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The Marsh King's Daughter

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  1,244 Ratings  ·  89 Reviews
Unwanted and unloved, Miriel Weaver finds herself forced into a closed convent by her violent stepfather. Outside, the civil war of 1216 rages through the English countryside, throwing into jeopardy all that its people hold dear. As the turmoil outside reaches a peak, Miriel itches to break free from her life inside as a religious novice. She plots to escape but her plans ...more
Paperback, 408 pages
Published November 2nd 2006 by Time Warner (first published July 1st 1999)
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Born out of wedlock, Miriel Weaver adored her grandfather, a master weaver of fine wool. Her step-father takes over the weaving business upon her grandfather's death and Miriel rebels against him once to often and is packed off to a convent, although her rebellious nature continues and she doesn't exactly get along with life with the nuns either. Nicholas de Caen was a prisoner of King John until the baggage train is lost when the tide overtakes it as they are crossing the marsh. Nicholas reache ...more
3.5 stars

I did enjoy reading this novel and of course the few historical references in my mind make a book that much better. The one criticism I had however, was that this novel, supposedly written about people in the thirteenth century, had a lot of modern day language. I really do not know how one would fix it, although the author threw in a few "perchance" and "mayhaps" to catch the flavor of the times.

I did like most of the characters, the ones you were suppose to like, Miriel and Nicholas,
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of Elizabeth Chadwick's novels that I've read, though I have another of hers already on my list. Her credentials as a historical novelist are recognized by the HISTORICAL NOVEL REVIEW and is borne out in this novel. I loved the detail as I read the story of Miriel Weaver, who is sent to a convent because of her willfulness. I must admit that there are terms and names of everyday living that I'm not sure of, but was able to figure them out from context. Miriel saves the life of ...more
Ana T.
It seems with every new Elizabeth Chadwick book I read I become more of a fangirl of her work. Like in previous books what really draws me in are the characters she creates and their complexity. How they become real to us.

Unlike other books this story does not deal with the nobility. It deals with the common people, traders and particularly weavers, and I really enjoyed knowing something about that trade.

Elizabeth Chadwick beautifully combines history and fiction. In this case she starts out wit
Krista Baetiong Tungol
After finishing Lords of the North by Bernard Cornwell and dreadfully finding out that I didn't have his next book from the series yet (huhu), I kind of went on a reading slump and deliberately "strayed" with my subsequent book selection.

Then, I decided to read a Chadwick novel and immediately felt better. Yay! :-)

Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not one of my favorite Elizabeth Chadwick books! I felt that I had to really dig deep to continue reading. It's never a good sign when a reader must force themselves to finish a book.
Kate Forsyth
I’ve wanted to read a book by Elizabeth Chadwick for a while – a lot of my Goodreads friends rave about her work – and so I finally bought one to read. I chose this book because of the title – it’s the name of a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale that I am actually thinking of rewriting one day. The title has little to do with the book, however, except that the heroine, Miriel, is the granddaughter of a rich weaver who lives near the marshes.

The book is set in 1216, one of my favourite periods
Tara Chevrestt
This is my first Chadwick novel and I am impressed enough that I am going to read more. Whereas it is not the best book I have ever read, I thoroughly enjoyed it and its heroine, Miriel. In the novel's beginning, Miriel is a young girl whose stepfather is determined to be rid of her. After almost burning down the house, she is sent to a convent. While Miriel is rebelling against the nuns, a man named Nicholas is escaping the current King John's baggage train in which he was being held prisoner. ...more
I am not entirely sure what my feelings are about this book......did I enjoy it, didn't I enjoy it?? It's a tough one for me to review. I may have to say that, yeah, I kinda did enjoy it, in places, though in other places, nahh, I kinda didn't really enjoy it.
A true mixed review it would seem.
Let me expound.
It was very well described and it was written nicely, but the female character was boring (a flaw I find in Chadwick books that I have outlined many times in my other Chadwick reviews).
By a
Amy Bruno
Dec 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Well done! Another sensational book from Elizabeth Chadwick!! Like another reviewer of this book, I too had to stay up way past my bedtime to finish this – too hard to put down!

