Book Jacket

 

rank 4567
word count 81393
date submitted 07.04.2012
date updated 23.01.2013
genres: Literary Fiction, Historical Fictio...
classification: moderate
incomplete

Lord of All: The Legend of Richard and Anne

S. Lewis

Prince Richard and Lady Anne fall in love, but there can never be a match between them. Nobles do not marry for love.

 

Richard’s rival, King Philip of France finds that he, too, has feelings for Anne—but does he love her only because Richard does? As the characters try to navigate their way through conquest and crusade, they find that duty, honor, and chivalry can be harsh mistresses without regard for love. Can they survive the journey with their honor intact?

Lord of All is written in the tradition of a Medieval Romance but palatable to the modern reader. Human qualities of the historical characters in the book are exposed as they struggle through issues of love, sex, marriage, family, and make choices in situations where right or wrong are not clear.


 
rate the book

to rate this book please Register or Login

 

tags

castles, chivalry, crusades, friendship, historical fiction, knight, legends, medieval, nobility, philip ii, richard i

on 6 watchlists

18 comments

 

Text Size

Text Colour

Chapters

1

report abuse

Prologue

March, Anno Domini 1204

 

 

The profane stench seared his nostrils and burned his eyes until they watered.  Charles pushed backward against the uneven rock to force himself upward.  With his fingertips, he could feel a rough ledge, but his whole hand slipped on the slime that coated it.  Thrown off balance for a brief moment, Charles thought he would tumble down the shaft taking the men below with him.

Reaching out to the opposite wall, Charles used the pressure to stabilize his position.  In an instant, he felt the burning sensation in his scraped fingers.  He wasn’t wearing any gloves; they would have only been a hindrance against the slime and refuse that coated the wall. Without thinking, he emptied the air from his lungs but regretted it, as he would just have to draw in more breath, ingesting the foul air around him.

Below Charles, a man vomited, making his own reflexes spring into action.  He clenched his throat, fighting it back down he could not show such weakness to his men. Not only did his lungs burn from holding his breath and sucking in so much putrid air, now his throat was on fire from his own vomit. As he closed his eyes to compose himself, he remembered in detail why he, French King Phillip II’s field marshal, was scaling the gardez l’eau drain of Chateau Gaillard. 

Just hours ago he stood on the bank of the Seine looking up at the massive castle perched on the cliff high above him. The castle leered down at him, mocked him, grinned at him as if to say, “I shall never be taken.”

Some men believed twenty-three too young for the job of Maréchal de Champ, but Sir Charles de Valois proved himself time and time again. Coming from a minor noble family in the Vexin region, he rose to his present title rather quickly. King Philip took notice of the young man because of his ferocity in battle, his tactical skills, and his great loyalty. Charles’ military prowess spawned rumors that one day he might rise to the rank of Marshal of France, the commander of all the king’s armies.

Charles remembered the story of how, when Richard the Lionheart built Gaillard, Philip swore he would take it brick by brick if necessary. Richard replied that he would defend it even if it were made of butter. Right now it certainly seemed that Philip would have to take it brick by brick. Glaring, Charles wished the chateau was made of butter; then this siege would have been over months ago. Charles didn’t believe in ghosts; even with King Richard dead and buried, it seemed like he still protected his castle. Richard’s brother, King John, certainly hadn’t done much to defend Gaillard, the gateway to Angevin Normandy. The last time anyone saw John, he was sailing back to England, sulking the entire way.

Stones catapulted into the castle walls, and they made a thundering crunch as they hit and the earth shook. He wondered if they were the stones from the wall of the little peach orchard across the river, a reputed favorite spot of King Richard. It galled Charles that in eight months the French only captured the orchard and the outer bailey. However, the outer bailey was not the first obstacle Philip and his men faced. The town fell with ease, but the besiegers dealt with what they now called the Useless Mouths.

When King Philip began the siege, Gaillard’s castellan, Roger de Lacey, ordered all non-combatants out of the fortress. At first the French let them pass to the town below. The French found spies amongst them, and King Philip forbade any to pass through his lines. These people, old men, women, and children were trapped between the French lines and the silent walls of the castle. All winter, both sides watched as this hapless group starved in the muddy trenches. Shortly before the outer bailey fell, Philip took pity on the Useless Mouths, gave them food, and ordered them on through his lines.

