Shield Of Three Lions (Alix of Wanthwaite #1)


Shield Of Three Lions (Alix of Wanthwaite #1) - by Pamela Kaufman pages
Book Blurb: Eleven-year-old Alix is the daughter of the baron of Wanthwaite, whose lands along the Scottish border are among the best in England. But when her family is killed and her lands seized, Alix is forced to flee from the only home she’s ever known. Her one hope of restoring her inheritance is to plead her case to King Richard the Lion Heart, who is far away in France, preparing to go on his Crusade. Alix resolves to follow him. She cuts her hair, dresses as a boy, and takes the road south to London.
Disguised as a beautiful young boy, Alix is more than befriended by the handsome and mysterious King Richard, even becoming his favorite page. Their relationship sets tongues wagging and places Alix in considerable danger as the battle for Jerusalem unfolds.
My Review: 4.5 stars
This is a bawdy, often crudely funny historical tale based on the fictionalized character of Alix of Wanthwaite. I knew nothing about this book, the author and very little about this time period however I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this well written story that I picked up at the library. It was originally published in 1958 so this novel has stood the test of time. Younger readers will compare this story to Disney’s Mulan who also disguises herself as a boy in order to honor her family.  However this character differs as she is complete with wit, a sense of adventure, the challenge of becoming a young woman in the company of men and the unexpected romance. Language is an odd mix of scots, gaelic and other dialects but it was simple to capture the meaning when used and added to the reality of the story. This book was filled with heroes, villains, twists and turns, adventure and romance and the lush landscapes of Scotland.  
Quotes I liked:
“I thought of the terrible events of the day. The very worst was drinking Scottish blood, for while I knew the vow of brotherhood didn’t hold since I wasn’t a boy and could be no one’s brother, I wasn’t sure that I wasn’t a Scot. A fate worse than death.”
Tags: Historical Fiction, 2008, Romance, Scotland

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