Ivanhoe Read-Along: Week 4 Recap


Today ends week four of the Ivanhoe read-along.  We’ve read chapters 26 – 31, 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, and the previous weeks’ recaps are here and here and here.  Below is the chapter breakdown:

  • 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

An interesting little fact about Sir Walter Scott: He married Charlotte Genevieve Charpentier on Christmas Eve, 1797, after only 3 weeks of courtship.

[SPOILERS]  Not much happens in this week’s chapters, but at the same time, it feels like everything happens.  Locksley, his men, and the Black Knight storm the castle after Wamba switches places with Cedric.  Front-de-Boeuf is gravely injured by the Black Knight, and then dies in a fire that Ulrica, the daughter of Torquilstone, sets in a final act of revenge for her family being killed.  Ulrica dies as one of the castle turrets collapses, De Bracy surrenders and is taken prisoner, and the Templar runs off with Rebecca.  Athelstane attempts to save her, believing that she’s the lady Rowena, but he’s killed(?) by the Templar.  [SPOILERS]

Is it horrible that I like Ulrica?  I really like Ulrica.  I think I know who the Black Knight is, but I won’t say anything until I know for sure.  I’ve had my suspicions for quite a while now, so hopefully we’ll find out in the next few chapters.  I also think that, unless something goes ridiculously wrong with the story, I will be adding this book to my Through the Magic Door list.  With the exception of the Romantic era writing style, many of the story’s other elements remind me of The Princess Bride by William Goldman.  Action! Adventure! True Love!  Oh, and the following line that made me giggle:

“I am ready,” answered Athelstane, “to stand the worst of their malice, and shall walk to my death with as much composure as ever I did to my dinner.”

I just can’t read that line with a straight face, despite Athelstane saying it in all seriousness.

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

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