 2012 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm on an hugely enjoyable journey working my way through Elizabeth Chadwick's back catalogue of wonderfully addictive historical novels. Now the 'nights are drawing in', it's especially cosy to close the curtains against the rainy darkness and curl up under the fleecy blanket and lose yourself in the dramas of the Middle Ages. Against a backdrop of the Stephen/Matilda wars,'The Leopard Unleashed' sees Renard, a knight returning from the Crusades, torn between desire for his minx of a mistress a ...more
Elizabeth Ashworth
Mar 29, 2011 Elizabeth Ashworth rated it it was amazing
I've been enjoying catching up on some of EC's earlier work which I'd missed. None of them disappoint and this was one that I particularly enjoyed, although there was a measure of tragedy to offset the happy ending. Olwen, the dancing girl was an interesting character and had my sympathies for most of the book. I also enjoyed Elene who grew throughout the book into a strong and resourceful woman. But it is the men that EC portrays so well. They are sometimes flawed, but always likeable and Renar ...more
Apr 15, 2015 Obidiwhite rated it really liked it
This is the third book of Wild Hunt Trilogy. Though it can be read as a stand-alone novel , I advice readers to also read The Wild Hunt & The Running Vixen (Wild Hunt Trilogy #1); to get the full picture of this informative and entertaining medieval romance. Elizabeth Chadwick is a genius at what she does best;story telling !
Sep 09, 2011 Sharon rated it liked it
This book contained characters from previous stories, but I had difficulty keeping everyone straight. Once again, Chadwick tells a tale about daily life in the reign of King John. I enjoyed the story, but found the ending somewhat abrupt. Tantalizing references to Llewelyn of Wales, whom I came to love through Sharon Kay Penman's work.
Sep 20, 2016 Susana rated it it was amazing
Would be very interesting to find out the story of the characters presented here, like Renard and Olwen's son growing with the Prince of Wales, the bethrothal of Renard and Ranulf's son, etc. I can always dream my own stories. This is the stuff of great writing.
Elis Madison
Mar 13, 2014 Elis Madison rated it really liked it
Shelves: era-medieval
The third in Chadwick's first trilogy. This one does weave in more details around the succession crisis and civil war following the death of Henry I. I'd always wondered how Stephen of Blois managed to lose that war and keep the crown. Now it seems a bit clearer. 4 stars.
Jun 27, 2012 Nisareen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nisareen by: Deborah O'Regan
This is the third installment in the Ravenstow trilogy, this time focusing on Renard, the son of Judith and Guyon and future heir to Ravenstow. Having been betrothed to the ten year old Elene at the end of The Running Vixen, Renard has gone on crusade to Antioch until Elene comes of age. As a mercenary, Renard has adapted well to mideastern culture but when he receives a summons urging him to return home because his father is seriously ill, Renard wastes little time.

Although he is expected to m
Jun 07, 2013 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Leopard Unleashed by Elizabeth Chadwick is the third book in what's usually referred to as the Ravenstow trilogy (The Wild Hunt and The Running Vixen), and while each book focuses on the story of a specific family member, each book easily stands upon its own. Leopard Unleashed follows the story of Renard fitzGuyon, who has spent the past four years on Crusade. While in Antioch, he gets caught up in a relationship with a fiery half-Welsh dancing girl named Olwen. When Renard receives word tha ...more
Jan 24, 2012 Emmy rated it really liked it
Shelves: medieval, wales

I did really enjoy this book (the Wild Hunt is one of my favorites), but there were a few things that I would have liked to see differently.

