The Golden Throne
Guillaume le Mareschal is an unwanted younger son born to be a pawn in medieval Normandy. Desperate to prove himself, young Guillaume works his way from hostage to page to squire to knight, winning glory and fame on the tournament circuit. Proving himself loyal as well as a valuable adviser, Guillaume goes on to become a Crusader and a formidable warrior, serving nearly every Angevin king as the legendary knight known to history as William Marshal. But for all his well-deserved renown, the memory of a lost love haunts him all his life, threatening his hard-won happiness.
This English translation of Katia Fox’s 2010 German novel reads quite well, and the attention to historical detail is excellent. To cover an entire life in one novel, the narrative often skips great lengths of time just when you want to know what happens next, shifting ahead months or years in a single sentence; this can be frustrating, but it does prevent the pace from dragging. Sticklers for the “show, don’t tell” rule may not appreciate this approach, but other readers will enjoy it as an old-fashioned adventure told in an old-fashioned way. William Marshal is a charismatic figure who has captivated historical novelists for decades, and The Golden Throne is a worthy addition for any of his fans.