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The King's Jewel

On sale

13th April 2023

Price: £20

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Selected: Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9780751577600

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Wales, 1093.

The warm, comfortable family life of young Nesta, daughter of Prince Rhys of Deheubarth, is destroyed when her father is killed and she is taken hostage. Her honour is further tarnished when she is taken as an unwilling concubine by King William’s ruthless younger brother Henry, who later ascends the throne under suspicious circumstances.

But it is Nesta’s marriage that will really change the course of her life. Gerald FitzWalter, an ambitious young knight, is rewarded for his unwavering loyalty to his new King with Nesta’s hand. He is delighted, having always admired her from afar, but Nesta’s only comfort is her return to her beloved Wales. There, she cannot help but be tempted by the handsome, charismatic and dangerous son of the Welsh prince, Owain. When he offers her the chance to join him in his plan to overthrow Norman rule she must choose between duty and desire . . .

From the award-winning and bestselling author comes the heartbreaking tale of a woman trying to survive in a man’s world – a world where the men who would protect her are dead and banished.


This novel is a stunning evocation of a turbulent age in the history of Wales from a master storyteller who knows her period well. Elizabeth Chadwick weaves a colourful tapestry of the tale of the near-legendary Princess Nesta of Deheubarth, which is at turns moving and shocking. Powerfully written and deeply engaging, I cannot recommend it highly enough.
David Gilman, author of TO KILL A KING
The King's Jewel tells the intriguing journey of a fascinating woman, Nesta, whose life and love mingle with the blood of war. Nesta is a survivor, a woman of her time unashamed of her feelings and desires. Vivid characters inhabit every page. This is as good as historical fiction gets.
Barbara Erskine, author of THE DREAM WEAVERS
A compelling story of a passionate and complex woman, whose life was inextricably woven into the early history of Wales. Elizabeth has created one of her most intriguing and contradictory characters yet in this brilliant book. I loved it.
Miranda Malins, author of THE REBEL DAUGHTER
Raw and romantic, The King's Jewel is an epic tale of one woman's survival in the wild west of 11th century Wales. In Elizabeth Chadwick's skilled hands, the real Nesta emerges through the mists of history to draw us into her extraordinary life. A timeless story of love and loyalty, revenge and resilience.
Stephanie Dray, author of THE WOMEN OF CHATEAU LAFAYETTE
In The King's Jewel, Elizabeth Chadwick proves once again why she stands at the pinnacle of historical fiction. With unparalleled mastery, she delves into the life of Nesta ferch Rhys, a figure etched with the complexities of historical politics. Chadwick's narrative transcends the traditional confines of history, exploring the intricate dynamics of power, betrayal, and survival. Through the lens of Nesta's tumultuous experiences Chadwick crafts a story that is as provocative as it is enlightening. Her portrayal of Nesta presents a character whose decisions and relationships reflect the stark realities of her time. Elizabeth Chadwick's work is a beacon for those who seek to immerse themselves in a past that is both alien and familiar, challenging and inspiring.
Sharon Bennett Connolly, author of HEROINES OF THE TUDOR WORLD
Elizabeth builds an engaging story of a young woman who makes the most of a life forced upon her, but whose instinct to rebel sees her make decisions that are not always in her best interests...Chadwick creates a captivating story that will keep the reader enthralled to the very end...A thoroughly enjoyable novel...I can't recommend it highly enough!
Jane Johnson, author of THE SEA GATE
When you pick up a novel by Elizabeth Chadwick you always know you are going to be swept into a tale told in glorious Technicolour, full of wonderful characters, and thrilling adventure, and The King's Jewel is no exception. I always love to feel I am learning when I read a good historical, and I know that when I read Chadwick's work, I can totally trust her to have researched every detail. Nesta is a particularly arresting protagonist, and you cannot help but feel for Gerald, who is drawn with care and empathy. Authentic, exciting, romantic, and gorgeously woven, this is historical fiction at its best.