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.


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

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Chapters

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Chapter 5

 

Word spread about the incident with Raymond, and it wasnt long before Anne’s chamber flooded with visitors. Baldwin sent most away but dared not deny entrance to the Queen or Countess Marie. Anne sat on her bed as her lady, Marguerite, attended her. Eleanor swept past them all and straight to Anne.

Anne, My Dear, oh, come here. Are you alright? She extended her arms to Anne.

Just then Richard burst through the door, and Andrew followed. Is it true? Did he make to strike you? Did he threaten you? Richard boomed.

I saw it with my own eyes, My Lord, Baldwin answered for Anne.

“This is an outrage! He must be banished from the court.” Countess Marie stamped her foot.

Richard barked, He should be horse whipped!

Castile and his entourage are preparing to leave as we speak. Andrew informed them.

No one insults a lady in my court and is allowed to get away with it. This slander will not go unanswered, he snarled.

No, Richard, no please! You will only provoke him more, Anne begged.

Richard shook his head. I will not stand idly by while he insults you.

Honestly, my reputation will heal. He has done damage to himself, to his honor.

Richard clenched his jaw. Yes, well, my honor will not let him get away with this!

Before Anne could say anything else, Richard stalked out of the room.

Baldwin and Andrew followed in close pursuit.

In the courtyard Raymond and his men prepared to leave. Richard burst into the courtyard. Castile!

Upon hearing his name, Raymond spun around stirring the dust at his feet. He didn’t hesitate, but drew his sword. In reaction, Richard quickly drew his. Richard lashed out at Raymond first, but Raymond skillfully deflected the blows.

By now, Andrew and Baldwin along with the Queen, Countess Marie, Master Blondel and Anne, all stood on the steps watching the brawl.

Despite Raymond’s skill, Richard proved a challenging opponent for him. The two locked swords.Such an effort is wasted on a good for nothing whore.” Raymond narrowed his eyes and tilted his head.

If she is so good for nothing, why do you pursue her? Richard pushed hard against the swords causing Raymond to stumble backwards. “You will not have Marseilles!

With an unsteady slash, Raymond knocked Richards sword from his hand but lost his own in the process. Richard swung his fist at Raymond and made contact. As Raymond wiped the blood and sweat from his lip, he sneered. I understand now. Aquitaine isnt enough for you. Your brother, Young Henry, is next in line for the throne, so you want as much land as can satisfy your greed.

Richard charged Raymond, knocking him to the ground. Raymond threw a handful of dirt in Richard’s face. Frantically Richard tried to clear his eyes, but Raymond stamped hard on Richards foot and used his shoulder to push against Richard’s chest, causing him to fall to the ground. Before Richard could react, Raymond pointed his sword at Richards chest.

All your talk of honor... “ Raymond leered. Look here, good people of this court, at your lord and master. He yelled to the onlookers. Yet, here lies your duke in the dirt, bested by a knight he considers lowly even though we are both princes by natural right. Where is the honor in that? He paused.Where is it? Raymond screeched. There is none!

Baldwin and Andrew stepped between Richard and Raymond.

I am willing to defend my most honorable lord to the death if necessary.

Andrew drew his sword.

Baldwin seconded, As will I.

Other knights of the court began to step forward.

Raymond glared at Richard. “Honor will not win you this prize.

Castile withdrew but not before turning to spit at Richard. Raymond and his entourage mounted their horses and flew out of the courtyard, almost trampling several people and animals on their way.

Baldwin helped Richard to his feet. Humiliated, Richard dared not look in the direction of Anne and the others. Anne fled inside, taking refuge.

z

Anne stayed in her chambers, refusing to see anyone the rest of the day and into the evening. The night air brought with it a chill, so Anne sat on the hearth warming herself by the fire. The day started off so pleasantly, but turned into a nightmare. She vacillated between worrying about Richard blaming her for his humiliation and sheer anger toward Raymond. Both lines of thought made her stomach churn.

She heard a soft knock at the door, and someone entered. Assuming it was her lady Marguerite who she sent for some wine, Anne didn’t bother to look up but stared into the fire.

“Anne.” Richards voice startled her.

Richard handed her a cup of wine. I met your lady in the hall and took the liberty of bringing you the wine myself.

    Anne took the wine from him. Thank you, Your Grace.

I take it you are not going to banquet either. Richard took a seat beside her on the hearth.

Anne shook her head. After todays commotion I am really in no mood.

I must confess, neither am I. Countess Marie can take over my responsibilities, though I doubt it will be much of a merry one.

Anne set the glass of wine out of the way and took a deep breath. “I apologize for causing such an uproar today. Truly, I am sorry that you were forced into such a situation, and I would completely understand if you sent me packing.

It is certainly not your fault that Raymond is such an ass. Your honor had to be defended.” Richard shrugged.

Well, I thank you for that.” Anne fiddeled with the hem of her sleeve. How are you feeling? slipped out.

Richard sat up taller. I have just a few scratches, nothing that wont heal.  My pride, however, may take a bit longer to recover.

Yes, bruised dignity is a rather nasty wound from which to heal.” Anne flashed her playful smile.

“How are you? Richard questioned.

“I am fine. She paused. Again, thank you for your kindness, My Lord.

Thank you for yours.

“But I have not done anything,” Anne protested.

Yes, you have,” he answered.

Richard gently brushed some hair away from Annes cheek. She jumped.

Oh, I am sorry. Did I hurt you?”

