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Templar Silks

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Member Reviews

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.
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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.
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This is a story of William Marshall and his trip to the crusades . I found it enjoyable but wish it had more detail
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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.
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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.
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For a time, numerous years ago, I read many, many Historical Fiction novels focused on the Kings, Queens, and nobility of old England. Enjoying them all. 

This was a wonderful opportunity to visit the period and topic. I really enjoyed learning more about the Templars and Jerusalem in the 1100s.

I received an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion. Thank you Netgalley and publisher..
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I love historical fiction.  I enjoy reading about people who had a place in history.   As the author stated in her notes, "... the reasons historical fiction exists - to explore the 'what if' and "who knows' ".  The story of William Marshall's time in Jerusalem adds another layer of intrigue to his life and the events that occurred during his service to the King of England.  The trials and tribulations that he faced in an effort to fulfill a holy vow were an everyday challenge.  William is a godly man who feels the weight of his sins and shortcomings in a deep way.  He finds conflict in an effort to serve God, serve his King, and avoid the machinations of King Baldwin's court.  I will definitely read the other books in this series..

This book was provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I read couple books of Elizabeth Chadwick in the past.
I was excited to read this book for a simple reason - the author is great and the plot will be great too (based on the books I read in the past).
Templar Silks don't disappoint! 
The author is very right to the era in the book, the plot is descriptive enough to clearly see not only the plot but also the beautiful descriptions between. Romance and character developments are nice here too.
You will learn a lot reading books by this author. If you like history and romance like me, you will want to read even more because her writing is great! Her books are long, but they are well researched!
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Templar Silks is the latest in Elizabeth Chadwick's William Marshall series. It fills in the blanks left in The Greatest Knight, of his three years in Jerusalem. The Templar silks of the title refer to the silk burial shroud that William brought back from the Holy Land, and the book imagines the time he spent there and how he acquired them. 

Ill and on his deathbed, William Marshall dozes and revisits his time in Jerusalem in between lucid moments in the present. After many escapades with the "Young King' son of Henry II, William is charged by him as he lay dying, to take his cloak to Jerusalem and lay it on the tomb of Christ at the Holy Sepulchre.  After his death William takes up the cloak and begins the pilgrimage. Jerusalem is led by King Baldwin, a young but competent king who is suffering from leprosy. Far from being the holy place that William expects, he soon finds himself immersed in the politics and feuds that are ancient Jerusalem.  And in this lies the tale of the Templar silks and how he acquires them. 

As with all of Elizabeth Chadwick's books, Templar Silks is beautifully written and thoroughly engrossing, with a cast of characters mostly based in history and very well imagined: William's brother Ancel, the Patriarch's concubine Paschia de Riveri, his nemesis Guy de Lusignan, and more.  While I truly enjoy Chadwick's exploration of female historical figures, especially those that are lesser known, William is a truly interesting character and the various dilemmas and challenges he faces will draw you in until you find you've read the day away. An outstanding read!
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Review to post May 13, 2019

As you can tell from the list of links here Elizabeth Chadwick is a favorite author, and I have read at least one more that I never reviewed here which means this is about the tenth Chadwick novel that I have read. The author has a reputation for meticulous details and an obvious passion about what she writes. A favorite character, William Marshal, is featured in several of her other historical novels and the author has created quite a following for Marshal himself, so this one should be a no-brainer.

Unfortunately for me this is not one of my favorites from the author as it truly focuses on a limited scope of Marshal's pilgrimage to Jerusalem which is something she had not been able to fit into the other novels - which would have been specifically about England and the troubles of King Henry and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine.

This novel is much more of a character study of William Marshal and his immediate relations who were with him on the journey to Jerusalem and who he met there. I found it slow going and was not very interested in William's love affair with a powerful man's mistress but found myself wishing for more direction towards his brother Ancel who truly seemed to be the humble hero in this telling. I am very aware I am in the minority of Elizabeth Chadwick followers and I will still be eager to read the rest of Chadwick's work, this one just was not a favorite for me. I prefer her writing to be more on the saga-like historicals which were broader storylines on a particular medieval time period with multiple warring families and lots of court intrigues and arranged political marriages. This novel did not interest me in particular so much that I even skimmed some pages of the very descriptive and detailed thoughts of William Marshal as he struggled between who to trust along his journey.
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4.5 stars rounded to 5. Thanks NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC. My review will be released close to book launch. It was very well researched and enjoyable, although I found much of Outremer scenes somewhat difficult and a bit slow.

William the Marshal has always been a favorite of mine also, as is anything about Henry II and Eleanor's family. That being said, I loved the past quarter of the book the best, and felt emotional at the end.

I recommend this closing chapter of the Marshals great life and of course,would love to hear more about his children's lives. Ancel perhaps also, and I adored how adroitly his brother's life was organized. 

Jean d'Early being part of the end of the story is appropriate and perfect, as were the Author's Notes ( which I wish I had read first). Recommended heartily for followers of this family and era.
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In this historical fiction Ms. Chardwick sweeps us to medieval Jerusalem where William Marshal will go to save his soul but the greatest danger he will faces there is losing his heart.

