- Paperback: 216 pages
- Publisher: Star Publish (May 25, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1935188259
- ISBN-13: 978-1935188254
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 20 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,166,891 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Loyalty Binds Me Paperback – May 25, 2011
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"... Loyalty Binds Me is a unique novel that spins into a Richard the III alive in the twenty-first century. ... With a five hundred year old murder mystery turning hot again, Loyalty Binds Me is a highly unique twist on historical fiction and mystery, recommended."--Midwest Small Press Book Reviews, September, 2011
From the Back Cover
"Loyalty Binds Me, the second of Joan Szechtman's series of novels about Richard III in the 21st Century, brings Richard "home" to England where his past catches up with him and her has to go on the run from the British authorities. Having established himself with his new-and partly old-family, he faces losing everything again.
"Following on seamlessly from This Time, Loyalty Binds Me shows Richard III in a fresh, unexpected and very human light. A must read..."--Brian Wainwright, author of "Within the Fetterlock" and "The Adventures of Alianore Audley."
"Fun with Richard III never stops! Joan Szechtman's latest novel, Loyalty Binds Me, brings King Richard III to 21st century Portland, Oregon, via time machine travel. But Richard Gloucestre (the name on his passport) longs to visit his 15th century home, a trip interrupted by the London police, M15, the American FBI, and the inevitable tabloid reporter--all suspicious of his name, his identity, and his intent regarding the current monarchy.
"Szechtman's solid historical research and skillful writing make Loyalty Binds Me a welcome addition to novels about the endlessly engrossing Wars of the Roses."--Arlene Okerlund, author of the historical biographies "Elizabeth: England's Slandered Queen" and "Elizabeth of York."
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Joans speculative but plausible arguments are woven into a story of a family under attack.
Richard and his modern wife face medical crisis, separation, suspicions in laws and reaching out to step children.
All the while, under threat from MI5 and the FBI.
Like most parents they can get it wrong, while trying to the right thing.
Will their love for each other and the children, their loyalty, be enough to win the day.?
As a side note, I like the way Joan has resisted the temptation to treat the time travel technology as all powerful.
Love the frustrated Sarah explaining it to the bureaucrats.
"No, you won't be able to do that."
"That's not how it works."
"Try that and you will die."
For Ricardians, I'd rate this a 4.
For history buffs in general, a 3.
Again I loved the style of writing and found that I wanted the best for the main characters. The book involves a the chase between Richard and another person who wants to do him in, action at Bosworth.
Worth reading for the fun, and the information you will gain into alternative possibilities with regards his nephews and the mystery of their deaths.
I am looking forward to the third book in the series being completed, to see where the blended family gets to, how Edward copes and develops further.
Worry not, readers, for Joan Szechtman not only manages all this heavy lifting, but also does it with the mark of a brilliant writer: by making it look easy. The flow of the book is so smooth, that when I read certain parts I actually gasped at the ups and downs Szechtman took me through with Richard. So thrilling are those danger moments, I found myself mentally shaking my fist at the need to sleep; I simply had to keep reading and find out what happens next.
One of the ways I can think of that helps the author achieve this is her understanding of today's society. Unlike most people in Richard's time, our society has been through so much with technology that even those who scoff at the idea of time travel still often contemplate it with a fair degree of seriousness. Coupled with the viable descriptions and scientific explanations through the book, many doubters will do a double take at the possibilities. Then there's the government. Oh yes, they want a piece of the pie, and that, paired with the widespread belief that governments already know more than they are telling, clicks it all into place.
Ms. Szechtman also brings to bear the unfortunate understanding we all have of post-9/11 policing. When Richard's tormentors are unable to move in the direction they wish, they play the terrorism card, using that to threaten him with indefinite detention. If that doesn't strike fear into the hearts of readers today, it at least erases the sometimes smug sureness that we have progressed as much as we think, in terms of governance and liberty, from the days when Richard sought to bestow greater rights on those accused of crimes. It is sadly ironic that this king now falls victim to abuse of power that can cause someone simply to disappear. What grows from this is that where once there was care for a character, now there is great concern for the peril he is in.
Through all of this, the author allows us to peek into the lives of Richard's modern-day family, his new wife and her two daughters he has adopted, as well as his beloved son Edward, whose resilience for the new world he is in is fairly strong--witness his grasp of technology, for example. But Edward, who woke from death to find his mother taken from him, speaks to us of how childhood, despite how overhauls, trends and social structures have changed it over the centuries, remains the same. Children are strong but vulnerable, astoundingly bright though need help navigating through even some of the briefest of situations and, perhaps most heartbreaking, love so strongly and want to please, yet withhold as a form of protection. They show us that we adults are given responsibility that is almost frightening in its ability to impact. Yet with brilliant economy Szechtman portrays all this in those peeks we are allowed, and we witness a family coming to terms with the usual trials all families must go through, as well as those of a father who has been arrested, and the merging of medieval and modern times--a blended family like no other.
This is by no means an exhaustive review of everything wonderful in Joan Szechtman's latest book, but it does point the way to the other two, one as yet unpublished, for this book is not easily put down and forgotten. For those who already care about Richard, it will be a reader's delight. Others who are new to the king, or willing to re-consider what exactly constitutes "common knowledge," will find a wealth of historically accurate information as well as recognizable background details in order to do. Moreover, because the second book is written to be enjoyed independently, reading it first will not involve any guessing at the start. But Joan Szechtman's _Loyalty Binds Me_ will make you want to go back for more.
Richard and Edward take a family trip to England to visit the tomb of Edward's mother, and Richard is caught in an international effort to charge him with the murders of his medieval nephews (ala Shakespeare's play painting him as the murderer of the Princes in the Tower).
While This Time had more of a romance plot between Richard and Sarah Gold, "Loyalty Binds Me" is more of a thriller -- not quite the Bourne Identity perhaps, but I found it very entertaining and the plot well laid out.
The family dynamics with Richard, Sarah, her children, and Edward developed in a way that I could really feel the bonds that were holding that family together during various episodes of strain and stress.
I hadn't known that "loyalty binds me" was a phrase historically connected with Richard III but as the story progressed in this fictional, fantasy involving that historical character, I felt that the book's character of Richard was at a deep part living the story from that motto. I was very impressed. Not only with Richard the character, but the author's skill at building that character through that theme using some really interesting scenarios, without it being obvious to me that the character's choices and actions were somehow scripted, let alone being molded to the title motto.
I was favorably impressed all around. Loved it.