The besiegers only managed to take the outer bailey a month ago, and then only when the curtain wall fell due to the mining underneath. Images of French men at arms trying to climb the outer wall with ladders flashed into Charles’ mind. The ladders came woefully short to reach the top, and the soldiers tried climbing up the rock wall. Many men plummeted to their deaths.

The mighty trebuchets below sprung loose another volley of stone projectiles. This time Charles imagined them as they hit their mark, and stone splintered and shattered, leaving pockmarks in the gray walls, the damage on the face of the castle that Richard referred to as his daughter. It lifted Charles’ spirits. If only Richard could see that, he thought. Still, the French remained firmly shut out of the middle bailey. No doubt, Richard would have been as proud as any father of his citadel. Her defenses performed exactly as designed.

Charles ran his filthy fingers through his golden-red hair, pulling it out of his face. Thinking about Richard made him uncomfortable. At court people often whispered the only reason he rose to his position was because he reminded Philip of Richard in temperament, skill, and looks. Often times, people said the two men could have passed for brothers. Charles never met Richard, so he didn’t know if this was true or not. He did know that for years the French and English fought over the territory of Vexin.

A crash and a sudden spray of rubble brought him back to his task in the drain. He had his mouth open when the spray came, and his mouth filled with the taste of stone and feces. Charles spat, scraped his tongue with his teeth, and spat again with no thought of those who were below, but he could hear that he wasn’t the only one to do so. Ready to be finished with what seemed a sentence in purgatory, he made his final push upward.

Emerging into the open air, Charles held his breath until he exited the garderobe and entered the chapel itself. Sharply, he let it out, purging himself of the foul and breathing in the cleansing air.  The man behind him surfaced looking strange, freckled from head to foot in light and dark spots. A quick glance at himself confirmed that the sun did not cause the freckles.

Together they secured a rope around a heavy pillar, then tossed the rope back down the latrine for the other men climbing the drain.  As Charles looked around, he found what he was looking for. He ordered the first two men who followed him to draw their swords and pointed to a grave. “There it is. Stand here with me and guard it,” he growled.

More men poured into the chapel searching for a way to exit. “The door is locked,” a young man-at-arms moaned.

“Well, what did you expect, they’d leave everything open for us? Break a window!” Charles grimaced.

“But it’s a chapel, sir.”

“Just break the window!” Charles’ face turned red. Time was vital, and this dolt wasted it.

Someone broke the window; Charles did not see who, and the French swarmed onto the castle grounds. Charles watched them go. From outside the chapel, he could hear the shouts and cries of battle, but he and the two other men remained at their post.

Aggravated, he butted his head backwards against the wall. He wanted to be out there with the men, fighting, not in here standing guard at a grave.

Within a matter of moments, the French surprised and overpowered the English at the drawbridge, and another moment saw hundreds of King Philip’s soldiers rushing into the castle, slaughtering Englishmen or taking them prisoner. A small group of English retreated to the inner bailey.

As the siege continued, Charles remained at his post by the grave, assigned there by the king himself. He could not help but wonder just what he had done to deserve such an ignominious duty.

Once the middle bailey fell, it did not take long for the inner bailey to fall, and then the castellan, Roger de Lacy surrendered the fortress. Still, Charles remained stationed at a grave.

#

Tall and graceful, the French King, Philip Augustus, entered the fortress to the shouts and cheers of his men, but he seemed to take little notice of them. He was a man in search of something.

Philip’s personal priest, a rotund man named Father Broase, hustled toward the king. “Your Highness, I think I have found it!”

“Is it her grave?” Philip asked, his brilliant blue eyes sparkling.

Broase huffed, still a little out of breath. “Yes, my lord, I believe so. We have found the chapel. I will show you.”

Without waiting for a reply, Broase turned and retraced his steps as fast as his stubby legs would allow.

They reached the chapel of Chateau Galliard with all the haste left in Broase. “There, my lord, there it is.” Broase pointed a crooked finger toward a grave maker.

Philip entered the chapel reverently. Other than the broken window, the chapel was spared damage from the battle, and as of yet not stripped of its ornamentation. The grave lay in front of and to the right of the altar. Charles and the two knights stood in front of the grave, swords still drawn. Philip went to the gravestone to which Broase pointed. The stone read:

 

Anne Baux

Viscountess De Marseilles

 

Philip dropped to a knee and tenderly touched the letters on the cold stone in the floor. Charles noticed the king bite his lip and hold his breath. Then the King’s chest quivered, and a small whisper escaped his lips, “Anne.”

