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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 13 August 2003
Freda Warrington is always a good read, and this book offers a beautiful fantasty rewrite of one England's most controversial periods. Initially, the book seems to be telling the story of Kate and Raphael, but as it develops it also offers a fictional, Josephine Tey style revisionist view of Richard III - this is definitely for Yorkists not Lancastrians! A fluid combination of real history and personalities, flowing seamlessly into an alternate world which is just different enough to preserve it as an actual fantasy rather than an apologia for one of the most potent royal anti-heroes. The writing style is as smooth and enthralling as anyone familiar with Ms Warrington's triology starting with A Taste of Blood Wine will expect. The history is admittedly an idealised view of an England where Christianity (and Elizabeth's grandad) didn't win - but it is nevertheless compelling and enticing. If history and fantasy aren't your thing, then it probably isn't for you. If they are, or you simply like Ms Warrington's ability to take an old subject and make it all shiny new and exciting, then buy it!
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on 7 February 2015
At 73 years old I thought I'd found every author I'd ever want to read. How exhilarating to find another to add to the list., a new lease of life no less. I've read voraciously ever since I learned to read as a child and am thrilled to find this book, not least of all because I never believed the twisted stories about Richard the King.
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on 13 August 2003
Freda Warrington has always written lyrical, intensely imagined books across the fantasy spectrum, from vampires to epic trilogies, but in this book she brings along her private passion for the historical figure of Richard III and the combination of dazzling alternative history and smouldering romance is thoroughly enjoyable from first page to last.
Purists will notice she did her homework on the history but those who don't know Richard's original story won't miss a thing. She also brings forward a thoughtful examination of the Christian/occult conflicts in a credible and compelling extra dimension which evokes the feeling of living in an earlier age very keenly.
A pleasure to read. Tell all the romance fans and the fantasy fans you know about it.
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on 7 September 2014
SPOILER ALERT!! I really loved this book! OK, I know it's very romanticised, a bit far fetched in places and probably portrays Richard III as too much of a saint, BUT it is superbly written and a cracking good story if you look at it as a fantasy novel, rather than a historical one. Another bonus for me is that it is very long, so it lasted a good long time - I tend to read so fast that I usually whizz through books in a day or two and then wish I'd savoured them for a bit longer. You can whizz through this one as much as you like and it still gives a long-lasting experience. And the final, most fantastic bonus for a Ricardian is: (SPOILER ALERT!) - in the parallel universe he wins the Battle of Bosworth!!!! Hooray!
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on 21 November 2014
If, like me, you read any book about Richard lll, and you are always left wishing for a different ending, then this is for you. The characters are engaging, the history fascinating, as is the 'fantasy' aspect (which I had no problem with, being a pagan myself). I can't find anything not to like, in fact. I am wondering exactly what a 'graylix' is, though... Highly recommended!!!
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on 8 October 2014
Kept to the framework of what happened historically except of course that unlike the real world, Richard not only survives Bosworth but is still King.

An interesting twist where the Mother Goddess is still worshiped alongside Christianity although this novel depicts the Church becoming increasingly intolerant - which may be a grain of truth in our world - such intolerance led to someone like Martin Luther to break with the Pope and form his own church in the following century - the birth of Protestantism.

The two main characters, Kate and Raphael, are fictional, serving Richard and Anne at Middleham and then also when Richard and Anne are King and Queen.

It's from a vision experienced by Rapheal, that changes Richard's strategy at the battle of Bosworth which causes a different outcome - despite the betrayal of the Stanleys. In this story, Sir William Stanley loses his life much earlier at the battle than in the real world when Henry Tudor was victorious who later executed him for treason on learning that he supported the pretender 'Perkin Warbeck'. It could be - in real life - he was always firstly loyal to Edward IV and his offspring but not to Richard III or even Henry VII when the man who could be the surviving younger prince in the Tower resurfaced.

One question I would like to ask the author: is this supposed to be the Parallel Universe which is identical to our Universe including our sun and solar system and of course our planet Earth? I've heard about it before where it's possible that history of our planet and human history is almost identical to the Parallel Universe but due to occasional different outcomes, some people never exist whilst others do but not in our world i.e. events such as the other opponent [Richard III] wins instead of Henry Tudor and possible different outcomes on other historical events too.

There is talk about this. On the other hand, I'm not sure about the magic but it is something that before Christianity came along in Europe, people believed in it.

This book would appeal to Ricardians who also enjoy fantasy novels.
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on 24 October 2012
I have had a keen interest in Richard III and the period of the Wars of the Roses since I saw Richard III (Special Edition) [DVD] when I was seven years of age-and it scared the daylights out of me.
Since then I have read several works about Richard III including the magnificent The Sunne in Splendour Fortune's Wheel and The Princes In The Tower. As well as seen the novelistic Richard III [DVD] [1996] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] set against the backdrop of a 1930's Nazi type dictatorship in an imaginary England of the time.

This book definitely portrays Richard in a saintly light, and the villains of the piece are the Woodvilles (a vivid and engaging portrayal of Earl Rivers, Anthony Woodville) and later on the camp around Henry Tudor (Warrington has Margaret of Beaufort, Henry's mother play a particular sinister central twist)
And Ricardians will be glad to see their hero absolved of all blame for the murder of the princes in the tower.
Quite a vivid portrayal of the times, but this is a science fantasy as and not just a historical novels.
It has a feminist take on the narrative, cantering around a the old pagan religion of the earth mother goddess Auret, existing alongside and in competition with Christianity reminiscent of the The Mists of Avalon (Mists of Avalon 1) and Rosalind Miles Guinevere series.
It is filled with fantasy creations, such as mythical war creatures called Greylixes , elementals and much sorcery. The central characters in the novel are a seer and a pagan priestess who is also Queen Anne's favoured lady in waiting
A parallel universe exists here linking us with a student in the present day obsessed with Richard III, and who engages with the ghosts of the characters and whose world is linked to theirs in a time warp.
You would have to have an affinity for fantasy to enjoy this.
I found the discussion of the future of Richard's image by the central character a bit tedious and didnt like the way in which the ending presented Richard having won the battle and survived in an alternate reality,
But Warrington writes beautifully and is a master word smith.
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on 23 January 2015
Loved it. let's face it, the legislation of Richard's brief reign was extremely enlightened; while, though they may well make jolly good fiction, the Tudors were despots. Henry VIII was a psychopath and the Cecils and Walsingham set up a police state for Elizabeth.
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on 6 April 2016
A mixture of historical fact and fantasy, the story moves along briskly and is entertaining.
I thought a little too much time was given to the Wicca-type religion of the female character though it added an extra dimension to the story (literally!!)
The alternative ending of Richard as the victor of Bosworth was surprisingly touching and enjoyable. Recommended.
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on 25 April 2015
l had previously read this in paperback, but the writing was so small, it made my eyes ache, and now the new "re-kindled" version, an e book which has been tweaked - the writers words not mine - just a little as since she first wrote the paperback, Richard has returned and is now centre stage, a medieval King who has been buried in our lifetime, you couldn`t make it up. The book is magical, it says - What If Richard had been the victor ?
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