Lords of the White Castle – Elizabeth Chadwick

An excellent historical novel from Elizabeth Chadwick, telling the (true) story of Fulke FitzWarin, growing from squire to knight to outlaw to Lord of Whittington in the Welsh Marches during the reigns of Henry II, absentee Crusader King Richard the Lionheart and treacherous King John.

The love story strand tells of his marriage to Maude le Vavasseur, the politics feature Llywelyn the Great, Hubert Walter, Ranulph of Chester, and the action takes place throughout the lands of the Angevin Empire, which stretches across the English Channel.

What I enjoyed most about this novel was the balance between the male and female characters – Maude le Vavasseur wasn’t portrayed as a damsel in distress, predestined to fall into the strong arms of Fulke FitzWarin (having overcome some obstacles in the path to true love, naturally). Instead we get to see these two main characters develop from childhood to adults, carefully picking their way through the tricky politics of the period, maturing as individuals and developing relationships as one does in real life.

Amazon.co.uk link: Lords of the White Castle – Elizabeth Chadwick