The Falcons of Montabard
by Elizabeth Chadwick
Genre: Historical Fiction / Romance
Ages: 16 and up
The hero of this story is the son of Simon de Senlis of The Winter Mantle by Elizabeth Chadwick
Sabin FitzSimon is a reckless young man with a dangerous reputation with women. When his shenanigans get him beaten and the woman he was with killed, he is full of guilt. He goes to a tavern to drown his sorrows and a man ends up dead in a tavern brawl. His mother and stepfather decide that this is his last chance and they send him with Edmund Strongfist, an honorable knight, to the Holy Lands. Sabin is warned in no uncertain terms that he is to stay away from Edmund's lovely young daughter, but will he be able to avoid Edmund's dissatisfied new wife as well?
At first I was not at all sure if I liked Sabin's character at all but slowly he gained my sympathy. He slowly grew up and learned restraint and, eventually, had the chance of a true, strong love the likes of which he would never have been able to earn before. The secondary characters were also magnificent.
I loved the setting of this novel. I had never even heard of King Baldwin of Jerusalem before, let alone that he had so many adventures.
There are several uses of insulting terms in this novel, so I give it a 4.10.
There are a few scenes of pretty graphic sexuality, some vaguer scenes and fade-aways, and some rather blunt and sometimes crude references and innuendos for which I rate it a 8.10.
There are several fairly bloody battle scenes as well as a rather brutal beating, so I give it a 6.10.