For the King’s Favor

Written by Elizabeth Chadwick
Review by Viviane Crystal

Ida de Tosney is a very young woman when her beauty attracts the attention of King Henry II. Never quite comfortable as the king’s mistress, it is only the beginning of the pain she will endure for surrendering to the king’s choice. Meanwhile, Roger Bigod has decided to rebel against his tyrant father, the Earl of Norfolk, who is rebelling against the King. When one has nothing, there is nothing to lose by following a different path!

After giving birth to Henry’s bastard son, William, Ida asks the King to grant her a marriage to Roger, who is waiting for his petition to have his inheritance restored to him as the eldest son of the now-dead Earl of Norfolk. But the latter battle will persist for years, with increasing enmity among Roger, his stepmother and brother, Huon. It will be Ida who becomes Roger’s source of strength and deepest love, despite the hard years ahead of being King Henry’s legal representative, then King Richard’s soldier and judge, and finally beginning service to the untried and unpredictable reign of King John. The cost of Ida’s marriage will affect the rest of her life and becomes raw when Roger is away more than he is home to soothe her loss.

The tensions begin to mount, and the reader is not sure which way the loving couple will travel, together or alone. In typical Elizabeth Chadwick style, this tale is replete with details about the history and culture of late 12th-century England, a time of royal, financial, familial, marital and political conflicts that keep the reader riveted to every page. A grand read!