Another strongly researched mediaeval romance from Elizabeth Chadwick, but the first that left me wondering whether I should have a break from her before reading another of her novels…. The Winter Mantle is by no means a bad book, but three generations’ worth of stories isn’t really sufficiently supported by three generations of characters and depth. And for the first time I failed to warm to any of the characters.
What you do get in exchange is a plot that shows the social and political impact of the Norman invasion of 1066 and the gradual merging of the Norman and Anglo-Saxon worlds, at a time when the Normans were building an empire on the continent that would power the Crusades – and which would once again emphasise the position of England and the English on the periphery of the Western world.
As one of the amazon reviewers put it, Elizabeth Chadwick “now writes about the period with the convictions of her obvious knowledge of the subject and has also made a subtle change from writing what were in effect historical love stories (nothing wrong with that) to historical novels with a love interest.”
Amazon.co.uk link: The Winter Mantle – Elizabeth Chadwick