While generally I liked Renard, I didn't love him. As opposed to the relationship between Judith and Guyon in the Wild Hunt, I felt that Renard was driven more by a certain part of his anatomy, than his more tender emotions. And consequently, I never got the impression that Eleanor was indispensable to him. It was clear he came to care for her, but I thi
Mar 10, 2011 Merry rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
The Leopard Unleashed is a re-release, with some overhauling, of one of her earliest novels, from the time when she wrote of fictional characters within accurate historical periods of time. As such, her prefaces suggest she feels slightly embarrassed by these now, having moved on to real people from history but actually, so long as you remember hey are not as factual as others, they make a cracking read and are full enough of life, love, detail and colour to be a truly enjoyable way to spend a d ...more
Sep 10, 2016 Ria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The last in the Ravenstow trilogy, this tells the tale of Renard and his love for two women, a whore he brings back from Outremer called Olwen and his legitimate bride to be Elene.
Torn between both, the exotic yet wile Olwen and the sweet homely Elene he doesn't know where his loyalty lies until when set against a background of civil unrest he is taken prisoner at the battle of Lincoln and his fate lies in the hands of both Olwen who has now switched allegiance and is in the bed of another and h
Jun 14, 2013 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a good book- Elizabeth Chadwick certainly does her research and paints the picture of the period really well. Think I should have read one of her other books in the trilogy first though, as it turns out I've read the third one or something! To be honest though, you can still get to grips with the story and characters, you don't feel like you've missed anything by reading out of order. It is a family history though, and it will be interesting to read the one about Renard's pare ...more
May 01, 2012 Sassapphras rated it really liked it
The thing I really don't like about Elizabeth Chadwick's novels is the lack of details concerning individuals and their relationships. I thrive on human interaction in my novels and I always feel like Elizabeth Chadwick falls short. It's not that detail isn't there (it definitely is), but not in the form that I truly appreciate.

One thing I really love about Elizabeth Chadwick's novels is the detail indulged in the history from domestic life to behavior and so on. Though that, in itself, can be f
Not my favorite of hers, (Lady of the English and To Defy A King are my personal favourites) but still a nice story. I liked Elene and Renard's relationship, as well as the character of Elene because she reminded me of myself. I felt like the story was over very quickly in someway and that it didn't focus enough on the relationships between the characters. It had too many war scenes for my liking. Nevertheless, it was well written.
Jackie Wolfred
Sep 21, 2011 Jackie Wolfred rated it liked it
I didn't like this book to begin with. The main character made me angry. But that's a sign of a good book, and I am glad that I did not just return this to the library.
I love Historical Fiction, and enjoy Elizabeth Chadwick's writing. I read this book out of sequence as this was the third book in a trilogy. I have the other two books, "The Wild Hunt" and "The Running Vixen" on order from the Inter-library System.
I am glad I persevered in finishing this.
Aug 23, 2015 Erin rated it liked it
The third book in the "Wild Hunt Trilogy" is the best showcase of promise that early readers must have felt when thinking about Elizabeth Chadwick and historical fiction/romances. The historical events are more fleshed out and take us deeper into the tensions between English families during the war between Stephen and Empress Matilda.
The romance although slightly repetitious as it bore striking resemblance to Book 1 did not overshadow the historical events.
Good read!
Kay   ✾◕ ‿ ◕✾
I have just added Elizabeth Chadwick to my list of favorite authors.

Leopard Unleashed is not only a story of love but also of family. This story showed just how thicker blood is compared to water. And again, battles are described in much detail. I read with much anticipation on who is going to die next. Suspenseful.
Feb 13, 2016 Tegan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little bit more of a bodice ripper than some of Chadwick's other books. When I reviewed the first book in this series, I commented on how you could tell it was her earlier writing and I have to agree here as well.

None the less an enjoyable read and a nice finish to the Ravenstowe trilogy.
Sep 13, 2013 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this whole trilogy. Elizabeth Chadwick is becoming one of my new favorite authors! After finishing this book I wanted more! I highly recommend this book! The characters and details in this story transport you back to Wales/England in the 1300! Amazing!
Rio (Lynne)
Jun 20, 2012 Rio (Lynne) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75 Stars
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Goodreads Librari...: Update a Book Cover 5 23 Jul 21, 2016 11:37AM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Feb 24, 2015 02:17PM  
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  • The Passionate Enemies (Norman Trilogy, #3)
  • The Sixth Surrender
  • The Secret Eleanor
  • Hugh and Bess: A Love Story
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  • The Founding (The Morland Dynasty, #1)
  • Lady of the Roses: A Novel of the Wars of the Roses
  • Under the Hog
  • The Needle in the Blood
  • Duchess of Aquitaine: A Novel of Eleanor
  • The Seventh Son
  • The Marriage of Meggotta
  • This Time (Richard III, #1)
  • The First Princess of Wales
  • I Serve: A Novel of the Black Prince
  • Summer's Storm (The Seasons Series, #2)
  • Chambers of Death (Medieval Mystery, #6)
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 ...more
More about Elizabeth Chadwick...

Other Books in the Series

Ravenstow Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Wild Hunt (Ravenstow Trilogy #1)
  • The Running Vixen (Ravenstow Trilogy, #2)

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