Templar Silks

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 14 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

Whenever I get the chance to read an Elizabeth Chadwick book I take it. And this book did not disappoint. It also doesn't hurt that I really do like William Marshall. Now as far as historical accuracy in this book I have no idea how close it is to what really happened. And for one I really don't care, to me, this is a historical fiction book and any facts that happened are just icing on the cake.

This book is more of a recollection from William as he is close to death's door. That part of the story did take a little bit of time for me to really get into. But I just loved the settings and the characters in this book. 

If you like historical fiction, especially this time period or stories about William Marshallgive this book a try you will not be disappointed.
Was this review helpful?
Although an enjoyable, well written novel, this was not one of my favourite of Chadwick's books - I think this may have been mostly due to the plot which didn't grip me. However it was still a strong novel, and I will continue to read more of her novels in future.
Was this review helpful?
Really enjoyed this book. It kept me interested all the way through. I would definitely recommend to a fellow reader. I like the cover as well.
Was this review helpful?
This book is one meant to be savored. It is a story of reflection and appreciation for the paths life leads one to. I haven't read any other books in this series and I didn't feel lost at all while reading this book. I rarely take so long to read a book but this one caused me to pause. It isn't a fast paced read but smooth and somewhat melodious. Chadwick crafted a wonderful tale that allows the reader to both reflect on what they are reading about Marshal and also to reflect on their own life. Marshal is an interesting character and I am looking forward to reading some of the other books in the series.
Was this review helpful?
This is a fictional historical account of William Marshall.  He was a knight, and he served King Henry, and during that period the king and his men robbed a shrine dedicated to the virgin Mary.  The king died from dysentery a few weeks later.  William agreed to take the king's robe and place it in the temple dedicated to christ in Jerusalem.  This they believed would atone for the sin of their robbery.  This story vacillates between William just prior to his death and his time in Jerusalem.  It's very detailed, and has a lot of historical facts about his life and journey.  Both William and his brother are faced with peril when trying to get to Jerusalem and upon their return trip.  It was fascinating, and I became embroiled the time period and how William came to receive the Templar silks that would serve as a shroud upon his death.
Was this review helpful?
When I read historical fiction, I want to learn. You can be assured that with this series you will learn much.  The author is known for her careful research which is much to be appreciated. I enjoyed the character of William Marshall as seen by the author. There is romance and action in this story and it kept me captivated.  
Many thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
I was lucky I got this book from Netgalley because I have not had much luck with many good books I've wanted to read. Those on the wish list never come my way so this was one was a really good break for me.

Told in two different time lines though in the lifetime of one person - William - the story delves into the personal and political life of both the Kings of England the political strife of Jerusalem and the difficulty in holding on to it in the face of Saladin.

Descriptive in detail from both the workings of households in both states, to the journey itself. Perilous, facing brigands and treacherous weather it was a pilgrimage in adverse conditions and from which many did not return alive. It was also no ordinary turn around journey William and his group spent several years in Jerusalem, lived there under the patronage of eminent folk, he became a secular Templar and this added another dimension to the story.

The telling of his story towards the end of his life when death was around the corner was poignant and far sighted. A life story of great interest, the story thrown back to decades before when William was in his prime was out of a fantasy. Overcoming odds, making decisions which were vital for the groups survival were all mind blowing. I loved the juxtaposition of both history and personal melding together very well into a whole.