The story moves back in forth between England, 1219, with William Marshal lying on his death bed looking back upon his long-ago pilgrimage with his brother Ancel to the Holy Land then it smoothly switches to Jerusalem, 1183, where the brothers get embroiled in deadly politics, devious scheming and lusts of the powerful people ruling the kingdom. Back and forth we go.

Although this is a glossed account of the time spent in Jerusalem during the calm before the death of King Baldwin, the author’s stunning grasp of historical details of this particular period of time has definitely helped to virtually fill the gaps in a time nothing is actually known. “Templar Silks” is probably more a fiction than anything else but is richly and brilliantly written nonetheless.

The style is formal but in modern English and to be authentic to the era and the court the author leaves the names of people and place in their original French. The factual and factious elements sit together with ease giving the feel that what you read has actually happened. Although this book is set during the Holy Wars, the story is not filled with battles but more with small personal ones. Religion at that time was the backbone of Marshal’s world and he truly believes he will be damned for his actions. He needs to atone for his sins and find his path for the future….this is his final story, he died at age 72. The author is at her best describing Marshal himself and his relationship with his brother, in the ways she depicts the Templar as men of God, how she sets the political situation and plunges her protagonist in a dangerous romance…..

“The Templar Silks” is well said but I found it to be long and the many repetitive scenes did not move the narrative forward…..much too slow for my taste but an excellent read nevertheless.
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Templar Silks by the fabulous Elizabeth Chadwick is a return to an established character from previous by the name of William Marshall. 
This is another view into the life of Marshall towards the end of his life as he is reflecting on his travels to Jerusalem/The Holy Land. 
These glimpses are revealed to us and add another layer and dimension to "England's Greatest Knight". 
This novel creates imagery for the reader as to make them feel as if they were actually there.
Ms. Chadwick is an amazing author that always paints a beautiful picture and keeps the reader engaged, wishing that the novel could continue on forever. 
Anyone that has enjoyed any previous book by Chadwick will automatically love this tale as well. It is a must-read. 
5/5 stars

Thank you NetGalley for giving me the honor of reading this novel in return for an honest review.
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Chadwick is a master of medieval fiction, and she takes a few sentences from actual history and weaves a beautiful adventure story about William Marshal's journey to the Holy Land. William Marshal is grieving the loss of the son of King Henry II, who he was charged with keeping safe. To redeem himself in the eyes of Henry II, he takes it upon himself to travel to the Holy Land, disguising himself as a pilgrim. He takes along his younger brother and two knights Templar, who attempt to recruit him into their order. Marshal must keep his wits about him as betrayal lurks around every corner--possibly even love. I always recommend Chadwick to die-hard Anglophile historical fiction readers. She rarely disappoints!
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I’m a fan of the writer and read many books of hers, and this didn't disappoint. 
I would recommend going into the book blind, and be surprised with everything. It has wonderful writing, very good research. It's just a feast for historical fiction lovers. Totally recommended! 
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC. All opinions are my own.
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I’m a huge fan of the authors and have read all her previous works. I loved the fact Chadwick  decided to revisit William Marshall, in my opinion the best of her characters.
 I won’t say too much about The storyline as I don’t want to give too much away but it was a fascinating story, detailed and I read the whole book in one sitting. 
A must for any fan of historical fiction! 
I was given a ARC by NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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In Templar Silks Elizabeth Chadwick gives us another chapter in  William Marshal's life. During our introduction to William Marshal in her book The Greatest Knight, it is mentioned that he went to Outremer and Templar Silks tells the tale of his time there.  William and his knights went to the Holy Land to lay Young Henry's cloak on the Holy Sepulchre to seek forgiveness for looting holy relics to fund a war. However, they spent about 3 years in the Holy Land at the end of King Baldwin's reign.  Templar Silks is told to us as William reviews his life from his deathbed 30 years after his time in Outremer.   Tales he never told his family are remembered with a roller coaster of emotion as he thinks of enemies and friends that were left behind. 

Elizabeth Chadwick is one of the Historical Fiction authors that I always recommend. She does extensive research on her subject and weaves a beautiful book from the facts that she finds.  You will never be disappointed in her books.
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A marvellous adventure story where Elizabeth Chadwick really makes the reader feel that they are in medieval Jerusalem, and of course, the book features perhaps Ms Chadwick’s most well drawn hero, William Marshal, England’s Greatest Knight.

It is a beautifully written book, which is what I’ve come to expect from the pen of Elizabeth Chadwick. The other books that she has produced about Marshal, are totally engrossing and this one comes as a totally unexpected gift as his life story had pretty much been covered by the others; but his time on the crusade was the missing piece of the jigsaw.

In describing William’s exploits in Jerusalem where religion, power, lust, war, wealth and poverty all fight for attention, Elizabeth Chadwick has brought the period vividly to life. She has woven a splendid tale around his adventures. She also has a wide range of supporting characters, both sympathetic and at the other end of the scale, particularly vicious, for we readers to get our teeth into.

Another splendid book that an extra dimension to the Marshal’s character. It was both an exciting and deeply moving read at times.

I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher for a frank and honest review via Netgalley. I give the book Five stars.
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Based on 15%: The style of writing is descriptive. I could not get into this story to be able to continue with this book.
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