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on 18 December 2013
This sequel to Matthew Lewis' Loyalty was eagerly awaited and I wasn't disappointed. The tales of Hans Holbein and the followers of Richard lll run side-by-side successfully and have just the right amount of tension to keep the reader sitting up and taking notice.
For me one thing came over loud and clear: it was as dangerous to be at the court of Henry Vll as that of his son, Henry Vlll. Both monarchs had insecurities and it paid to keep your mouth shut.
I think the characters are believable and the prose is fluent with conversations realistic.
All in all, a good read, so treat yourselves!
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on 9 June 2015
I looked up the word Honour in the dictionary and this is what was written ‘personal integrity; allegiance to moral principles’ and this exactly fits Matthew Lewis’s character Francis Lovell. In reality, we know that Lovell and his cause was doomed, but in this book the author gives us an alternative and asks “What if things were different?” and this is how this tale pans out. What is more important to me are the people, and Matthew has the knack of making you think that you are part of their story, this is especially true of the execution scene of Humphrey Stafford, which I thought was extremely well written and was on a par with the death scene of Richard III at Bosworth from Matthew’s book Loyalty. Matthew adds a bit of ‘intimacy/romance’ to Lovell’s tale (I couldn’t help thinking of Colin Firth, white shirts and water at one point.) This little bit of light in a world of darkness is just what is needed because we know how Lovell’s sad story ends, or we think we do! You should read this book if you want to understand the truth behind Honour and Loyalty and what it really means or if you want a human story in what is a barbaric time.
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on 21 January 2014
I have to say that, whilst I quite enjoyed Matthew Lewis' last book - 'Loyalty', there was also an awful lot about it that irritated me, this one however, seemed to be in a different league.
The writing was much slicker, the dialogue less forced, the characters much more vividly drawn - altogether a much better read. Actually, I was a bit disappointed when I'd finished it - in the way you often are when you've come to the end of a book you've enjoyed.
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on 8 January 2014
I would definitely recommend HONOUR, which continues the story of Francis Lovell and the surviving Yorkists after the Battle of Bosworth (LOYALTY) whilst also taking us into the perilous courts of Henry Tudor and Henry Viii.

Matthew Lewis weaves a gripping and very human story through the bare bones of historical fact, creating an interesting and thought provoking perspective of what might have happened next.

The characters are believable and, at times, likeable as they find their way through the insecurities of Tudor England. I was left with much respect for Master Holbein and really need to read more about him now.

I think that both Loyalty and Honour can be read and enjoyed by anyone with little or no knowledge of the period as they are simply great stories but those who know the history well will find a really enjoyable alternative viewpoint.
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on 7 September 2014
I read ‘Loyaulty’ and loved it, I certainly hope what happened to Richard as he died at Bosworth was true, it would make it easier to bear.
Couldn’t wait to read ‘Honour’ as it was about the ever faithful Lovel... what DID happen to him? Yet another mystery that surrounds King Richard. Sadly we will never know (perhaps) but this is one possibility. I waited to read it until I was in Middleham and glad that I did, it bought the emotion of it all to life and knowing that the Northern men mustered at Masham just down the road was quite poignant... I saw the beautiful countryside and little town with new eyes. It also made me more sympathetic to Catesby, one I have never much liked for some reason.
Every page was excellently written, keeping the reader engrossed...nothing ever repeated ad nauseum as some authors do to fill out the pages. I could hear the sounds, smell the odours and see the fear in their faces and I cried with poor Thomas Stafford at Tyburn.
I will not go into details as I do not want to spoil it for those who have not yet read the book, but have always thought Colchester held secrets - I wonder if this is why Dr John Ashdown Hill lives here? A coincidence or not, I don’t know. I do know that Holbein’s portrait speaks volumes and it was a huge pity that Jack Leslau could not finish his investigations into the bones at Mechelen.
Please read ‘Loyaulty’ first and then this one if you are a believer in Richard’s honesty and justice.
You will not be disappointed.
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on 22 June 2014
The Tudor dynasty begins in this second novel by author Matthew Lewis. Beginning where Loyalty left off, the reader is immediately engaged in post Bosworth drama. Following Richard III's best friend, Francis Lovell, the author pieces together a unique and detailed account of the mysteries surrounding the sons of York.

