I received a review copy of this novel from Sourcebooks. This in no way affected my opinions.
For the King's Favor is only my second Chadwick read after The Greatest Knight. Now, I liked The Greatest Knight well enough, but I loved For the King's Favor. I'm not big on medievals, but this may start changing soon.
For the King's Favor (also known as The Time of Singing) tells the story of Roger Bigod, 2nd Earl of Norfolk and Ida de Tosney, ward and mistress to Henry II and mother to one of his sons.
Ida, in order to take control of her own life by choosing the man she wants to marry, instead of waiting for the king to pick, she must make the greatest sacrifice a mother can make. In order to be free and marry Roger, she must be separated from her child. Being the oldest male heir, Roger is fighting his step mother and half brothers for the title of Earl of Norfolk, a battle that goes on for over a decade.
Roger and Ida make a life for themselves and their growing family while being haunted by their pasts and unaware of the turmoils of their futures.
This was seriously a good book. The 12th century came alive. The sights, sounds and unfortunately, the smells. Whew. Roger Bigod was a great character and I actually liked him better than William Marshall (who makes several appearances in this book). He had strength and character and the ability to check his own flaws.
Filled with sacrifice, sibling rivalry and war, For the King's Favor is truly a gem.