By: Elizabeth Chadwich
Rated 5+++++ Stars
FROM ELIZABETH CHADWICK WEBSITE: In 1173, Roger Bigod is heir to the vast and powerful earldom of Norfolk When his treacherous father, Hugh, loses the family lands and castles in a rebellion against King Henry II, Roger finds himself in reduced circumstances and dogged by a bitter family dispute with his half brother over the remaining crumbs. Whilst trying to resolve the matter, he encounters Ida de Tosney, the King's young mistress. Seduced by Henry, Ida's gaze is now drawn to Roger in whom she sees a chance of lasting security beyond the fickle dazzle of the court. But she has to navigate a careful path between her dearest wishes and the King's reluctance to part with her. Every fulfilled wish has its price, and that price is losing the son she has borne to Henry. When King Richard comes to the throne, Roger is restored to his family's lands and becomes a great earl, and one of the richest men in England. He builds a great castle at Framlingham for himself and for Ida, but life is still riddled with uncertainty as Richard goes on crusade and the men left to govern the country quarrel their way into civil war. Ida struggles to come to terms with their new future...