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A place beyond courage by Elizabeth Chadwick
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A place beyond courage (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Elizabeth Chadwick

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2261351,336 (3.99)27
Member:countrylife
Title:A place beyond courage
Authors:Elizabeth Chadwick
Info:London : Sphere, 2007.
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A Place Beyond Courage by Elizabeth Chadwick (2007)

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4.5 Stars

A Place Beyond Courage tells the story of John FitzGilbert, marshal to England's King Henry II and father to William Marshall, who is himself the subject of an Elizabeth Chadwick novel titled The Greatest Knight. In his years of dedicated service to his king, John's loyalty has never been questioned, but when Henry II dies and his nephew Stephen claims the throne, John finds his position at court no longer secure and is forced to make a decision about where to place his loyalties. But committing himself to Empress Matilda's cause puts John's life and lands under constant threat from the King and his supporters. After several years of conflict, John forms an alliance with one of his enemies in an effort to keep his lands safe. This alliance, however, means John must divorce his wife, Aline, a woman better suited for life in a convent, and marry Sybilla, the daughter of his enemy. Although initially wed for purely strategic purposes, John and Sybilla's marriage turns into a love match, and together they meet head on the challenges that face both them and their country.

One of the things I like best about Chadwick's novels is the rich historical detail woven into each story. This detail vividly brings to life the eras in which Chadwick's novels are set. I also appreciate how Chadwick is able to strike the right balance between the character-driven aspects of her plot and those aspects that, along with rich historical detail, create a strong sense of time and place. As a result, readers become intimately familiar not only with Chadwick's characters, but also with the personalities and events that shaped the world they lived in. A Place Beyond Courage is no exception, painting vibrant portraits of both John FitzGilbert and Sybilla of Salisbury, while also chronicling King Stephen and Empress Matilda's war for the English crown that permeated virtually every aspect of their lives.

Highly recommended to all readers of historical fiction, especially those with an interest in the medieval era and English history. ( )
  Melissa_J | Jan 16, 2016 |
I wasn't really familiar with John FitzGilber (father of William Marshal) before I read yhis book so it was interesting. I think the first part of book was little boring, mainly because I didn't like Aline. But after John married Sybilla the book kept getting better. Hence the 3 stars... ( )
1 vote Elysianfield | Mar 30, 2013 |
I must say I was quite disappointed in this book, it was more of a romance with a bit of history thrown in. The Blurb on the back promised so much but the book failed to deliver. The title would make think that this was a book of pace and adventure, believe me it wasn't. If you enjoy romantic wishy washy females and strong manly men you may like it! Sadly I am not so keen! ( )
  Glorybe1 | Mar 29, 2013 |
22. Pearl Ruled

Rating: 2* of five (p108)

The Book Description: The early twelfth century is a time for ambitious men to prosper, and royal servant John FitzGilbert is one of them. But when the old king dies and his successor is appointed, John faces a terrible choice: he must join the rival faction-his enemies- or risk losing everything. His new wife helps him carry his burden, but his final choice will seal not only her fate, but those of his young children.

As the fight for England's crown enters a new phase, John may be forced to make a terrible sacrifice...

My Review: I know you're all familiar with the Mary Rose, Henry VIII's sunken battleship, and the mystery surrounding her loss in the Battle of the Solent in 1545. That's the kind of audience I attract, all five of y'all.

So when I say “I foundered like the Mary Rose,” I know y'all will instantly picture a mighty carrack, gunports hazed in smoke, bravely firing upon the hated French Navy's galleys, when suddenly the vast edifice heels to starboard, takes on water, and vanishes beneath the waves.

Aline laid her cheek against his breast and struggled not to weep. He had said he wanted her to be steadfast. “Thank you, my lord, thank you.”

Above her, she heard him sigh. He tilted up her chin, kissed her damp cheek, then sought a fresh tunic. She saw him note the jumbled state of the coffer contents, but he said nothing. Aline dug her fingernails into the palms of her hands, and swore to try harder. (p108, US softcover edition)

The mighty ship of my pleasure in history, and in historical fiction, sank beneath the waves of the River Lethe, as all memory of consciousness and its cares and woes leaked from my snoring, drooling mouth. ( )
  richardderus | Nov 18, 2012 |
A PLACE BEYOND COURAGE by Elizabeth Chadwick is an heart-wretching historical fiction set in 1130. “Based on the true story of John FitzGilbert, marshal to three kings and one empress.” What a gripping tale of honor,pride,betrayal,courage,loyalty,and sacrifice. Written with vivid descriptions and characters that will captivate,and hold your heart. *You will need tissues for this one,especially toward the end of the story*. Ms. Chadwick has written a story that is gut-wretching as will as thrilling,fast paced with twists and turns. It will take you back to a Medieval era. FitzGilbert had not only honor and courage but a steadfast duty to king and country at all cost. What an amazing man! I don’t believe I could have done what he did,but you must read this story to find more about what sacrifice he chose to make for his king,and country. “A Place Beyond Courage” will captivate any reader who enjoys not only historical fiction but who also enjoys historical romance,Medieval era,and a visit with men of honor. A must read! Received for an honest review from the publisher. Details can be found at the author’s website,Sourcebooks Landmark,and My Book Addiction and More.

RATING: 4

HEAT RATING: MILD

REVIEWED BY: AprilR, My Book Addiction and More/My Book Addiction Reviews ( )
  MyBookAddiction | Nov 4, 2012 |
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The novel centers around John FitzGilbert the Marshal, otherwise John Marshal (c. 1105 – 1165). He was involved in the English civil war between Mathilda (or Maud) and Stephen. He had two wives, Aline and Sybilla, and by the latter was the father of the more famous William Marshal.
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The early 12th century is a time for ambitious men to prosper, and royal servant John FitzGilbert is one of them. Raised high, as the kin of the deceased King Henry battle each other for England's throne, John reaps rich rewards but pays a terrible price for the choices he makes - as do his family.… (more)

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