Book Jacket


rank 4566
word count 81393
date submitted 07.04.2012
date updated 23.01.2013
genres: Literary Fiction, Historical Fictio...
classification: moderate

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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Chapter 27


Early in the afternoon on a hot windy July day, Anne sat in her tent at a large table next to Will. Light filter from the canvas ceiling floating down on the books spread over the table. The flap to the tent flew open and Philip strode in. With haste, Anne and Will rose to give the king a respective curtsey and bow. Philip took Annes hand across the table and kissed it. Cousin Anne, it is good to see you, my dear.

“Your Highness, I am honored.” Anne gave him a genuine smile.

Sir, Will, how have you been? Philip addressed the child as he took a seat.

Will had grown over the past couple of years. He was taller, and it seemed as though the rest of his body could not keep up with his legs. Still, he was a beautiful, charming child. I beg your pardon, Sire, but I am not a knight,” The boy remarked.

Philip laughed. You may not be one now, but you will be someday. You will be as skilled in battle as your Uncle Richard I dare say.

“Your Highness, may I ask you a question?” Will’s brow furrowed in irritation.

Why, yes.

What is the purpose of studying all sorts of different languages? I would think you would only need to know the language of your troops, and that would be the same language of the people you govern.

Thank you, Will. That is enough. You will go and eat and be back here in half an hours time. Do you understand me?” Anne spoke in a sharp tone.

Etiam matris, Will said and left the tent. His skill in Latin was beginning to pay off, for he could now begrudgingly drag out, “yes mother,” in Latin as easily as in French.

Anne sighed. “He refused to do his Latin lessons for Master More. He thinks Latin is boring because Richard thinks Latin lessons are boring.

I cannot imagine that any child of yours would be stubborn.” One corner of Philip’s mouth turned up in a smile.

Anne brought a chair around to sit next to him. The tent walls billowed in and out with the wind. I was most sorry to hear of your wifes passing, My Lord. May I extend my deepest condolences?”

Yes, thank you, Anne.” Philip tried to change the tone of the conversation from his wife who had recently died while giving birth to stillborn twins, and attempted to add some humor. On top of everything else, I have got to find myself a new queen.

“Hum.” Anne shook her head. 

Philip looked at Anne. He found it hard to believe he had forgotten how beautiful she was. She was not wearing a wimple as married women did. He knew she hated the things and only wore them when it was necessary. Now her auburn hair tumbled down about her shoulders and her face. I shall be honest with you, Anne. You crossed my mind once or twice as a most pleasing candidate. I even petitioned the Pope on your behalf for an annulment. As you know, he would not even let the subject be breached because your husband is on crusade and cannot speak his case. Besides, if you did get an annulment, then I would have to petition the Pope to allow our marriage because we are second cousins. Then there is Richard. In the end, I came to the conclusion that were you and I to marry, he would find a way to ensure I would have no more heirs.

“Sire, I am flattered, but there are other women who would make a better queen than I. She tipped her head to the side.

Or one that my marrying would not put my manhood in danger.” He grinned.

Anne did not smile. She looked down at her lap and said nothing.

Anne, you do not look happy. What is wrong? What can I do to make you smile? Philip scooted closer.

Oh, I am a little tired. That is all. Perhaps it is the heat and life in camp. She shrugged.

Philip cupped her chin in his hand and lifted it so her eyes would meet his. I know you better than that, cousin. You have spent a good deal of time following Richard around in military camps. Camp life is nothing new to you. He let go of her chin. I guess I can understand your mood when there is the whole business about the Princess of Navarre.

Anne narrowed her eyes. The Princess of Navarre? What business?

Philip hesitated for a moment. He knew his plan was beginning to work, and here with Anne, looking into her eyes, he regretted it. He knew she would be hurt, but he had already started down the path and he must complete it. He reasoned she would find out about it soon enough, and it was better she heard it from a friend. Oh, no. You did not know? You mean Richard has not told you?

Regretfully, Sire, I do not know what he should have told me.

Really? Richard has said nothing to you about Berengaria of Navarre?” Philip felt slight surprised.

