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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Devil in Ermine by Isolde Martyn, 1 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Devil in Ermine (Paperback)
As I greatly enjoyed Isolde Martyn's previous novel "Mistress to the Crown", I was anticipating another good read with "The Devil in Ermine" - and I was not disappointed!

This is a fast-paced, absorbing account of the events and intrigues which followed from the death of Edward IV, but what makes this so unusual and so fascinating is that the narrator is "Harry" Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, who is suddenly thrust into a position of power by his cousin Richard III. How he uses his new powers really draws you into the story at a breathtaking pace! Isolde Martyn shows a deep understanding of the period and, through the Duke of Buckingham's eyes, she brings everything vividly to life, big events as well as ordinary everyday details, and I must not forget to mention the love story which is skilfully interwoven with the events as they unfold.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different angle on Richard III, 13 Oct 2013
By 
Mrs. J. R. Larner "JetBlack" (Rayleigh, Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Devil in Ermine (Kindle Edition)
This book tells the story of how Richard III came to the throne from the perspective of Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, who helped him become King and them betrayed him for unknown reasons. It attempts to give a possible explanation of his motives and is quite convincing. It portrays Richard as a just and good king and tries to also explain how his evil reputation may have come about. As far as I know the facts as known are adhered to and the author's interpretation is used to fill in the unknown blanks. I thought it was entertaining and interesting to consider the traitor, Buckingham's side of the story for a change.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new perspective on Richard III, 5 Aug 2014
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This review is from: The Devil in Ermine (Kindle Edition)
This is a book for Ricardians - if you are already well-acquainted with all the main characters and the history of the first six months after the death of King Edward IV in April 1483, you will relish every single detail. The author has done so much research, I could not fault it on the historical side, unlike many books which contain obvious unedited errors. The only editing flaw I noticed was when King Richard said to his cousin Buckingham "Hang about", something which was glaringly out of period,

What is REALLY clever is the way that the author has taken the voice of the very bad man, Buckingham, a shadowy figure who does not really appear in history until the fatal meeting at Stony Stratford, and through this voice has retold the story of how Richard III came to the throne. Although Buckingham hates and envies Richard, he cannot help showing what a fine, honourable, decent and loyal person Richard was (unlike the figure known from the common histories and notably blackened in Shakespeare's play Richard III). This is a clever way to narrate that Richard has been maligned for five centuries, and falsely accused of terrible crimes.

In this book, it is Buckingham who instigates the death of Hastings, the first time that Richard put a foot wrong after the death of his elder brother. It is he who is responsible for the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower (although what actually happened to them is left unstated).

Buckingham of course was beheaded after his failed rebellion. The story ends there, which is a shame as I was thoroughly enjoying this new perspective on Richard.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Medieval treat!, 22 Jan 2014
This review is from: The Devil in Ermine (Paperback)
This novel is beautifully constructed and Isolde Martyn has chosen an unusual subject, carefully researched the Duke of Buckingham, Richard III and the period itself. It is a controversial time in history when Edward V became king and all the intricate politics this involved. We are taken directly into this era and get a well detailed view of the main characters, the way of life, clothes, food, travel, all the things which make a book relevant and absorbing.

I found the book hard to put down, and as a Ricardian, am really pleased at the sensitive and just portrayal of King Richard III, and indeed all the other characters in this book.

Well done, Isolde, and please keep books of this calibre coming!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Read, 28 Jun 2014
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Nancy Parkes (Athens, Greece) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Devil in Ermine (Paperback)
For those of us fascinated by the Wars of the Roses and Richard III, this is a great read. I have always disliked the Duke of Buckingham and wondered at his treachery toward Richard. Isolde Martyn gives us a gripping tale and a plausible look into his mind. I thought this book really took off in the second half as Harry, our traitorus duke, is lashed by insecurity, jealousy, and the hatred that leads to his downfall. I especially liked Harry's justification of his faithlessness by citing his Plantagenet bood. I still don't like him, but I am taking another look at him.

Author Isolde Martyn never disappoints me. I hope to see more from her in the near future!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The devil in ermine, 13 Jan 2014
This review is from: The Devil in Ermine (Kindle Edition)
For anyone who is fascinated by the period of Richard 111 this is a must it is told from the point of view of the duke of Buckingham who was from most points a very arrogant trouble some character why was he like it some would say who cares but the author draws you in well written the historical content is accurate it contains yet another hypothesis as to what happened to the princes in the tower A very enjoyable read
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, 25 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Devil in Ermine (Kindle Edition)
Not too bad, not really read much about Buckingham before, or any of the authors other books. May have to buy some
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good read, 23 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Devil in Ermine (Kindle Edition)
This book is both interesting and amusing and gives the side of the story from Buckinghams POV. He comes across as a vain, arrogant and acquisitive man, which I believe is why Edward IV kept him at arms length - unfortunately Richard appears to have fallen for his charm and we all know the price he paid for the fleeting support offered. It highlights very well the treachery and double dealing which can occur I a power vacuum and although I felt some of the language may have been a bit too contemporary at times - I really enjoyed the book. The ending where we only glimpse Richard presence was particularly good and it was refreshing to read a boom which DIDNT end at Bosworth. Recommend this to anyone interested in this period.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Devil in Ermine, 29 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Devil in Ermine (Kindle Edition)
This is a fascinating book, telling the very well documented story of Richard III's life and reign from a completely new angle. I did not like the main character very much, but then I don't think I was supposed to. I was disappointed in the editing and some of the language was too modern for my taste - I didn't expect early English but I found it hard to believe that the phrase "getting his leg over" was used in the 15th century.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great and exciting read., 16 Dec 2014
By 
Mrs. Christine A. Edwards (Burnley Lancashire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Devil in Ermine (Paperback)
A fabulous book. Couldn't put it down. A fascinating way to look at Richard 111's story through someone elses eyes. How could anyone be so self centred?
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