In my last review for The French Revolution series by Jean Plaidy I mentioned that I just didn’t feel the emotional connection with the characters, but not so with The Marsh King’s Daughter! The heroine, Miriel, is a woman after my own heart. She is a strong, intelligent and passionate woman who fights for what she wants
A nice "fluff" read, though sometimes in danger of being little more than romance novel masquerading as historical fiction. There's an awful lot of sex involved, especially in the first half of the book. This is all well and good, but much of it is less-than-pleasant. And the romantic love at the core of the story suffers somewhat from the all-too-common lack of substance that leaves the reader wondering what, other than lust, it is really based on. What is somewhat odd is that there are several ...more
Jun 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another page turner by Elizabeth Chadwick. A heart wrenching story of love, hope and despair. A brave, intelligent, witty woman Miriel and a fearing, sharp soldier Nicholas de Caen.
Okay, I'm too liberal with stars. A book has to be pretty crap to get two stars or less. I mean, if I can finish it and not cry over the waste of my life, then it gets at least three.

BUT I think this book is a true three. My Plan II/English/Phi Betta Kappa-self is not ashamed of my love of the most poorly-written, over-hyped series (Twilight, Sookie Stackhouse) nor will I deny my love of the historical fiction which flirts with that section 8 housing of literature known as "romance."

Books set in
Jan 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Elizabeth Chadwick read - and rest assured it certainly won't be my last.

I sat down to enjoy a hopefully enthralling historical romance and that's exactly what I got - once the first third of the book was out of the way. The early passages took me a while to get into, and I found the central characters to be rather selfish and unlikeable in their actions.

Then comes the introduction of a central villain and the story really takes off, never running out of speed until the fitting
Oh. My. Goodness – how good is this book?!

From the onset of the opening conflict I was gripped and full of empathy for Miriel, the heroine of the story. The introduction of the prospective hero, Nicholas, had me rooting for the pair of them and there was never any doubt in my mind that they belonged together. However, from their initial meeting their respective lives take very different courses and I was enthralled as events unfolded especially as I had no idea where they would lead.

Miriel is f
What's not to love? Perfect time period 1216. Characters are so real you feel like you know them all your life. You really want to see Robert Willoughby go down. You love Nicholas because he is pure of heart and reason. Miriel brings you on a roller coaster ride. You feel her sense of wanting to be free from her stepfather and her mother and the convent where she does not belong. You understand her decisions to marry a much older man. Who wouldn't make such a move given her circumstances? What I ...more
Deborah Pickstone
Unremittingly dreadful. Poor characterisation, unbelievable characters, stereotyping of King John in a way that defied belief - kids, what she said he did is a big fat lie; no-one know what happened to Arthur and no-one EVER suggested John was literally raving mad apart from a few bad writers. Also writes 'forsoothly'.

I am sorry to write this as EC is much more capable than appears here, despite my last review. But then I notice this was first published in 1999 when she'd been writing 8 or 9 yea
Sharlene Stovall
I loved this book. It's just the kind of historical fiction that I enjoy. Great character development, interwoven lives, suspense and a well woven tale. I will definitely be looking for other novels from this author.
Maria McArdle
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fast moving story with strong characters and vivid descriptions that create a real atmosphere of the period. Have learned much about the wool trade of 13th century.
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A terrific story sent in 13th century England. There's some "historical fiction" here but mostly it's just a tale of adventure & romance. The characters really came alive.
Sep 02, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I honestly can’t remember how I came upon this author’s work but the first book I read by her was Daughters of the Grail, which was a fascinating story about the Cathars. So most likley I probably found it soon after I read Labyrinth by Kate Mosse which also dealt with the Cathars and I wanted to know more. After I read Daughters of the Grail, I quickly ordered a few more books by Elizabeth Chadwick from the Book Depository. This is the second book I’ve read of hers and it was another great read ...more
Jul 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Another environment lush, character vivid, and story intense work from Elizabeth Chadwick! Not only does this author spin a good yarn, but she transports her readers to another world with problems, dilemmas, and battles all its own, and yet a world that is very much like our own as well. History comes alive in her hands, and that's one of the main reasons I keep coming back to her, again and again.

I loved how the author concentrated on the middle class of medieval society in this work, not the l
Aug 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommended to Nisareen by: Deborah O'Regan
In The Marsh King's Daughter, Chadwick takes a departure from her usual stories about royalty and nobility and brings the real people of the era to life - from wool traders to thieves, pirates and cut-throats. Set in 1216 during the last days of King John's reign, the book opens with the loss of King John's treasure while crossing the Wash, the large bay that separates East Anglia from Lincolnshire.