“Forgive me, sire, but I am puzzled.” Charles’ voice broke the spell. “You have just won a great battle. This was King Richard’s castle. They all said it could never be taken. Your men are celebrating! Yet, the first thing you do is come here to the chapel to find a grave. I am confused.”

Philip’s voice came with uncharacteristic compassion. “She was dearer to me than any sister.”

“But, my lord, I thought she was Richard’s mistress,” Charles griped.

Philip turned on Charles pointing a shaking finger at him. “You and I would have been lucky to have been loved by half such a woman.”

Charles dropped his head and apologized, not wanting to incur any more of King Philip’s wrath. “I am sorry, but I am afraid that I do not understand your meaning, sire.”

Broase intervened. “Perhaps, Sir Charles, it is best that we leave the king alone in the chapel. I am sure he could use this time alone with God. . . and you could use a bit of washing.”

Broase ushered Charles out of the chapel into the little entryway outside the chapel proper, and returned to get a chair. Looking back, Broase saw Philip take a seat on the cold stone floor next to the grave, prop his back against the wall, remove his sword and loosen his armor. Broase shut the door.

“I didn’t mean to anger the king,” Charles protested.

“You did not anger him; he just needs to be alone.” Broase set the chair down in front of the chapel door as if he guarded the door.

One of Charles’ men, who was now wet from head to foot, handed him a bucket of water. “This is insane,” Charles said, scrubbing his hands and face to get the now dry freckles off. “He needs to be with the men in victory! He is not making any sense! He ordered me to stand here and guard a grave instead of leading the men to the gate.” Charles lifted the bucket and poured clean water over his head.

“That grave is very important to the king. He wanted to trust it to his most loyal knight,” Broase tried to explain.

Charles shook his head. “A grave?”

“Long ago, King Philip and Richard were friends—long before he became a king—long before the crusade. And Anne, she was always there with them; Lady Anne, the woman who could bring the mighty warrior Richard to his knees.” Broase paused and gave a pained smile. “They met while Philip was still young. Richard was the Duke of Aquitaine then. Sit, sir, this will take some time.”

With apprehension, Charles took a seat in the narrow hallway.

 

 

Chapters

1

report abuse

To leave comments on this or any book please Register or Login

subscribe to comments for this book
Seringapatam wrote 391 days ago

The authors of the next three I am reading have not been on the site for a while but I feel that if I am reading them then I should comment on them. This one in particular reads very well and I think may do well. It is so well written and researched too. Nice flow, great characters and brilliant narrative. I enjoyed this and if the author came onto the site and pushed it, I can see it doing well.
Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R) Please consider me for a read or watch list wont you?? Many thanks. Sean

Patty Apostolides wrote 526 days ago

Historical Fiction Review:
Chapters 1-6

This is a superbly written story, and so well researched that I felt as if I were there, taking all this in. The characters were very realistic with their hopes, dreams, and fears. The setting felt authentic and the details utilized all my senses.

I really liked Lady Anne, with her sensibilities, her wit, and her virtuous character. I also liked Richard and his growing love for her. He was sensitive to her wishes and caring enough to see that she was well after Raymond's nasty treatment of her.

I have placed it on my WL and look forward to reading the rest of the story.

I have given it a well deserved six stars, and will back soon. It deserves the Editor's Desk, for sure.

Best,
Patty
The Greek Maiden and the English Lord

HGridley wrote 616 days ago

Chapter One:
The appeal to the senses is very good. I also like the personification of the castle leering down at him and mocking him.
The detail of defending a castle made of butter = classic!
All the details are very well researched, and it’s like I’m actually there.
“the castellan, Roger de Lacy surrendered…” there should be another comma after “Lacy”
What is the meaning of the random Y?
The idea of a king grieving at a grave after a great victory is very intriguing. Great end to the first chapter; I want to keep reading on.
I’ve got lots to do, so I’ll return at another day to read more. Great beginning! You’ve begun on the right foot, and the tone you set is really absorbing. I like it. Often Medieval work is cliché and pat, and here you’ve given it life and color.
~Hannah

Eftborin wrote 654 days ago

Aha...you like medieval as i do. I think it was the wish of every school boy in my school-going days to be either Robin Hood or Richard Coeur de Lion. Of course as i do like that period in world history, detail to actual history are important. I like it and will read more...you may find mine an interesting read.
Pat

Shelby Z. wrote 677 days ago

This is a unique book on this site. There aren't many medieval books on here.
I like the way you write.
I think in the first chapter there is a ton of information, which can be a good thing and a bad thing. Good because we know where your coming from, but bad in that it could be too dry for some readers.
Anyways, I think that you develops this well and have a good use of words.
Good work!