Befuddled, Anne only looked up at him.

Philip took both of her hands in his. I should not be the one to tell you this. It is not my place.

“Your Highness Cousin—I beg you, please tell me.”

Richard should be the one to tell you this. Not me.” Philip pursed his lips. However, I will tell you because I care for you. My sources have informed me that Richard does not intend to marry Alice as he promised. He intends to marry Princess Berengaria of Navarre and form an alliance in the south to protect his borders there. That is why Eleanor went to Navarre, to negotiate the marriage treaty.

Anne relaxed. With all due respect, you must have been misinformed.

I wish I were. Believe me. I wish it was all a rumor, but it is not. Thrice I had the information confirmed. He studied Annes face. Richard does not know that I know.

After a trice, Anne exhaled. Well, I was never born to be a queen.

“Naturally, I am angered by it all because of the whole affair with Alice, but to treat you this way, to not even tell you himself… Oh, dear Anne, I am sorry. Was he thinking, Eleanor would show up with the woman, and you would just understand or submit without any kind of warning? I am so very, very sorry you found out about it this way.

No, I thank you for your candor, Cousin. She pushed herself up out of her chair and began to stack the books strewn around on the table.

I am worried about you. Philip stood and placed his hands on her shoulders. Do not go with him. Stay in Marseilles with Will where you will be safe.

She reached out for a book on the other side of the large table and pulled it closer to her. I am not going on Crusade with him.

Philip reached around her and firmly placed his hand on the stack of books, looking her in the eye. I know why you are officially supposed to be going, Anne, but, in truth you, and I know the real reason.

“My Lord, the real reason is to see to Marseilles’ interests overseas. We do a considerable trade all along the Mediterranean. Granted, we are no Genoa or Pisa, but we are still very dependent on trade from that region. I have an important duty to my son and his inheritance.

Anne, I beg you. I do not want to see you further hurt.

She turned around and faced him. My feelings are of no consequence in this matter. Duty is the important thing. I never hoped to marry Richard and knew this day would come, eventually.

I realize that; however, the way he is going about it is not fair to you. He is treating you as a trifle. After all these years of loyalty and sacrifice.” He was close enough to feel her breath on his cheek.

Anne looked into Philips blue eyes. I promise I will come out of this adventure unscathed.

“Anne, promise me that you will not hesitate to ask for my help, should you need it.

I promise, My Lord. 

Anne, I swear…

“Don’t,” she interrupted him.

Philip gave her a tender kiss on the forehead and turned to leave. He stopped at the tent door and turned around. Just because he is a king does not mean he has the right to act like… he should remember those who made him what he is. Philip did not wait for a response; he left.


Anne spent the rest of the day supervising Will in his Latin lessons. Night fell and the camp outside came alive with music. Anne sat in her tent and listened to the celebratory mood. The nervous laughter of men soon to go to war floated across the camp, men relishing but fearing the glory that lay ahead of them, ready to be taken.

Anne was alone. Marguerite went off on a tryst somewhere with Andrew, and Will dragged Master More off to look at a fresh herd of horses that arrived earlier that day. Richard and Philip were somewhere, probably in Richards tent, going over war strategies, or something equally uninteresting.

After a while, Anne decided she would retire early. Sitting down at her dressing table, she loosened her hair, brushed it out with her fingers, and laid her hairpins neatly in a row on the table before her. Lost in thought, she felt the ribbon around her neck, which held Richard’s ring; she still wore it after all this time. Wondering if Richard still kept his token as close by as she did his, she pulled the ring out to look at it.

Before she had a chance to examine the ring, she heard a ruckus outside, so she went to her tent door. Just as she reached out to pull back the flap, Richard burst into her tent. She could tell by his red face that he was livid.

“Be direct with me. Did you or did you not have a private audience with Philip today? Richard boomed at her.

“Richard, keep your voice down.” She tried to hush him.

Do not order me about! I am your king! Answer the question, Anne. He spoke even louder.

She looked up at him, defiant. I fail to see how that is any of your concern. I am not your subject, and I will conduct my business with whomever I see fit.

