Ivanhoe Read-Along: Week 2 Recap

Ivanhoe

Today ends the second week of the Ivanhoe read-along.  We’ve read chapters 8 – 16, but if you’re a little behind, that’s OK!  I’ll mark any spoilers so you can come back after you’re caught up.  Below is the chapter break down:

  • Mon. 24th Nov. – Sun. 30th Nov.: Chapters 1 – 7
  • Mon. 1st Dec. – Sun. 7th Dec.: Chapters 8 – 16
  • Mon. 8th Dec. – Sun. 14th Dec.: Chapters 17 – 25
  • Mon. 15th Dec. – Sun. 21st Dec.: Chapters 26 – 31
  • Mon. 22nd Dec. – Sun. 28th Dec.: Chapters 32 – 38
  • Mon. 29th Dec. – Sun. 4th Jan.: Chapters 39 – 44

Sir Walter Scott chose the title of the book from an old rhyme because he felt the name “Ivanhoe” had an ancient English sound to it, and also because it says nothing about what the story is about.  This was important to him because he didn’t want readers to prejudge the story.  I have to say that, at least for myself, it worked.  I had no idea what to expect, except that the story had something to do with knights, and that only because of the cover of my copy.  I deliberately didn’t look any information up about the book itself until I had sat down to write the recap for week one.

This week’s chapters get us further into the story, and there are two big reveals!

[SPOILERS]  We find ourselves at the tournament that Issac and the palmer are headed towards.  Though it’s not spelled out for us, the Disinherited Knight that enters the tournament is, in fact, the palmer.  He proceeds to win the 1st day of the tournament and then names Lady Rowena the Queen of Beauty and Love.  He then wins the 2nd day of the tournament as well, but only because he is aided at the last minute by the Black Knight, who then disappears before the prize can be given to him.  As I said above, there are two big reveals this week.  The first one is that the palmer is actually Cedric’s estranged son, Wilfred of Ivanhoe.  The second reveal is Sir Locksley, known to most readers as Robin of Locksley, or to the general public, Robin Hood!  He comes into the story during the archery contest, which was supposed to be held during the third day.  However, Prince John gets word that King Richard is on his way back and so rushes to finish the tournament so he can plan how to take the throne once and for all.  We also find out about a plot by Maurice de Bracy to kidnap and wed the Lady Rowena, and then the story moves to the Black Knight taking refuge with the Holy Clerk of Copmanhurst.  [SPOILERS]

I’m still very much enjoying the story.  The reading is getting a little bit easier as I’m getting used to the writing, but I’m still having to look up words that aren’t familiar to me.  I also had to stop myself again from reading past this week’s chapters.

How are you enjoying the book so far?  What are your thoughts on the story, characters, setting, etc?  Please mark any spoilers.