Ancient history told in a way to capture the interest of any modern reader.
Was this review helpful?
What a wonderful story!!
If you like a bit of history and the templars history especially, this book is definitely for you.
I admit it’s a very long book and it took me almost 3 weeks to read a few pages or chapters every day because I wanted to absorb everything, every little detail so wonderful written and described in this journal from France to Jerusalem. A journey full of dangerous situations, different languages,cultures and civilisations. 
So many feelings and so much despair, jealousy, love affairs and murderous thought, so many memories about family and life difficulties. 
I absolutely loved it.
#NetGalley #SourcebooksLandmark
Was this review helpful?
I have been a fan of Elizabeth Chadwick's writing for what feels like ages. She has a brilliance for writing well-researched, engaging and unforgettable historical fiction. In Templar Silks, this proves to be the case once again. I love the way she fleshes out the characters, the way they interact with their circumstances and the way that they work their way into my heart. The author masterfully tells a story, sets a scene and displays her research. I will always pick up a novel written by this author. A guaranteed win, and a definite recommend.
Was this review helpful?
Templar Silks is the story of William Marshall's time in the Holy Land. Like all of Elizabeth Chadwick's books it is rich in historical detail and although the author says that much of it is imagined it is completely believable. 
Of the many Elizabeth Chadwick books I have read the ones about William Marshall, England's Greatest Knight, are my favourites. Marshall is brought to life by Chadwick and becomes a cross as a compelling character, strong, loyal and with complete integrity. 
This week s a must read for any fan of historical novels.
Was this review helpful?
This book has everything. Templars, Jerusalem, intrigue, lust, love, and swordfighting. I started reading this book slowly during my last semester of school, but was trailed along by it because of it's wonderful story weaving. William (Gwim) is a crusader sent to the Holy Land to deliver his master (Prince Henry)'s cloak to Jesus's tomb. However, many different issues come about and it is not as smooth of sailing as one would hope. The true story of William Marshal is very interesting and quite colorful. Ms. Chadwick does a wonderful job portraying the interesting and daring exploits of Marshal in this land far from his home. As a fan of any sort of Templar fiction, this fit the bill and I greatly enjoyed following his journey from England and back again. I would suggest that anyone with an interest in historical fiction snaps this book up as soon as it's available.
Was this review helpful?
Having discovered Elizabeth Chadwick with her wonderful Eleanor of Aquitaine Trilogy I was delighted to be able to review Templar Silks. 
Chadwick has an amazing eye for detail in her writing. Never does the description feel laboured or over long, but rather there is an assault on the senses of the reader. Here, with the setting of this novel being the opulence of the Jerusalem Court of the the 1100’s , there is real scope to work her magic. Whether we are in the throes of battle or the inner sanctum of a court Mistress, Chadwick is skilled at drawing the reader into the novel. Her sense of place is excellent. 
This level of detail is testament to  just how well researched this novel is. Whilst it is documented that William Marshall did actually spend time in Jerusalem, his actions there  are largely unknown. This gives the author tremendous creative freedom, which in a historical novel can be both a blessing and a curse. The great challenge is always to stay true to character and importantly period. Through impeccable research Chadwick pulls it off.
Her portrayal of a life governed by earthly and spiritual duty is rich and colourful. Marshall is an honourable but flaw man, living in  treacherous  times. 
As with the Eleanor Trilogy there are strong female characters. Characters that use what power they have to make their own mark in a male dominated and often brutal world. Chadwick is often concerned with love but she is always concerned with power, and how the power balance is a constantly and ruthless shifting in uncertain times.
It was a pleasure to spend some time in this novel. Evocative and highly readable.
Was this review helpful?
I am a fan of Ms. Chadwick and her narration of history in the Medieval times. The period of history with King Henry and Queen Eleanor and their sons have long fascinated me.  William Marshall is a colorful real life character who has been well fleshed out in her books. This book however did not have the same impact as some of her other books. 
William Marshall is on his death bed and is finally ready to publicly claim his long hidden affiliation. The story alternates between the death vigil by his family and his time in the holy land. This is a bit disconcerting because some of the death bed chapters I wanted to quickly skip past while the sojourn in the Holy Land was fascinating.  Ms. Chadwick's writing brought alive a time in history in living color.  I could smell the spices and scents and sense the treachery that surrounds the knights and the templars. 
All in all a great book that missed being brilliant and squeeworthy.
Was this review helpful?
I love Elizabeth Chadwick books and this was a good one.
I was fascinated by the story, the characters and the well researched historical background.
It was an engaging and entertaining read, a very good historical fiction.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Was this review helpful?
When Elizabeth Chadwick writes historical fiction, you know you can expect a great read and this book is no exception. I picked it up at every waking moment and did not want it to end. Fully emerged in the world of kings, queens and crusades I devoured every sentence. Well crafted, fast paced, intriguing and exciting are just a few words that come to mind.

Late 12th century. We follow the Great Knight William Marshal and his men on a pilgrimage from France to Jerusalem, doing penance for losing king Henry's son in a raid. The journey takes us through different cultures, different religions, harsh landscapes and rough situations before finally arriving in The Holy City of Jerusalem. Here we attend court, the scheming ladies, the jealous men, the love affairs and the battles with the Muslim army.
Throughout the book there's a great presence of the Templar Knights, which intrigued me most. Their total dedication to God, fight to the death without question, their support for the lesser man in society, their protection of the pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem. Magnificent!

In between the long chapters are short interludes with William in the year 1219, on his deathbed at Caversham Manor in England, his memories from the past years playing tricks with him while under the influence of a poppy draft. His family is nearby as he slowly succumbs to his last breath. A beautiful way to keep the reader in awe of this Great Knight.

Templar Silks is superb historical fiction that will stay with me for a long time. Highly recommended!

