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on 13 August 2014
Well crafted and intelligently written, this was a real pleasure to read. I have to warn you that once picked up - it's difficult to put down again and although it's not an epic length - it's perhaps better to read at the weekend (I had to get up for work).
I read quite a lot of historical novels and, inevitably, the big disappointment with them is that you know the ending right from the start; and I tend to avoid fantasy novels because - well, I think that maybe the scientist bit of me just finds them annoying and contrived, but I was very impressed with the author's weaving together of old legends with scrupulously researched historical fact.
All-in-all - a 'must' for Ricardians.
22 people found this helpful
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on 22 August 2014
Reedman’s talent at overlaying rich description, fantasy elements and real folklore and facts casts fresh light on Richard III’s oft discussed demise. He is an archetype of sacrifice, and must atone for past failings- the princes’ unaccounted for loss-in a purgatorial Middle Kingdom, before his latter day rediscovery and restored reputation sets him at peace.
Particular highlights for me were the thrilling retelling of Bosworth- Reedman can clearly do straight history extremely well- and Richard’s encounter with the terrifying Black Annis. I also enjoyed his metaphorical ascent to redemption and the way Reedman handled the tricky heaven question. The modern day car park scenes were a bit too sentimental for me but I’m sure will appeal to Ricardians. Certainly there is more to the man than the likes of Shakespeare would have us believe.
9 people found this helpful
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on 20 September 2014
A strange ethereal book about Richard, one written since the discovery of his remains. It tries to say that a king who lays down his life for his country, bleeds his blood into it and restores it. Arthurian l believe, but an ancient belief all the same. Well we all know he was the last king to fight and die in battle for the country he believed in.
9 people found this helpful
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on 16 April 2015
This book is addictive. Once I started reading it I had great difficulty in putting it down. I don't usually go for fantasy, but this is very well done. The actual historical bits are, as far as I am aware, accurate. It is all the more effective, because Ricardians will be aware of the "coincidences" around Richard's finding and reburial: rediscovered on the anniversary of his burial, the sudden thunderstorm, the solar eclipse on the Friday before his reburial (there was one on the day of his wife's death), the sun coming out as his coffin was lowered in to the tomb..... most of these happen after the end of the book, but strangely they tie in with the story in the book ........... A thoroughly enjoyable read, but don't start it unless you have a few hours free, as you won't be able to stop until you've finished it.
I should think it will appeal to Ricardians, and to many others.
Just a little quibble - towards the start of the book the proof reading leaves something to be desired. I noticed several typographical errors, but they don't detract from the book's being an excellent read.
2 people found this helpful
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on 31 December 2015
I read fantasy and historical books (both fact and fiction), so when I heard about this book I was intrigued. Having read it, I feel it is an interesting book/novella but I'm afraid it wasn't quite my cup of tea. I really enjoyed the part up to the Battle of Bosworth, but found the rest of the book hard to swallow. I would have liked to have seen Richard confronting more of those he is claimed to have wronged, more explaination of what he did and why (or at least, the author's take on it). The section coming after the discovery of the King's remains I felt was rushed and just a tad sentimental.
I am grateful to the author because now I know I should keep my historical reading and fantasy reading separate, especially when it revolves around a man and times that I feel so strongly about. (Yes, I am a Richardian.)
I would suggest that whether you like this book or not will depend on your views of King Richard III, your beliefs about the afterlife, and your acceptance or not of fantasy and myth. As such this is a very hard book to review as I would hesitate to either encourage or discourage anyone from reading it. I think it is one of those you have to read and make up your own mind.
One person found this helpful
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on 2 December 2015
I was really amazed at all the good reviews of this book. It is a very small book and there are no page numbers. The fantasy element is very dramatic but leave King Richard out of it!! I laughed myself silly! The book also has many grammatical errors and typos which is annoying. This author obviously has flair and is very clever at weaving a fantasy but it seems very wrong to me to use it in the name of a dead king. Having put up with the travesty of William Shakespeare we now have Richard as a nut case which is surely just as bad!
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on 6 September 2014
though short this different take on Richard 3 is an enjoyable read. the mixture of dramatized fact and fantasy fiction is unusual. A s one who is on the side of a less demonized King than the Tudor version the use of a post death fantasy to review his life was interesting. also as a Leicestershire resident the drawing it all together with current discoveries have it a final touch.
2 people found this helpful
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on 12 February 2015
I could not put this down once I started reading. JP Reedman conveys the time, place and Richard's emotions so vividly it is hard not to feel that you are standing there with him. The description and feeling of the Middle Kingdom captured very well my own feelings and images of what Purgatory would be like. The mysticism and legends worked well, though I felt the inclusion of Stonehenge didn't quite fit in somehow. This book finds you willing for Richard to overcome his final battles in accepting himself for who and what he is, in coming to terms with his guilt and sadness, and rejoicing in the faith, courage and peace that he finds.

This is a well written and heartfelt book about an unfairly maligned man and king, who deserves this writer's compassion and the justice she has done him in her telling of his story.
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on 21 September 2014
I have a decades long interest in both King Richard III, and the Sacred King mythology, and I also enjoy the fantasy genre as well as straight history. This book, an amalgamation of history and fantasy by Janet Reedman, made a thoroughly enjoyable couple of hours of bedtime reading. She knows her historical facts, and I found that what happened to King Richard after his 'death' an interesting alternative perspective. My only regret was that it was a novella rather than a full length novel.
4 people found this helpful
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on 26 August 2014
this is an addictive book that once I picked it up, I could not put it down til the final page, and then I was craving more! J.P. has an excellent knowledge of Richard and his times, and has woven this tragic King's story with legends and myths from England's misty past, including stories of Arthur, Merlin and the Sacrificial King.
This is a must buy and read!
6 people found this helpful
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