Barb's Reviews > The Greatest Knight

The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Nov 07, 2008

it was ok
bookshelves: historical-fiction-medieval, read-in-2008, richard-vs-john
Read in November, 2008

Elizabeth Chadwick's 'The Greatest Knight' chronicles the life of William Marshall, the Medieval soldier and statesman who was described as "the greatest knight that ever lived".

Chadwick takes us from Marshall's boyhood through his service to three kings; King Henry II, Henry the Young King and King Richard. Marshall is loyal and true to those he pledges his fealty even in the face of near certain peril.

I found the history interesting but Chadwick failed to bring these characters to life for me. I admired William Marshall but I felt like he was somewhat flat and one dimensional, he was always good and true and nearly perfect. I enjoyed the characterization of Eleanor of Aquitaine and her faithful friendship with Marshall. Chadwick portrays Marshall best engaged in relationships with the women in his life. The beginning of this story seems rather dull until he meets his wife (which isn't until page 328). But she too seemed just a little too perfect to be real.

I thought Marshall's brother John was the more interesting character. He had flaws, shortcomings and regrets, which made him much more realistic. I also thought their relationship was interesting and could have been examined more closely and threaded throughout the story to give it greater tension.
6 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Greatest Knight.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Misfit I'm sorry you didn't like this as much as I did, you're not the only reader who have found this a bit dryer than most of Chadwick's other books.

Barb I might try her again sometime...

Patchouli Flowers My appetite is whetted enough that I want to read the sequel. Maybe I will find what I seek there?

Barb Let me know what you find, Sadie...

Patchouli Flowers One day...I will.

back to top