Thank you Netgalley and Sourcebook Landmark for the ARC.
Was this review helpful?
Thankyou to NetGalley, Sourcebooks Landmark and the author, Elizabeth Chadwick, for the opportunity to read an advanced readers copy of Templar Silks in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.
I loved reading this book.  The imagery, the characters and the well written storyline provide a fantastic read
Elizabeth Chadwick does not disappoint.
Well worth a read.
Was this review helpful?
When his lord Henry, the Young King, dies of dysentery William Marshall goes on pilgrimage to the Holy Land in order to atone for the sins he, and his young master, committed. Once in Jerusalem, William finds himself more and more ensnared in the politics of Outremer (the name used in medieval France to refer to those French territories, such as the Holy Land, that were beyond the sea).

Central to the novel is William’s affair with Pascia de Riveri, the concubine of the Patriarch of Jerusalem. The two of them feel an immediate attraction for one another, and Chadwick compellingly conveys the deep and powerful sexual bond they share. Sex scenes are notoriously easy to do badly, but the novel avoids this, straddling the fine line between the prurient and the genuinely sensual and erotic. What’s more, she makes it clear that William sees in Pascia not just an object of his desire, but a woman with whom he genuinely wants to build a future. For her part, Pascia emerges as a woman very conscious of the role that she plays in this world; for all of her seeming self-assurance, she knows that she remains beholden to the patriarch for what little worldly power she has.

Chadwick acknowledges that much of the novel’s narrative is fictional, since we do not really know what Marshall did during his sojourn in the Holy Land. That being said, she is adept at providing a compelling and richly layered portrait of the land and the key political players, ranging from the strutting but incompetent Guy de Lusignan, the noble but dying King Baldwin (known to many as the Leper King), the worldly and urbane Patriarchh Heraclius and, most importantly, Paschia de Riveri herself. These are men and women who are contradictory and rich as any to be found in historical fiction.

I was particularly drawn to Baldwin, the doomed king who nevertheless does everything in his power to do right by his people. I’ve always been fascinated by this figure, ever since I saw him portrayed (hauntingly) by Edward Norton in the 2005 Kingdom of Heaven. For William, he is one of the few people in the Holy Land who seems to possess both nobility and honour, though he is hampered by his physical ailments from being the king that his land needs. As a result, William can only watch helplessly as the matters careen out of control after the king’s death, until he at last takes the opportunity to go back to his home.

The novel is largely framed as a flashback as William lies dying in his home in England. Indeed, some of the most moving moments of the novel occur as he confronts the fact that he must soon leave behind his earthly responsibilities, and it is clear that William truly loves his wife, the woman with whom he has built a life. However, he holds a secret from her–one that has to do with the Templar silks of the title–that will stain their last hours together. Passionate, headstrong, and deeply honourable, Marshall emerges from the novel as a man that you can definitely cheer for. He’s not perfect by any means, but is still a man who does everything he possibly can to protect those that he loves.

Chadwick has a keen eye for physical and atmospheric detail, and I really felt myself immersed in the beautiful but deadly world of the Middle Ages. I was particularly impressed with her ability to draw out the small details that make a novel truly shine: the rich, loving relationship between Willim and his younger brother Ancel; the smells and tastes of a different world; the small dog (named Pilgrim) that joins William and his company on their journey to the Holy Land.

All in all, Templar Silk is a poignant and exquisite exploration of the power of one important man’s attempt to make sense of his life. This is highly recommended for anyone who loves the medieval period, as well as for those who love their historical fiction leavened with equal doses of politics and passion.
Was this review helpful?
This is a story of William Marshall and his trip to the crusades . I found it enjoyable but wish it had more detail
Was this review helpful?
This book was very good, an excellent historical fiction account of the crusades and the events surrounding Jerusalem and the battles with Saladin. It was a tad slow at times but I was drawn in to the descriptions and imagery. I could imagine being there.
Was this review helpful?
I've enjoyed Elizabeth Chadwick novels before so requested this one because of the author. This one is about William Marshal, whom I didn't know a lot about before reading, in the time of the Crusades. Marshal's lord orders a raid on church riches in order to pay his mercenary soldiers as a practical move, but afterwards Marshal takes a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with his lord's cloak to save both their souls. 

The beginning was a little slow for me, but necessary to put events into context. Once the journey begins, Chadwick's engaging writing style brought the characters to life and I was soon engrossed and feeling every challenge and setback as if I were there.

I also learned some history I didn't know before, which is what I look for in Historical Fiction.

The political intrigues as an heir is sought for a dying king of Jerusalem captured me like an addictive soap opera. Everyone vying for favour and a ruler playing people, even his own sister, like chess pieces reflects the era too accurately in a time when alliances were made with marriages and positions could be won or lost through a whim of a king.

I lost a little interest as the romance angle played out and found myself wondering if it was a historical element or something the author put in to have a romance angle, but overall the story was interesting and covered a lot of historical ground.
Was this review helpful?