When Miriel Weaver is forced into a convent by her violent stepfather, she struggles to adapt to
Mar 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the fall of 1216, following a stalemate in his battles against the barons and shortly before he died, King John was returning west. Along the way, he is said to have lost a significant part of his baggage train while crossing a tidal estuary. The losses included, according to legend, the Crown Jewels.

The Marsh King's Daughter tells the fictional story of two people -- Miriel Weaver and Nicholas de Caen -- and how the finding of some of this treasure impacts their lives, not always for the goo
Another excellent Chadwick. This time the main characters are entirely invented though some of the minor characters are actual historical figures. The main plot-bunny is that intriguing question... what did happen to King John's royal regalia? Was it really lost in the Wash?

When Miriel Weaver is forced into a convent by her violent stepfather, she sees the opportunity to escape when nursing the wanted rebel Nicholas de Caen back to health. It doesn't all quite go to plan, but Miriel does get awa
May 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Of the Elizabeth Chadwick books I've read, this was one of my favorites thus far. Yes, the plotline is a little improbable, but it was coherent. And let's face it, these are basically nice diversionary love story novels with enough historical veracity that you can tell yourself they're a cut above trashy romances. If that's what you're looking for, this book will absolutely fit the bill. Chadwick specializes a lot in the "spirited female heroine" genre, and sometimes I find her female leads a li ...more
Kevin Reekie
Dec 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kevin by:
This is the second book I have read from this author. Absolutely outstanding storytelling that brings the characters and the period of history alive.
The book is set during and after the reign of King John 1216. It is the story of Miriel weaver, step-daughter to a successful weaving family and a a soldier serving with King John. Miriel is banished by her wicked step-father to a nunnery and whilst there she saves the live of a soldier Nicholas de Caen who was nearly killed in a royal procession cr
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Actually, I'd give it a 2 1/2. It wasn't quite good enough for a three. I've read two other books by Ms. Chadwick that I liked really well so I expected to like this one. I liked it, but not especially well. The story was interesting, but too long. Also, there was WAY too much explicit sex and I did a lot of skipping. Fortunately, most of the time skipping to the next track worked, but sometimes this activity lasted for more than one. This story was not as grounded in history as the two previous ...more
Jan 17, 2013 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Miriel is sent to the convent by her stepfather, she is unhappy and thoughts of leaving are forever on her mind. Escape is made easy by Nicholas who she nurses back to live and then demands that he help her in payment.

Nicholas has secrets of his own and doesn't wish to have his plans affected by having to escort a runaway nun but he helps Miriel anyway and lives to regret it.

That's how the book begins, but a lot more happens to both of them as the years go by, and in the style of Chadwi
Sara Giacalone
May 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a little torn on this one. I love Elizabeth Chadwick's books and typically read them very fast as they are impossible to put down - and this one is no exception. So for pure readability, I have to give it a 4 star review. I wasn't as fond of the main character however, and found the plot to be a tad predictable and the characters a bit two dimensional. The fact that I couldn't put this book down despite its flaws makes it a keeper. I did like the fact that Elizabeth picked this particular mo ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 09, 2015 05:10PM  
  • Within the Fetterlock
  • The Heart of the Lion (Plantagenet Saga, #3)
  • Roselynde (The Roselynde Chronicles, #1)
  • The Lute Player
  • Born of the Sun (Dark Ages of Britain, #2)
  • The Traitor's Wife: A Novel of the Reign of Edward II
  • The Reckoning  (Welsh Princes, #3)
  • The Seventh Son
  • Wintercombe (Wintercombe, #1)
  • I Am the Chosen King (Saxon #1)
  • The Secret Eleanor
  • Olivia And Jai (Olivia and Jai, #1)
  • A Catch of Consequence (Makepeace Hedley)
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
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“I know the difference between the confection of live as sung in a minstrel's tale and the sustaining bread of love in reality, he defended himself. Both are to be savoured in their own way.” 0 likes
“It came to him that life moved in circles like the ripples radiating from a stone cast into a pool. . . Now he was on the outer ring of the last ripple, journeying to fulfill the cycle. Or perhaps the cycle was already complete and he was about to cast another stone.” 0 likes
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