- File Size: 2609 KB
- Print Length: 300 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1944728430
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: City Owl Press (November 21, 2017)
- Publication Date: November 21, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B075JDTQFZ
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #585,773 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Medievalist Kindle Edition
|Length: 300 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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However, I gotta take away half of a star right off the bat because of the ending. This book needs to have a warning. Full Disclosure: THERE IS NO HAPPILY EVER AFTER. Which, to me also means that this is a work of historical fiction, heavy with romantic elements, but it is not a time-travel romance. Because, c’mon. I just invested myself in the life and love of two people and then feel like history, fate, whatever has let me down. When you’re dealing with time-travel romance, you can change the past, present, and future meaning Richard and Jayne could have easily had their HEA. That they didn’t is something future readers may want to know ahead of time. Sure, Jayne did her part to change how Richard is viewed in her alternate future, but…they’re not together.
The other half of a star is taken away because of a few other issues and lingering questions. As many goodreads reviewers have pointed out, we never really find out why or how the boar sigil worked. What happened to the sigil after she returned? Why hadn’t time passed when she returned? We don’t get a recap of what happened to Bess, Lord Stanley, or the Greyfriars. I mean, yes, you can look it up, but it would have been nice to include the information. Also, by skipping over great chunks of time, the reader really is left wondering about how they spent all of those months together, yet Richard gets easily upset when Jayne asks him probing questions or tries to learn more about him. Was it just lust or truly love? Is Jayne is descended from Johnnie, which is why they got along so well? Or someone else? And, then there is my great pet peeve – she was pregnant from one night together. Le sigh.
So, emotional endings and my other issues aside, I enjoyed this book for several other, big, sweeping reasons. I enjoyed having a glimpse into 15th century England. I enjoyed the politics, battles, scheming, and alliances that form a tidy web and moved the plot along. I enjoyed that the book flips between Richard and Jayne’s perspectives. And, I liked that you got a sense of the difficulties of life, particularly for women, during this time period. The limited clothing, bathing and sleeping habits, and religious feasts/celebrations were especially interesting. All of these fascinating tidbits were really the strongest point in the book for me, not the romance. Which, again, is why I think this is really, at it’s heart, a work of historical fiction.
All that being said, if you’re curious about the life and times of Richard III or were riveted by the news of a British monarch whose burial site was lost and found, by all means, give this book a read. I am sure that you’ll enjoy it, too!
Time travel novel-writers have to convince their readers of the plausibility of time travel (that is, if you can swallow the camel of time travel, will you stumble over a gnat -- "how come the heroine can understand what people say? Don't they wonder about her accent, the fillings in her teeth, or the fact that she doesn't know how to say a pater noster?")
Then there are the consequences of time travel -- what if the heroine succeeds in saving Richard III's life? There would be no Tudor dynasty, no Henry VIII, no Elizabeth I, no Stuart dynasty, and so on. This suspense is one of the driving factors of the plot in The Medievalist. The author also makes good use of the tension between the heroine's love and concern for Richard and her desire to get safely back to modern times.
In addition to these challenges, author Anne-Marie Lacy is working within the confines of well-known history. She has, thankfully, not altered the main characters of the story, or the historical record. She has worked within these limitations to provide her version of answers to the great mysteries of the Richard III story. [What follows are not spoilers, but history]
Number one of course is, did Richard III kill his nephews to clear his path to the throne? Why did Buckingham rebel against the King? Why did Queen Elizabeth Woodville allow her daughters to come to Richard's court if she thought he had murdered her sons? What did Princess Elizabeth, who eventually was married to Henry VII, really think about everything that happened to her family?
Anne-Marie Lacy has provided explanations for all of these questions.
I think prior knowledge of the Richard III story would greatly enhance enjoyment of this book; I enjoyed the author's depiction of the minor (real) characters such as Tyrell, Catesby, Lovell, Queen Anne. Otherwise, only the bare bones of the story are presented. I think the story would be even better if it were longer, if more detail were included--perhaps not Gabaldon-like levels of detail, where it takes 20 pages to change a diaper--but some more vignettes of medieval life, and more about Richard III's administrative abilities, and his desire to be a good monarch, and the consequences to England if he had allowed his sister-in-law and her grasping relatives to rule England through the boy-king Edward.
There is little explication of the dilemmas that Richard faced, apart from the quandary of what to do about his nephews.
This is an England that has suffered through a protracted civil war, where allegiances can and do change, where superstition rules and where women are largely powerless. It makes sense that Jayne, the heroine is rescued by a priest because the Church was something of a civilizing force. Otherwise, she might not have survived her first day in medieval England.
The device of changing POV in alternating chapters between Richard III and the heroine Jayne was disconcerting at first, but I realized that it was necessary for the unfolding of the plot. Being a Ricardian, I liked the heroine and sympathized with her motivations. Richard III was also sympathetic, thoughtful and likeable.
I thought there was a good balance of narrative and dialogue, especially considering there was so much the author had to explain on behalf of readers who don't already know the story.
An enjoyable read for people who like medieval history, romance and time travel, and especially people who know and appreciate the amazing story of Richard III and the Wars of the Roses.