Top critical review
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... scarce half made up!
on 7 October 2014
I did enjoy this book! I may be biased: I love this period of history and enjoy reading fictional accounts about the era that explore thoughts and feelings and add flesh to the bones of characters I've come across in history books. This book did this for me and I really wanted to give it more stars.
I wouldn't question the author's wisdom in choosing the subject for this his second book. It is only surprising with all the recent crop of fiction on this era that one of the most important and colourful characters in any period of English history could have fallen below the radar of other more established authors currently 'turning medieval'. And it wasn't the typo errors, layout problems... the usual things that plague self-published books. I can live with that in small doses as here: fiction writers are employing the creative process after all, not the technical; and proofreaders and editors are restrictively expensive for most. I would rather have these books out with them than not at all, and it didn't spoil my enjoyment of this one.
But as I read on, I found I was making up for shortcomings in the plot with my own knowledge of the period. Far too many essential episodes in the history are missing here. The War of the Roses is a mind-boggling maze of political twists and turns and yes, it would be a challenge to write the missing episodes, even more so to sprinkle them about the text without the whole thing turning into an epic. But I found the central characters well-developed and with enough depth and potential to carry this off and if added the episodes would give substance and reason for the characters' actions and better engage the less-informed reader. It is a challenge that any author writing about the War of the Roses simply MUST face.
I like Tony Ritches' book, and his Warwick. I hope he will beat others to it by going back to it, fleshing it out to twice its length, and giving the book and his characters the full credit they deserve. But in its present form I couldn't rate it any more highly, and to paraphrase Shakespeare's Richard III, I found it 'unfinished, sent before its time into the world... scarce half made up!'