Shelby Z./Driving Winds

P.S. Please look at my pirate adventure Driving Winds.

Egon R. Tausch wrote 677 days ago

Hist.Fict. Readers Grp
Dear Ms. J,

I wanted to continue reading your MS, but felt that too much time between chapters would hurt the flow, so I re-read from the start through ch 12. Will read on soon. Your story is moving swimmingly, and you have not compromised your historical setting as so many novels do. We are learning to think as they did. The suspense is building. I am, of course, now backing your book. A few nitpicks:

Ch 11:
----Computer glitch in lines of separation between "Richard and" and "Geoffrey have their lands...".
----"There is too great of risk of you being killed..." Suggest first "of" be changed to "a".

Ch 12:
----"Yes, yes, I am fully aware of that you have told the Queen." Something's wrong with this sentence.
----A few lines later you either need to run two paragraphs in dialogue together, or use a quotation mark before "You realize that once you give yourself to Richard...".
----3 more computer glitches, where your paragraphs are cut in half: "Besides, if I may be so bold...", "I do not pursue a marriage with Richard, nor will I..." and "Now I know that, I cannot release you."
----People probably had at least a version of "pain in the ass", but it can't help but strike readers as modern slang.
----You need a quote mark before "You know I trust them completely." or combine it with the previous paragraph. (Your paragraphs tend to be awfully short, anyway; short paragraphs tend to add a transparently false excitement.)
----"I guess I shall see you in..." "Guess" sounds slangy; suggest "Shall I see you in Poitiers then?"

Keep up the good work.

Regards,
Egon R. Tausch
A Voice In Rama: A Novel of the Slaughter of the Innocents

Egon R. Tausch wrote 701 days ago

Hist.Fict.Readers Grp
Dear Ms J,

Have finally finished ch's 6-9 of your MS (I was delayed by trying to get back all my backings which Authonomy arbitrarily dropped). Queen Eleanor is very well portrayed; just as she comes across in history. Your plot is moving along very well. I am glad that you continue the history, and don't let it degenerate into just a modern love story. You have certainly done your research, and your writing style is spot on. I expect to put you on my shelf when I have read a little further. I hope you don't mind nitpicks; the ones below are interspersed with praise.

Ch 6:
"stonewalls" -- -- should be two words.
Typo: "...room where her favorite" -- -- should be "were"
"When the tapestries...truly home." -- -- One of the best lines on Authonomy; tells us volumes about the tapestries and Eleanor.
Paragraph beginning "Eleanor stopped pacing..." -- -- you go back and forth between Henry's, and it is difficult, since you have never before mentioned Henry II, to tell whether you are talking about father or son. This again occurs in your 3 paragraphs "Ah, but do not forget Louis...to meet Louis in Paris." You mention "Henry", father or son [?], 5 times, all mixed.
"Richard wonderd why..." -- -- should be "wondered"

Ch 7:
Your part on the chest called "the Reliquary..." is brilliant detail, without detracting from the action.
"Three maybe four hours..." -- -- suggest comma after "Three".
"Henry never, nor would he ever..." -- -- suggest comma after "ever".
Typo: last line in ch -- -- "grateaful" -- -- should be "grateful".

Ch 8:
"I arrest you in the name of the king Henry." -- -- suggest you drop "the", but capitalize "King".
Last line, suggest comma after "Channel".

