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on 11 March 2004
Subject: Your Inquiry From: This novel, set in the fifteenth century during England's turbulent Wars of the Roses, is a pure joy from start to finish- one of the best novels on the life of Richard III I've ever read- a breathtaking and passionate story of Richard's early life and his love for Anne Neville, Warwick the Kingmaker's daughter. It makes the character of Richard III come very much alive in prose that is powerful and vivid, gripping and deeply moving. If you are looking for Shakespeare's villainous, crooked, scheming King Richard, don't look for him here. This story is about Richard as a hero and lover, a man of loyalty, integrity and honour. Once I'd started reading Love and War, I couldn't put it down again until I'd read the very last sentence- it just makes you want to keep turning the pages! I'm very much looking forward to the second novel in Sandra Worth's Richard III series, "Crown of Destiny.
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on 12 June 2014
While describing the historical background facts (War of the Roses, or Cousins' War as you prefer) of the romance between Richard, future king of England, and his young would-be wife Anne Nevile, the author sways from some original intutions and beautifully depicted chapters to passages that are a blatant "copy and paste" from Paul Murray Kendall's biography of Richard III and other sources on the same subject. Had Ms Worth put more effort in keeping up with the originality she seems to be capable of, she would have achieved a less uneven outcome and would have earned an even better review. The romance is enjoyably portrayed.
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on 26 January 2009
Like others, I don't know why this novel has won so many awards. She was better on 'war' than on 'love'. The love bits were simperingly twee. Some of the portrayals of warfare and loyalty dilemmmas were really rather good. I gained my knowledge of Richard from Shakespeare, so another perspective was interesting, but the writing wasn't very good in this one. On, like many have said, to Sharon Penman.
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on 11 November 2008
I began to read this book with pure excitement, I'd read the reviews...and I am utterly dumbfounded. Its beyond bad. Ms Worth has blatantly COPIED an extract from Mary Clive's this sun of York, and has basically rewritten P.K Murrays biography as a novel, and as well as that, with a few tweaks, shortened, dumbed down ect isnt this the same novel as the Sunne in splendour? Does Ms Worth not have any original ideas.
What really really did it for me though, is how Richard is almost set up as a saint. What utter rubbish.The cardboard cut out figures of Richard and Clarence were boring. Richard = all good. Clarence = all bad.
In 1476 Richard was chief mourner at the reburial of his Father and brother, an absolutely HUGE affair. I found it odd to say the least that this wasn't even mentioned. I won't even bother starting on the inaccuracies.
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on 7 August 2006
despite the awards this book attracted, I found it shallow, rather silly (I doubt Richard III used such odd endearments for his wife - they do not fit with the medieval concept of chivalry at all in my mind) and Clarence was depicted just as Shakespeare saw him, which is taking the easy way out.

The research is perfect, it is the way the story was written which I really felt could have been done better. I really wanted to take the story apart and rewrite it, removing the constant 'he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand' (Edward) and the 'thigh high boots' ad nauseum. The editor should have advised her to take them out or reduce the amount of times it was mentioned.

It is good that yet someone else has taken on the 'Richard was not as Shakespeare portrayed him' mantle and given us a different picture. It is just a shame about all the other characters who are stereotyped.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 25 February 2013
When I was asked by the author to review this book, I was very happy to do so. Although based on actual characters from history, it's not a book listing facts and dates, as text book might. No this is a dramatised tale. Of course the author has used artistic licence, giving her interpretation of the characters motivation and actions.
Richard III depending on your viewpoint was much maligned, or a monster responsible for the death of the two princes in the tower. As to the truth of that, who knows it might have been him or Henry Tudor, or neither. Why this particular event in history has become so notorious is puzzling to me. Many other atrocities committed by kings and queens past are probably far worse.

This book covers Richards early life, his first meeting with Ann Neville, the daughter of the Earl of Warwick, also known as "The Kingmaker". Richard is captivated by Ann and they become fast friends, as they get older Richard hopes to marry Ann but his brother the king, Edward IV does not give permission. Eventually when Warwick changes sides after falling out with Edward, Warwick marries Ann to HenryVI son and heir, Edward of Westmister.

The story takes the reader through all the turbulent events of the time, making history come alive on the page. I have no opinion as to whether Richard was bad or good. He was a man born in medieval England, things that we today think of as barbaric were considered commonplace then. It was a violent period in history, with the crown of England as the prize. Men do things they might not otherwise do for a crown.
The author is obviously in the Richard is good camp, that's easy to tell from her portrayal of his character. There are an awful lot of characters in this and at times it's hard to keep track of who's who, even more so for those like me who are not historians.
But I really enjoyed reading this, it's extremely well written.
ARC provided by the author
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on 6 February 2013
This is the first book in The Rose Of York Trilogy and follows Richard from early boyhood to the birth of his and Ann's son at Middleham. The author has obviously done her research and her pro Richard stance agrees with mine. However I did find some of the characters very one- dimensional. Richard and Ann are a bit too good to be true and at times their romance is bit reminiscent of Mills and Boon. The Woodvilles and George, on the other hand, are just unbelievably nasty. The characters of Warwick and his brothers are much better developed. I thought John Neville was a particularly interesting and likeable character .

This is certainly not the best book I've read about Richard but overall it was an enjoyable read and it did have a happy ending. I probably will try the other two books in the trilogy but not just yet.
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on 23 March 2014
I think it should be mentioned on the sellers list that this book is the same as Love and War but with different cover.
and in one place it has only the words - The Rose of York!!.to save people like myself buying two books instead of one.
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on 22 August 2006
Worth's novel is, by far, the finest, most accurate, and most readable of all the historical fiction written about Richard III. Worth is an utter genius in bringing to life the turmoil, plots, and intrigue rampant in the 15thC. She has the unique gift of drawing the reader into the lives of Richard and Anne. I found Penman's "Sunne In Splendor" dry as dust and lifeless. Worth's weaving of the tale is vibrant and full of life. Her research is flawless. Her style is mesmerizing. I could not put this down. And I am ordering post haste the sequel. What a breath of fresh air is Worth's award-winning book. She incorporates the best of Plaidy and Seton. Worth is destined to become a major star in the world of historical fiction.
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on 16 November 2008
I don't understand how or why this book has won so many awards. Reading it was a painfully dull process. Many inaccuracies, which always spoil any historical novel for me. As for the characters - shallow, unexciting and colourless. I only finished the book because I always finsh books once I have started them. I won't be reading the next two in the trilogy. I definitely would not recommend this book.
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