- File Size: 2609 KB
- Print Length: 300 pages
- 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: #626,478 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Medievalist Kindle Edition
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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.
The Medievalist is, in a sense, a similar investigation of the same crime, but it is also a love story, and has that in common with two more wonderful novels featuring Richard III, namely "We Speak No Treason" and "The Court of the Midnight King". In both of these stories the heroine is in love with Richard, and in the second there is also an element of time travel (click on the titles to see my full reviews on this site of these two excellent books). In The Medievalist, however, time travel underlies the whole story.
Jayne Lyons is an American student working on her PhD in history who, for no particular reason (other than a family legend that they are descended from King Richard) is convinced that Shakespeare got the whole thing wrong and Richard was neither a villain nor a hunchback. At the newly opened site of Richard's grave in a car park in Leicester she finds a silver boar pendant, and when she holds it is transported back to the 15th century and the camp of Richard and his army, where – naturally. given the way she is dressed – she is taken for a camp-following whore and accused of stealing the silver boar.
Her adventures during the coming months, leading up to the Battle of Bosworth, make the book an all-night read, and the author's version of what really happened to the two little princes is at least as likely as any other theory I have come across.
Well researched (by an obviously devoted student of the period and the person) and well written. Highly recommended.
Reading about Richard through Jayne’s eyes has made me ponder on history as written. He has been so demonized that I never imagined him any other way. Kudos to the author for this!
Jayne is a character that I could befriend in real life. I have to admit I loved the steamy scenes as well.
The only negative that I can think of is that I did not have the sequel to start immediately. I cannot wait to see where Jayne’s time travel takes her next!
Most recent customer reviews
through a powerful and unique love story.