Ch 9:
Suggest that you indicate to the reader that you have moved back to the narrative started in your Prologue. I, for one, had forgotten that Broase was telling the story.
"Soon enough, believe you me,..." -- -- last phrase is modern slang.
"Richard grumped..." -- -- is there such a word? A cross between "grumbled" and "harrumphed"?
"...sons put together haphazardly" -- -- strikes me as slangy. "Matilda's husband..." -- -- should be combined with previous paragraph. I would be very confused about the family relationships described by Geoffrey if I weren't a historian of the period.
You imply that William the Marshal is not only fickle in his loyalties but promiscuous with women. I've read 2 biographies of William, and there is no evidence of either characteristic.
You drop the death of Rosamond like a bomb, apparently well after the fact.

Ch 10:
"exchequer" means "from the chequered hall" (the English Treasury). Drop the "ex" if you mean a different hall.
"When it came time..." -- -- you again have "exchequer", and "brimed" for "brimmed"; and I doubt a thousand knights could be in attendance in any hall that isn't a major cathedral.
You mention an "empty plate" -- -- Didn't they still use hollowed out loaves ("trenchers") instead of plates?
"Eleanor convinced..." -- -- I would put "had" after "Eleanor".
"No, I apologize." -- -- suggest comma be a period.
Three paragraphs later -- -- you again use "exchequer", again.
Next paragraph -- -- you have the word "stopped" with 3 p's.
"a frantic wrapping" -- -- should be "rapping".
"...to grab his hand again, but he caught it." -- -- Caught what?
Second time Richard says "God's leg" -- -- suggest you change it (God's wounds?).

Despite all my nitpicks, you are a great story-teller. Will continue reading.

Egon R. Tausch
A Voice In Rama: A Novel of the Slaughter of the Innocents

Andrew Hughes wrote 720 days ago

(Historical Fiction group)

Hi Ms J,

I read the first three chapters and really enjoyed the story.

It’s a very vivid opening. I’m not sure you need the line: ‘As he closed his eyes to compose himself, he remembered in detail…’ and so on. You can just tell of the siege, the reader will know it’s the back-story. It would avoid you having to keep saying the description of the siege is Charles’s memory. Also, I don’t think Charles would have snickered to himself given the situation.

You describe action very well, like the catapult rocks hitting the walls, or the men spitting out the spray in the drain.

Occasionally you repeat words and phrases close together, which can chime a bit, but that’s easily fixed. I’d also try to use less exclamation points. It would help the speech sound more natural.

I like the portraits of Eleanor and Anne in Ch 1. And the characters and interactions at the banquet are well described. Raymond’s proposal to Richard in the next chapter is perfectly vile. I think it’s often best to use ‘said’ to describe speech, rather than words like ‘chided’ or ‘snapped’.

There’s no need to repeat your short pitch in the longer one. I think you could use the long pitch to give more details of the plot, as it’s quite a big book.

Overall this is a very good piece of historical fiction. Highly starred.

Best of luck with it,
Andrew.
The Morning Drop

jlbwye wrote 721 days ago

Lord of All. A Hist.Fict. read. Your short pitch is succinct, and rouses interest, but you do not need to repeat the concept in the long pitch. Instead, use the words to build up the characters and their emotions, with the broad sweep of your plot, perhaps?

I take notes as I read, but dont pretend to be an expert. I tend to notice nits - hope you dont mind?

Ch.1. Prologue. Great choice of words - 'profane stench', compounded by the vomiting later on. This is a striking opening for your book.

Do you want nits?
There are some vague / unnecessary words which spoil the flow of a story: rather, certainly, seemed to (Ch.2) just, rather.

And words repeated too often / too close together can jar on a descerning editor. Charles, breath/ing, rope, grave (Ch.2) Poitiers, court, count/ess.

You reveal some history and back-story through Charles's thoughts. Good technique.
For a moment there, I was thinking Charles had let out the chapel - not his breath - perhaps exhaled?

Yes - I, like Broase, think Charles is being brash and insensitive. Maybe he was lucky to get away with it!
So. A tale within a tale. A well contrived Prologue.

Ch.2. (Auth). You create a bustling, charming scene and introduce the practical Eleanor and the lovable Anne in an easy style.
Although it passes in the real world, such repetitions in dialogue as 'not to worry' are inadvisable on the printed page.
The dialogue between Anne and Millicent flows easily and naturally, while revealing more of their characters and advancing the story.
Promise of an appropriately romantic scene provides a hook to draw the reader on.

Ch.3. Oh - I wish to have more of their first intimations of love, but you have jumped over the episode.
However, you have captured their gaiety well in the repartee between Anne and Richard.
And that is a sudden, unsavoury action on Raymond's part.

