About: (From Sourcebooks)
Based on a true story never before told and impeccably researched, this is a testament to the power of sacrifice and the strength of love. When Roger Bigod, heir to the powerful earldom of Norfolk, arrives at court to settle an inheritance, he meets Ida de Tosney, young mistress to King Henry II. In Roger, Ida sees a chance for lasting love, but their decision to marry carries an agonizing price. It's a breathtaking novel of making choices, not giving up, and coping with the terrible shifting whims of the king.
Why I wanted to read this book:
- I really enjoy historical fiction and the chance to glean new information about a time long ago. I'm also fascinated by English royalty..heck, any royalty actually. I like being on the sideline and trying to imagine their lives as I read a book.
Some interesting things that I learned:
- King Henry II was a child molester! What else do you call an old man who feels the need to bed a 15 year-old girl??? I just loved how he justified the whole thing and tried to convince Ida that she wasn't a whore, that she was one of the lucky ones because HE chose her. Poor girl!!!
- Being a part of the royal court is much like playing chess. Every move is strategically thought out. Nothing is ever done unless the other person can gain something from it.
- A widow could pay a widow fee to the King and if she did this then he couldn't force her to remarry. I so would've been hiding my money to save up for when my husband died. Could you imagine not having a choice in who you marry??? And being forced by the king to marry whoever he may pick? Not to mention being extorted by the King so that you didn't have to marry again...what a racket!
- I loved reading about this era in history, but I'm ever so thankful that I didn't live during that time! There is no way I would want men to have complete and utter control of my life.
- Ida de Tosney was a fascinating woman and I'm so glad that I was introduced to her by way of this book. It's amazing to me that a girl so young was put in a situation where she was forced to become the mistress of the king. From the moment the king steals her virginity, she slowly begins to lose her innocence and naivity. She finds that she needs to be clever and cunning for it would serve her well as she aged. She was a wonderful mother who suffered a loss that many of us couldn't imagine, yet she came through it with her dignity and ultimately in the end, the winner.
- I totally enjoyed the love story between Roger and Ida..very believable and beautiful.
- It was a bit heavy on the men instead of focusing on Ida. I think I would've preferred this story written from Ida's POV.
My Rating: 4/5
Source: Danielle @ Sourcebooks, Inc Publicity
Author: Elizabeth Chadwick- click on her name to visit her website
Published: September, 2010Publisher: Sourcebooks LandmarkPages: 522 (Uncorrected ARC)Genre: Historical FictionISBN: 99781402244490 © 2010, Staci of Life in the Thumb. All Rights Reserved. If you reading this on a site other than, Life in the Thumb or Staci's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.