“No just, you just, I just...

Anne didnt finish because he kissed her with surprising gentleness.

z

Richard still held her face in his hand, studying her eyes to look for some sort of encouragement. She looked nervous, but he read nothing that told him to stop, so he tenderly kissed her again. At first she was reluctant, but then he felt her relax, seeming to melt against him.

Richard, she whispered.

“Sh.” With his forefinger he traced her jaw line from left to right, and then down her neck, brushing along the top of her collarbone studying the feel of her skin. She quivered against him, and he wanted to explore more. He had known other beautiful women before, made love to them, but Anne was different. When he kissed her again, he found that he was shaking. After reminding himself to breathe, he inhaled deeply taking in her spicy scent that seemed to be working a spell on him. Running his right hand up the back of her neck, his fingers wound around soft locks of her hair, and he drew her to him again, kissing her more forcefully. Again, she relented. Now he knew what he wanted, but as he began to loosen the laces on her gown, she became rigid.

Anne stood up and gave him a low curtsey. “I thank you very much for your attention this evening and the service that you rendered me earlier today. I must take my leave now.

Richard stammared. “I…I…I am a bit confused, Anne. For one thing this is your room.

“There is no confusion, Your Grace. I respectfully declined your offer.

My offer? But Anne, I am in love with you.

You hardly know me.” Anne shook her head.

Since when does that matter to love? Richard stood up now ready to block the door if she intended to bolt on him. I know enough to know that I want you.

It cannot be.

Why not?” He could still smell her, taste her on his lips.

Anne whispered, It is wrong in the eyes of God.

I thought you didnt necessarily agree with all the teachings of the church,” Richard argued.

I believe in God and heaven and hell. I will not burn in hell just to satisfy your lusty desire!” Anne held her head high.

Anne, this is how it is done. A man and a woman are attracted to one another, and they make love. People do it all the time. It is a natural desire.

People may do it all the time, but it is a sin.

Frustrated, Richard moaned. What would you have me do, marry you? You know full well that I cannot!

Exactly! That is why we cannot be together. Annes tone remained composed.

Richard slumped back on the hearth. Her calmness helped him regain some control. Anne, he shrugged, your meaning has escaped me.

Think of it. Just as you have a duty and will marry Alice, I too have a duty to marry and produce an heir. What if I were to become pregnant? Anne contended.

Richard placed his reeling head in his hands. That is not a certainty, he mumbled.

Can you assure me it will not happen? Sex is generally how babies come into being. She raised her tone of voice now. Any child I have with you would naturally be illegitimate. It would hurt the childs claim to any inheritance. Who would marry me then? Granted my fathers wealth would still be a bright asset, but I could never hope for a suitable match.

Richard pulled at his hair in frustration. If you were any other woman, I would have taken you by now. He spoke through gritted teeth.

Anne shouted, That would make you no better than Castile! Well, go on then! Do it and be quick about it!

His head shot up. Anne, you know I would never do that to you!

Anne exclaimed, No, I do not know that!

Richard remained calm now. You mistook my meaning. He spoke clearly and rationally. What I am trying to say is that no one else would have stopped me or dared to say no. Few people question me.

I apologize for my disrespect. Anne took a seat beside him.

Look at me, Anne. He turned to her. I am being completely honest when I say that I have never known anyone to captivate me so. From the moment I saw you, you were all I could think about. Ever since I met you, I have not had a decent nights sleep. All I can do is lie awake at night and think about you, and how I shall be able to see you in the morning, hear your laugh, smell your fragrance, just be with you. He whispered,You haunt me, Anne.

Richard, please. I am not for you.”

Look into my eyes and tell me that you care nothing for me. If you can honestly tell me that, then I will never bother you again. You have my word.

Anne took his hand. Oh, Richard, sex is so powerful. With sex, an empire can be built and crushed. Sex is a driving force behind history and legend, but sex outside the dictated confines of marriage can lead to nothing but disaster and misery. Look at Helen and Paris, or Cleopatra and Antony, even Guinevere, Lancelot and Arthur. All those men were brilliant leaders, but they lost everything because of sex.

Richard, you are just as talented as any of those men. You have the ability to become one of the greatest leaders the world has ever known. I will not have you throw it away for a moment or two of pleasure. I will not be the cause of your downfall. Let me help you, not hinder you.

Nothing you could do would hurt me except denying me your affection.” Sincerity resonated in his voice.

“I will not deny you affection, but I will not make love to you. I do care for you. She paused again. However, if you want nothing more to do with me, then I would understand.

I cannot just change the way I feel.” Richard shook his head.

Anne shrugged. Neither can I.

Then what is to be done?

I do not know. I do not know.

“You are a stubborn one, Anne.

Would you have it any other way?

Richard tried to smile at her joke. I think I shall take my leave.

He stood up and started for the door. Opening the door he stopped and turned back. “Despite everything you said, my feelings for you have not changed Anne.

Richard did not wait for a reply. He simply left her there and closed the door softly behind him.

As Richard slowly made his way down the stairs, he could hear the music and laughter floating out from the Great Hall, but he had no wish to be a part of it. Feeling as though something heavy had been placed upon his chest, he wanted to get outside where he thought it would be easier to breathe.

He stumbled out into the garden and worked his way along its paths until he came to the bench, that bench where he first spoke to her. He couldnt decide if it was a cursed place or a holy one. Sitting down upon the bench, he stared out into the night.

 

Chapters

6

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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 722 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 735 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!

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