Ch.4. A strong, enthralling beginning to this chapter. And enlightening, for I know very little of the time and customs of your period.
'Love is not the issue here, duty and honour are.'
Dont you mean Richard waited on the bench where he had seen Anne reading her letter the first time they met?

This romantic story is developing well in the tradition of historical fiction, between the folds of weightier matters.
I enjoy the light humour of their blossoming love, and the characters are coming alive against a background of heavy tradition.

Lots of stars.
Jane (Breath of Africa)

ceejezoid wrote 723 days ago

Hist Fiction Forum Review:

This is my first official review for the historical fiction forum. I picked yours as you seem to have given a lot more reviews than you have received!!!

Right, so. This is not a period of history I really know anything about. Mention Richard and John to me and the best I can do is Robin Hood! Probably a good thing, for review purposes, as I can be a bit of a control group for readers who don't know the back story.

I'm enjoying the plot. Read chapters 1-5, and Richard and Anne's relationship is shaping up well. She's got a mind of her own, she is sympathetic, she's strong willed. Richard seems a bit knee-weakening and swoony, so all good. Raymond is a great scoundral to set them off! The descriptions of his singing, or rather the listeners' reactions, were highly amusing!

I like the rumours and scandals circulating round court, its really breathing life into your settings and seems to fit with other stories from similar periods I've read, or at least my imagination of the period! The set up of Richard's pre-engagement and Anne's wealth (but presumned inability to inherit straight off, as she is a woman?) promises lots of great conflict.

The prologue is good, but a little info-heavy. I don't think you need so much about the siege, especially if you will be returning to it later. The horrible toilet shaft and the guarding of the grave in the chapel are, however, an intruiging start and a good hook for getting into the story.

Couple of little things:

Chapter one features noses quite prominently! Not sure if you were aware, but you describe at least 4 noses in the one chapter. Doesn't seem to happen again in what I have read.

I think there should be a break between Eleanor's first conversation with Anne and the start of the feast to clarify the time/location shift.

Right at the start of chapter 5 you use sleep twice in about 3 lines - "sleep still clung to their fumbling hands"(love this)..."sleep-ruffled hair"

Thoroughly enjoyable, have some stars!

Egon R. Tausch wrote 726 days ago

Hist. Fict. Forum Review
Dear S. Lewis, Your Prologue and first 4 ch's and half of 5 are outstanding. I am writing as a professional historian. Thank God you haven't fallen for the revisionists who claim that Richard was homosexual, on no real evidence. Your descriptions of chivalric customs of the time are spot-on (especially the "courts of love"). Your writing is formal enough, without being archaic. I do think that the last part of the ch 5 is a bit too modern, and not oblique enough (even kings followed the prevailing rules of seduction). Also, I doubt Anne would have been too worried about pregnancy: Kings and dukes rarely failed to ennoble their illegitimate children, especially if the mother was a rich Lady. Richard was well aware that he was a direct descendant, and owed his claim to the crown to being so, of William the Conqueror -- -- formerly, "Duke William the Bastard". Richard also had such a passionate view, and had the ability, to conquer far more lands, of which much would have gone to any bastards. Finally, his hatred of his brother John was such that he would have named any son, legitimate or not, his heir to the royal throne. The Middle Ages are chock-full of bastards who became earls, dukes, and even kings. And, of course, Richard finally had no heirs, of any sort, except his hated brother. (And he had William the Marshal, the greatest knight in Europe, to protect his child until he was grown.) Marshal with his army loyally and successfully protected 3 successive totally different named heirs to the throne, the last one a child, against all opposing powers. You might at least hint at some of this, in a line or two about bastardy at the time, for verisimilitude. Also, his protestation to that effect, would make the scene more in keeping with his character, and eye on the crown, rather than only sliding into a modern love scene. I'm sure I'll enjoy the rest of your book greatly, when I can get to it. You know your period very, very well, and are a great plot writer. 6 stars. Bookshelf soon.

"He is the sixth in line for the succession...Philip, Juan the cook, the master at arms, the pigs, the horses..." One of the best sentences I have read on Authonomy.

I only list nitpicks for outstanding MS's:

Prologue:
Broase shuts the same door twice in 4 lines.

