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The Leopard Unleashed

(Ravenstow Trilogy #3)

by
3.98  ·  Rating details ·  736 ratings  ·  58 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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Average rating 3.98  · 
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Erin
Dec 29, 2009 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
...more
Misfit
Aug 20, 2008 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
Leila
i am a big fan of Elizabeth Chadwick and really enjoyed this one the last in the trilogy. Elizabeth's historical novels are eminently readable.
Krista Claudine Baetiong
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
...more
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:
http://www.epinions.com/review/Elizab...
...more
Michelle M
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
5/6
I liked this one better than book two, probably because the main pair was most similar to Judith and Guy. Olwen was clearly made to be disliked, and it worked, for me at least lol. It left off on a note that the series could be continued, if Ms Chadwick so chooses, which makes me hopeful! I know I’ll be reading this again in the future!
Lucinda
Feb 15, 2013 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
...more
Aneca
Jan 29, 2008 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
...more
Claire (Clairby11xxx)
(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
...more
Kelly
Jul 12, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Dark-Draco
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,
...more
Elizabeth Ashworth
Mar 29, 2011 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
Helen
Sep 06, 2012 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
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
...more
Sharon
Sep 09, 2011 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.
Obidiwhite
Apr 15, 2015 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 ! ...more
Elis Madison
Mar 13, 2014 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.
Susana
Sep 20, 2016 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.
Mela
Ok, again, not the best of Chadwick but still very good. Nonetheless, I really recommend (for new readers) reading one of her later novels, e.g. Shadows and Strongholds or The Winter Mantle. Probably her latest books are even better but I haven't read them yet.

What can I add, there was an adventure, a romance and historical accuracy. Reading Chadwick's stories one lives in the medieval world. Here (along with other more typical aspects of those times described in other books) was a bit about the
...more
Ann
Feb 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Quite an enjoyable historical novel. I may look out for the previous novels in the series. Just a couple of anomalies, I wasn't too sure about Adam's take on family planning, I think a nobel in the 12th century would have wanted more than one son!! I wasn't convinced by Olwen, I don't think she would have got away with what she did. It was first published in 1992 and perhaps the attitudes towards how women are depicted in literature are rather dated.
Tracey
not the most interesting historical read , but some good characters. Two very strong female characters .
Diana Davis
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written! I have truly been enthralled with each of her books.
Christine Byleveld
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent as always.
Ian Billick
Dec 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Enjoyable historical fiction. Vivid characters. Disappointing that it is the last in the series.
Marilyn Hogan
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Trilogy

Loved all three of these books, it's hard to put the book down, recommended if you want a good read
RJC
May 11, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Third of the trilogy, the author does throw the names of Earls and Lords around. Enjoyed it.
Shannon Stewart-Whitlock
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Captivating
Christie
Apr 30, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Renard is a crusader in Antioch, who meets the tantalizing dancer Olwyn. Called home because his father is dying, Renard brings Olwyn along with him, even though he has been promised in marriage to Elene, the heiress to land important to his family. Torn between duty and passion, Renard also finds himself in the midst of civil war, where both women will have to save him.

I picked this book up from a library book sale a few years ago because it looked interesting. Read it now because I was stuck
...more
Nisareen
Jun 27, 2012 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
...more
Emmy
Jan 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: medieval, wales
3.5

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
...more
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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

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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