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on 3 March 2013
In view of the recent discovery of Richard III's remains in a Leicester car park, I became interested in the "other side of his story" from that portrayed in Shakespeare. This book, in the form of a novel, is enthralling and engaging. I have also read other research which strongly suggests that "Bad" Richard was just Tudor propaganda, and that he was actually much loved and an excellent King. This novel follows the research and gives us a different King Richard - a loving and loyal brother, husband and father and a conscientious, generous and merciful King, whose loss was a tragedy for England. You've convinced me - I am a now Ricardian!
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on 11 July 2012
The tale of Richard III is told well and the reader is left hanging until the end of the book to find out why Sir Thomas More is telling it to Hans Holbein. Yet another theory about the Princes in the Tower! However, in the Kindle edition the editing seems to be somewhat poor - the misuse of "loose" for "lose" and "starred" for "stared" occurs throughout the book, bringing the reader up short, and I am not sure that all the historical details are thoroughly researched (I believe that it was Henry VIII who was the first king to be addressed as "Your Majesty"). I would add that the theory of the fate of the Princes in the Tower seems somewhat superfluous to the main tale about Richard himself and the supposition that such a busy person as Sir Thomas More would spend an entire day recounting the tale to the artist is rather far-fetched.
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on 27 August 2012
The story plan is good but there are too many spelling mistakes. Matthew needs to proof read it thoroughly to remove all these. There are also some factual errors but they are not as off-putting as the spelling mistakes. A good first effort but can do better!
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on 4 August 2013
I hoped Loyalty would shed some new light on the reputation of King Richard. Although I knew it was a fictional account of his life I did expect a well written novel, afterall the author had received glowing reviews for this book,unfortunately I was sorely disappointed. Whilst the idea was interesting the work itself was badly written with repetative phrases and at times crass. If you want to read a novel that is excellent and thoughtfully written I suggestyou try The Sunne in Splendour or Daughter of Time.
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on 20 February 2013
I've only just begun this book, and it promises to be interesting, but - once again I have found the same problem that seems to beset many of the Kindle editions. Already I have found several obvious typos ("feint" for "faint" (twice); "ascent" for "assent"). These bring the reader up short, take you out of the story and make it necessary to re-read the sentence to find out what it should have said. What is more, they are unnecessary. This is sloppy sub-editing, and as such is something of an insult to the reader. I have found the same problem in several other Kindle books recently.

I hope that publishers of e-books will take note of this, and start making their sub-editing a bit more stringent.
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on 16 February 2014
Knowing Thomas More was in this book made me approach it with a bit of trepidation - but having read a description of the story - it got me intrigued.
I know very little about Holbein apart from some of what he painted, and the Tudors are far from my favourite novel subjects - but with this being interwoven with Richards story - I just had to read it. Being female - and a staunch Ricardian - I will unashamedly admit to veering on the more romantic versions of Richard that are depicted in many novels. However, this was a very likeable version Richard - portraying him as a man with faults and flaws - which he undoubtedly had.
Having read it - and not being able to put it down at all over the last few pages - I just had to read Honour - Matts next book continuing the tale. I suggest you do too!
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on 22 April 2013
It drags far too much in the middle and needs more action

Too slow and plodding but we'll written ....could do beter
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on 10 April 2015
Nailing my colours to the mast, I Richard III Duke of Gloucester has been one of my history crushes ever since I read Josephine Tey's <i>The Daughter of Time</i> many years ago, so any novel with a sympathetic take on a much maligned monarch and man is bound to go well with me. So what did I think about Matthew Lewis' book? I enjoyed it very much and would award 3.5 stars only because I had reservations about the basic stylistic structure of the novel.

Sir Thomas More calls in Hans Holbein to paint the famous More family portrait then sits him down to tell the truthful account of that most monstrous usurper and nephew killer, Richard III. The problem mostly is the detail. How could More possibly know the thought processes of a dead king, his family and associates, with fully recounted conversations? Every time the narrative returns to its interludes at More's Chelsea home I was taken out of the story and reminded of my reservations. I came to the conclusion Lewis has two stories that might have been better served in separate novels. It wasn't that I didn't like the intriguing story behind that portrait, on the contrary this is fascinating stuff that really got me curious to do some research. However, I just don't buy the fireside tale running to over 400 pages of text with total verbal and visual recall.

Yet I LOVE all that detail, rich description that allows you to 'see' the story as though watching a film. Lewis does such a good job painting his sympathetic but not saintly portrait of Richard I can overlook that problem I had with the More-Holbein bits and recommend the novel to historical fiction enthusiasts. There are places where the narrative lags a little, with perhaps a tad too much introspection, but this is a fine first novel that gives promise of even better to come from a talented writer with a passion for this period of English history.

Of course Richard has been much in the news with the recent reburial in Leicester following the discovery and identification of his remains last year, and it is now not such a new idea our impression of the last Plantagenet king was for so long coloured by the mighty Tudor propaganda machine. Richard emerges from the story a fundamentally good man, kind and intensely loyal, with a strong faith, an abundance of commons sense, progressive attiudes and quick intelligence. He is deeply insecure and given to fierce rages, but his fatal flaw is his failure to play the political game and secure allegiance from or control over other major players within the aristocracy and their influential families, and this proves his undoing. The section covering Bosworth Field is very well written, exciting, and tense...for just a minute I quite forgot I knew the sad outcome. Now that is what I call very satisfying reading.

As a footnote I ought to confess I might not have been bothered as much by the Thomas More device had I not had the deeply unsympathetic sneery voiced version from <i>Wolf Hall</i> so very much in my head. Which only goes to prove the insidious power of a good story as a means of blackening a man's character.

Now my Ricardian passion has been rekindled I want to revisit Sharon Penman's <i>The Sunne in Splendour</i>, and I will certainly read Matthew Lewis's follow-on novel, <i>Honour</i>.
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on 14 December 2013
This was an enjoyable and surprisingly unique take on Richard III. Lewis uses the unlikely narrator of Thomas More and the theory of his family portrait by Holbein to direct Richard's story.

This novel makes use of very beautiful descriptive language. I felt almost as if I was watching a movie, every detail of movement and thought was described so thoroughly. For some portions of the book, I enjoyed this and felt that Richard was very much brought to life. In other sections, I felt the story drag with the verboseness of inner thought and minutia of movements.

Lewis creates one of the more pious versions of Richard that I have read. I applaud the author for including this very realistic faith which Richard undoubtedly had, for it is, in modern times, not what usually makes a novel popular. Though Richard was devout and dutiful, he was also quick-tempered and a little short-sighted. It was a very realistic portrayal.

Maybe the version of this that I read had been through an extra editing step because I did not find the swarm of errors that other reviewers have noted. I found this novel very well-written. The only error that I remember was references to Brittany (where Henry Tudor is in exile) getting confused with a discussion of Burgundy. No, they are not the same place, and, no, this was not vital to any part of the story.

Lewis does an especially good job writing battle scenes. He weaves together Richard's inner thoughts with the action going on around him in a way that brings it to life for the reader. I also enjoyed the somewhat "Hollywood" version of Richard rescuing Anne from George of Clarence's clutches. I do not think that Lewis was aiming to write a "sexy Richard" or that Richard really came across that way through the whole book, but this scene did make me wish - just a little bit - that I was Anne Neville.

Overall a very worthwhile and well-written portrayal of Richard III.
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on 1 July 2013
accurate with latest historical findings and keeps you guessing. i don't want to say any more but you put this silly word count on
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