Ch 1:
"...radiated more than some half her age." -- -- add "women" or "ladies" after "some".
"Like most noble women, Marie's father..." -- -- antecedent doesn't match subject of the sentence.
"She is the heir of the Viscount de Marseilles..." -- -- you have "wealth" and "wealthy" in 3 lines. Change one to "rich"?
"...she tried to stiffle her laughter." -- -- stifle?

Ch 2:
"Later in the week, a joust occurred." -- -- Would suggest a more active verb. "...came the joust."?

Ch 3:
Castile's friend refuses to answer a question which would reveal his principal. Then a bit later he gives Castile away by mentioning his mercenary motive. -- -- might add something like "He blurted, before realizing the consequences." It seems the whole court learned who the parties were due to that indiscretion.

Ch 5:
"...her lady Marguerite who she sent for some wine." -- -- should be "whom".

Great job,
Egon R. Tausch
A Voice In Rama: A Novel of the Slaughter of the Innocents

P.S. Please read my MS and give me brutally honest comments.

earthlover wrote 732 days ago

Read through chapter 5. I admire the attention to detail and time that comes with writing an historic novel. I especially enjoyed the exchange of the flower on the morning ride. She'd been tearing them apart one at a time, but she didn't tear the petals off that one. Lovely!
Georgia
The Woman From E.A.R.L.

earthlover wrote 733 days ago

Read the prologue. I love the idea of a soldier crawling through what is basically a sluice pipe, into a church to guard a grave. WOW! The contrast between the sewer and the church, the fact that they had to break the church glass, the battle, the King, wanting to be alone with the grave of his beloved. So far this is an awesome epic story. I've already given it high stars and will read on.

Adeel wrote 734 days ago

A nice, descriptive and well written book. Your writing style is very impressive and realistic with vivid description and narrative is at great pace. Highly rated.

Ms. J wrote 735 days ago

Kate,
Thank you so very much for taking the time to read. I sincerely appreciate your comments. I've wondered about the opening scene myself. I do use Father Broase and Charles to help move the plot along as the book covers so many years. I'm still debating what to do with that. I will keep reading yours. Today was just insane and I couldn't get back to it. (Grrrrrrr!)

Cheers,
Ms. J

Ms. J wrote 735 days ago

Jack,
Thank you so much for taking the time to read. I really appreciate it. I also very much appreciate your comments. I've got your book on my watch list, and I will be reading it tomorrow. I meant to today, but things got crazy with a couple of students today and I ended up in meetings until late this evening.

Thanks again, Ms. J

katemb wrote 736 days ago

Hist Fict Review

Hi,
I have read and thoroughly enjoyed this up to the end of chapter 5. I'm enjoying the story of Anne and Richard very much. It reminds me of Katherine by Anya Seyton. I think you've got the pace of the story just right.
I had a couple of questions, rather than any suggestions.
Do you need the opening scene? I found the story of Charles climbing up into the castle was a little heavy on back story and didn't feel it added anything to my reading of the story, knowing that Richard and Anne are dead (I mean obviously they are dead now, but in the fictional world of your book they are not!)
How old was Richard I at the opening of the book? I wondered if a little more explanation of Eleanor's marriages would be appropriate and wanted to know what dates the court at Poitiers took place.
And lastly, I have a slight believability issue about Anne's conduct and Eleanor encouraging her to meet Richard. I enjoyed those parts tremendously so it was only a minor worry!
I'll give this lots of stars and keep it on my watch list for now. It's the kind of story I'd happy buy and read.
Best,
Kate

Jack1761 wrote 736 days ago

Hist. Fict. Read -- I hope I'm doing this right ;o)

I have read to chapter 3 so far, and I am greatly enjoying it. The time period is one that I don't know much about, but you do give good descriptions (if anything, I think you could be even more descriptive of the surroundings, fashions etc.) and seem to be comfortable with the period as such. The way the characters speak is perhaps a little too informal on occasion - expressions like "carry on" or when Eleanor says "...the lady in question is perhaps a bit too much for the knight..." (Ch. 3) sound off to me in the context of the time period.

The story itself certainly has the makings of an epic love story! The character of Anne is very likeable and well-drawn, and Richard is also shaping up. Anne's dilemma of facing a marriage of convenience instead of a love match is becoming very clear.

I will definitely keep on reading!

1