This is one of the best novels that I have read covering the years following the tragic end of the Plantagenet dynasty at Bosworth Field in 1485. Viscount Lovell is plagued by guilt that he survived when so many of his friends fell, but Richard had other plans for him. Lovell dedicates the remainder of his life to Richard's cause and attempting to ensure that his friend and pious king does not become "consigned to history as the malevolent uncle who stole the crown from a boy, his own nephew."

Clearly, the Tudor propaganda machine was more successful in defining Richard's character than Francis was, but this novel proposes an interesting, if not completely plausible, explanation of events that clear Richard's name. Characterizations of the Stafford brothers, John de la Pole, and William Catesby are intriguing and believable, encouraging the reader to take up the York standard themselves.

The story of the aftermath of Bosworth is interspersed with a side plot taking place during the reign of Henry VIII, the usurper Henry Tudor's son. With Hans Holbein returning to the scene, he is once again asked to secretly protect the truth about the York remnant. But what is the truth?

This novel is an interesting historical what-if that leaves the reader wishing that things could have turned out differently. If only certain schemers had not been so successful, some been less trusting of others' honor, and key figures not driven by personal vainglory. Could things have turned out different for the boys of York?

Though Richard III lies dead at the beginning of this novel, his spirit lives on in this novel through the many who still love him and are loyal to his memory. For this author's excellent novelization of Richard's life, pick up his first book, Loyalty.
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on 31 December 2013
This book is a sequel to Loyalty. I haven't finished reading it yet but it describes what could have happened following King Richard's death.

I don't think it was wise of Lord Lovell to attack the Earl of Lincoln. True John de la Pole should have insisted right at the beginning that he was the one who would be King and King Richard did name him his number one heir before his death to ensure an adult king rather than a boy king was on the throne should he die early post Bosworth (from illness?) rather than being killed by Henry Tudor which did happen.

Still, Francis Lovell could have found himself in trouble should John II come to the throne. Not a good idea to punch a possible future king. He may have punched Richard once when he wasstill Duke of Gloucester but they were best friends and very close. Not so with the Earl of Lincoln.

The chapters jump from Henry VII reign to his son Henry VIII's reign and vice versa alternately throughout the book and it shows Henry VII's second son who came to the throne in 1509, had become a tyrant by 1521 along with the extremely ruthless Thomas Cromwell, as it shows how Hans Holbein has to tread carefully, by both what he says and his movements.

The book was fast paste and well written and hard to put down.
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on 3 January 2014
This book follows on from Loyalty,the thrilling novel of Richard III and his demise at Bosworth.
As with Loyalty the story switches between eras,following the trials of Francis Lord Lovell and RIII supporters, to the court of Henry VII and his son Henry VIII.
Matthew Lewis manages to skillfully weave the different tales together to make a very exciting read,the characters are well written and the dialogue is very believeable.I really enjoyed this book and I'm looking forward to the next!
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on 28 April 2014
When I bought this book, I had already been considering changing my dissertation from Richard III to Yorkist resistance against Henry VII. Within the first chapter, my mind was made up and I decided to change my dissertation.

I'm so glad that someone decided to write on this period of history. It's absolutely fascinating and Lewis was able to convert an interesting topic into an enjoyable read. Francis Lovell is an intriguing character throughout this time as very little is known of him. This book gave a possible insight into the life of the man who carried Yorkist restoration hopes for the first few years after Bosworth. There is limited primary evidence on the characters involved but Lewis is able to mould a story around the historical facts.

I hope Lewis writes more on this subject. It's definitely an area of history which deserves more interest
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on 14 November 2014
Following on from Loyalty, this was another absolute page turner. It combined the events post Bosworth with the dark world of intrigue and conspiracy during the reign of Henry the eighth. It introduced further characters, such as Thomas Cromwell and Henry Norris.
Throughout the book it moves from one era to another and unlike some books where you have no idea where you are, this was incredibly easy to understand and worked seamlessly.
If you are a fan of historical writing and have an interest in the period from the Cousins war to Henry the Eighth then this is definitely the book for you. You will inevitably look up Hans Holbein's works, which is never a bad thing.
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