I received a review copy of this novel from Sourcebooks. This in no way affected my opinions.
To Defy a King is another winner from Elizabeth Chadwick. A sequel of sorts to The Time of Singing/For the King's Favor, To Defy a King tells the story of Mahelt Marshal eldest daughter to William Marshal, and Hugh Bigod the eldest son of Roger Bigod.
Mahelt and Roger marry, forming a bond between the two families, but soon Mahelt feels confined under the rules of her father-in-law. Mahelt's rebelliousness soon gets her into trouble, but thankfully does not prove to have any long term negative effects on either family. As Mahelt grows older, she learns to think before she acts, but never completely loses her rebellious nature, which proves to be her strength on more then one occasion.
No major action sequences here, this is a story of people, the good, the bad, and the in between. Mahelt was definitely my kind of heroine. She hated that she was not listened to because she was a woman, and sometimes she took matters into her own hands. And John, what a nasty King he was, and that is me being kind. When he died, I just about rejoiced.
I felt for many of these characters, and there was a point where my heart completely broke for one of them, and I could not stop the tears from flowing. It's been a while since I cried like that while reading a book. I love it when a story really makes me feel like that.
I'm definitely recommending To Defy a King. I don't see why a historical fiction fan wouldn't love it.