You have embarrassed me, Anne. I spent all evening in parlay with Philip, and now Will tells me that you and Philip were alone together in your tent. There were others there and they heard.” He pointed at her.

You cannot possibly think that Philip and I…” Anne raised her voice slightly.

Richard picked up a blue pillow and threw it hard against a tent wall. I know you did not, but others do not know that. Besides, it looks as though you are plotting against me with the French King.

Richard, you are being ridiculous.

I am being ridiculous? I am being ridiculous? What about you? You have moped around ever since my coronation. Everyone sees it! Everyone agrees!

Of course, they agree with you. You are the king.

“Do not mock me, Anne.” Richard flashed her a look of warning.

I would not know how to mock you. I hardly know who you are anymore. The Richard I knew would not have cared one for the latest rumor at court.” Anne glared at him.

That man was not the king.

Do not worry. That is a fact I have not forgotten. How could I? You keep reminding me. You know that I am, and have always been loyal to you, Your Highness. 

Richard stood over her, his arms folded, and looked down at her. Then swear an oath to me.

What?Anne’s eyes widened.

An oath. I want you to swear an oath to me that you are loyal to me and not to Philip.”

Anne exploded. An oath! I do not need to swear an oath to you, nor shall I. The fact that I have stayed with you, stood behind you all these years, that is my oath.

Swear that you are loyal to me, and that you love me.”

“No.” She folded her arms.

Without warning, Richard reached out and grabbed her arm, hauling her out of the tent and into the camp. I will have you swear it before a priest.

She pulled against his strong grip. First he went left and then he came back to the right. Quickly, he walked toward his tent, dragging Anne along with him all the while shouting, Where is a priest?

“My Lord!” Blondel ran to him.

    Still in Richard’s camp, speaking with Baldwin, Philip heard Richard shout out. Returning towards Richard’s tent, he found Richard standing there with Anne, both seething. Richard yanked on Annes arm again as he started toward the Archbishop of Canterbury’s tent. Where is a damned priest when you need one? They are always fluttering and flitting around when its inconvenient, but when they are actually needed, there is not one to be found.As he went past one tent, he slapped the wine out of the hand of one soldier and pushed another who stood too close to his path, sending the man reeling.

Philip stepped into Richards path. Richard, stop! You are hurting her!”

Richard bellowed back, shaking his finger, This is none of your concern, Philip. Get out of my way!

Richard, I am not going to let you hurt her!” Philip stood firm.

Richard stopped and clenched his free hand into a fist. His face flushed red with rage, and he shook. Someone find me a bloody priest! He thundered.

I am done with this conversation!” Anne shouted.

Her outburst shocked Richard enough to loosen his grip on her arm. She jerked free.

“Anne!” Philip reached out toward her.

Anne stepped out of his reach. I am sick to death of kings. I have had enough of kings today to last me a lifetime, thank you very much. Good night, Your Highnesses! I am taking my leave of you.” She turned and stomped back to her tent.

Richard tried to follow her, but Philip jumped in front of him. As a blood relation, I would advise you to calm yourself and let her calm down before you approach her again.

The two kings stood face to face, each one silently daring the other to make a move. Baldwin rushed to Richard, “Your Majesty, there is a message from Marshal regarding your brother.” Baldwin lied but he hoped it would be enough to distract the king. Once he got Richard away, he would make up something, but he needed to separate the two men.

We shall discuss this again, Philip.” Richard grumbled and stormed to his tent.




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Seringapatam wrote 388 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 522 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.

The Greek Maiden and the English Lord

HGridley wrote 612 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.

Eftborin wrote 651 days ago 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 may find mine an interesting read.

Shelby Z. wrote 674 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 674 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.

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

Egon R. Tausch wrote 698 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: " 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 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".
" 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 717 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,
The Morning Drop

jlbwye wrote 718 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 719 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 723 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:

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 728 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!
The Woman From E.A.R.L.

earthlover wrote 729 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 731 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 731 days ago

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!)

Ms. J

Ms. J wrote 731 days ago

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 732 days ago

Hist Fict Review

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.

Jack1761 wrote 733 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!