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on 15 January 2018
Only began to read the book after New Year. Not as gripping as her other books. Also being a new book, has to be kept open with two hands which is a disadvantage. I hope it will improve, I am only in the early stages of this rather large book.
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on 18 August 2015
I enjoy the novels around the War of the Roses and this one is exceptionally good.

Worth reading.
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on 7 May 2014
I love this book. As I have said before I love this period in history and I found this book informative as well as a good read
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on 21 July 2014
thank you
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on 17 April 2012
This was a really good read, based on factual information. The story flowed well, and was an 'un-put-downable' book. A good buy.
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on 15 March 2012
I found this book to be well written,apparently well researched and written in a very engaging manner. I really enjoyed the book and would happily read more from this author.
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on 8 January 2013
Enjoyable but found the number of characters confusing - especially as some were referred to by their title and then name.
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on 5 September 2012
I enjoy reading history as non-fiction, but also like reading well written fiction such as Graves's I Claudius and several Gore Vidal books on fictionalised American history, e.g. Lincoln. With some periods of history there is a choice, but with the reign of Richard II a scouring of non-fiction sources left me empty handed. So I tried Mrs Barnes's book.

Let me start with the positive. As a result of reading the book I have achieved my primary objective, I am now much better informed about Richard's reign.

But there was almost as big a negative. The style of writing seems to have been aimed at a very young or very unsophisticated audience. For example, on learning about the Lollards the very young Richard immediately starts to have 21st century thoughts about the wisdom of religious tolerance and the wisdom of translating the bible into language that the ordinary citizens can understand. How, he argues, can references to the eye of a needle be understood by people who had no idea what a camel was or looked like.

Examples like that just grated. So I did not find the writer's style at all attractive and have no plans to read other bookd by her. Luckily her other books deal with periods better covered elsewhere than Richard's reign.

Summarising, the book did an excellent job of filling a huge gap in historical coverage. But reading it was rather irritating.

One final observation. At the end of the book was a 15 year old's quiz. Why did Richard do that? How did he feel when such and such happened? I would be pretty sure that this final piece of awfulness was not the author's but the publisher's. Whichever, the book would certainly have been better without it.
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on 23 August 2010
This is an intriguing work of historical fiction, as it tells the story of Richard Plantagenet, son of the Black Prince and grandson of King Edward III. His mother, Joan, was the beautiful Princess of Wales, whose beauty brought her renown as the fair maid of Kent. At the age of about eleven, Richard Plantagenet was crowned king of England. As King Richard II, he chafed for years under the stewardship of a regency council. In 1380, Parliament declared Richard, who was by then married to Anne of Bohemia, of an age to govern without the regency council.

Richard II inherited a kingdom that was torn by strife, as well as by the bickering and competing interests of his nobles, whose political machinations knew no bounds and who saw Richard II as a pawn by which they could secure their desires. Still, Richard II seemed to have a penchant for securing peace, when at the age of fourteen, he was able to singlehandedly quell the peasants' revolt that had been led by Wat Tyler. His happy marriage to Anne of Bohemia would provide him with the strength to govern as he saw fit, and England would pass some prosperous, fruitful years under his reign. That would come to an end with the untimely death of Anne of Bohemia. From then on Richard II would begin a personal downward spiral from which his detractors would derive the strength to betray him and wrest his kingdom away from him.

The author weaves a tapestry of fact and fiction that is sure to captivate those who readers who enjoy the historical fiction genre. Rife with period detail, the book is replete with the historical personages and events of the day, as the author paints a captivating portrait of King Richard II. She recounts the life of Richard II from his inauspicious beginnings as a young puppet king to his Camelot days and then to the moment of his most ignominious death at the hands of the very subjects to whom he had originally sought to bring peace and prosperity.
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on 21 April 2012
I have not had time to read this book which was purchased for my Kindle. However, I can see no reason for being anything other than happy with it.
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