Book Jacket

 

rank 4561
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 28

 

The English and French armies struck camp at Vezelay and left together. Both Richard and Philip rode in front of the marching column. At first everything seemed to be going well, but when the massive armies traversed the bridge across the Rhone River at Lyon, the crushing weight caused the bridge to collapse. The kings had already crossed the bridge; Richard’s troops were sent tumbling into the river. Miraculously, only two men drowned. Richard took control of the situation and used a bridge of boats for the rest of the army to cross. After the bridge collapsed, the two armies split at Lyon. Philip took the northern land route to Genoa, while Richard took his troops south to Marseilles to meet his fleet there.

Anne did not speak to Philip again before the two armies parted company. For that matter, she spoke little to Richard and only when necessary. Richard did try to make amends, in his own fashion. He sent Blondel to Anne with a song he wrote. The parchment was tied with a red ribbon, and attached to a bouquet of purple and white sweet william. Anne sent no message back to Richard.

As they drew closer to Marseilles, Anne’s spirit revived. She was going home for the first time since leaving to serve in Eleanors court. Richard noticed a new glow about her that became more radiant as each day passed. Her eyes sparkled in anticipation of their arrival.  Her smile held a new happiness he had not seen since before she was imprisoned.

Two days from Marseilles, Anne’s cousin Etienne rode out to meet her and travel with her. Many dignitaries from the city came and went from the camp, and Annes tent became almost as busy as Richard’s.

Late the night before they were to enter Marseilles, Richard sent Andrew and Baldwin to Anne to discuss the next morning. She laid out a rough sketch of the city before them and showed the two men the route for the king to enter the city.

His procession will end at the chateau here.” She pointed to her crude map.

That all looks agreeable Anne. You have done a wonderful job as usual.” Andrew smiled at her.

Be assured, he will receive a royal welcome.” Anne spoke with little emotion.

Andrew and Baldwin exchanged looks. “As you know, it is customary for the local reigning noble to accompany the king on his journey through the city.

“Yes, Etienne will be there to serve as escort.

Anne, he wants you to do it.” Baldwin scratched at his neck.

Anne shook her head. Ah, no. I am a woman.

Marseilles is yours, and you are Marseilles’,” Andrew retorted.

Baldwin interjected, If you will not do it for him, then do it for us. Think of us having to go back to Richard and explain that you won’t do it.

Ha!” Anne blurted out. Regaining her composure, she looked at Baldwin and caught the glimmer in his eye. He was goading her to do it. “Alright,” she threw up her hands in mock surrender. For the sake of you two knights, who are, I might add, a constant thorn in my side. 

“There is the Anne I know,” Baldwin teased.

Now, I must beg that you take your leave as I am tired and have a long day ahead of me tomorrow.” Anne gave them a warm smile.

Of course, Lady Anne. Baldwin picked up his cap from the table. “We will bid you goodnight. Come, Andrew.

Andrew turned to Anne. Thank you, Lady Anne. I know this is not something you relish doing, but thank you.

“Goodnight, Andrew.” Anne waved to him.

z

The royal procession entered the city in grand style, with the people of Marseilles lining the route to see the hero crusaders. As the army made its way through town, crowds cheered the soldiers, offering them drink and food. Women lifted their babies up for the men to kiss and thus bless.

Richard looked more like a conquering hero than a visiting head of state. Anne rode on his right side and Will on his left. Etienne, Andrew, Baldwin, other dignitaries of the city, along with Richards conseil privé, followed them. Richard at once saw the resemblance to Anne and knew that Etienne was her trusted cousin. He had light brown hair, hazel eyes, a prominent nose, and a bulky commanding build. Anne treated Richard with the dignity and respect due a king, but did not show any familiarity beyond that.

As they traveled the streets of Marseilles, Richard noticed Anne close her eyes for a moment just to let the sun shine on her face, so warm, unlike the grey of London, or even Paris, for that matter. It was a whole different world. The gentle Mediterranean breeze caressed her face and ever so slightly tugged at her hair behind her ears, gently blowing down her neck. This was home; she was home.

Richard also noted the influence of the many cultures that called Marseilles home. He could see the influence of the Greco Roman era, the Moors from Africa, and the more well known to him flavor of Languedoc. He remembered back to all those times Anne spoke of her beloved city. Marseilles fascinated him more than he imagined. It seemed only right that Anne came from such an extraordinary place. She was so like the city, made up of so many different ingredients, all blended together in a graceful, wondrous form. He felt a sense of belonging to that city too. In an instant, he fell in love with Marseilles just as he did with Anne.

They turned up a hill that overlooked the port, and the chateau crowned the hill above them. The procession entered the grounds through a large gate in a high wall that surrounded the chateau.  The building itself, made of large golden brown stone, towered high above the spacious courtyard, and consisted of many different levels, making use of the slope on the top of the hill.  On the grand steps of the chateau, a group waited to welcome them.

As Etienne helped Anne from her horse, he took her hand and kissed it. She laughed and embraced him. “You are most welcome to Marseilles, Your Majesty. Etienne gave Richard another long bow.

“I thank you very much.” Richard acknowledged him. He wanted to say more, but many people were preoccupied with reuniting with Anne. For the first time in a long time Richard was disregarded, and he felt both annoyed and delighted. Several men of the town greeted her even a contingent of clergy. Richard looked them over and wondered if the ancient one was the priest who caused Annes hasty departure so many years ago. He also noticed an abbot about his own age who held back from the others.

From behind the crowd of Marseilles’ dignitaries, an old woman pushed her way forward. Her face wrinkled and her back bent, she used a cane to aid her movement. Even with that, she seemed nimble for one so old and bowed. Give way, give way! Allow a poor old woman to see her child! She pushed her way past the men.

Anne turned at the sound of her voice. The woman walked right up to Anne. Lovingly, she took Annes face in her gnarled old hands. The old womans brown eyes twinkled as she gazed at Anne. “Nanette, my dear Nanette” Anne embraced the woman.

Nanette stood only to Annes shoulder now, but she hugged her with surprisingly strong arms. Nanette pushed back and said to Anne, Well now, let me have a look at my little Anne.

Nanette paid no attention to the others. She grasped Annes hand in hers. Now tell me, dear, where is that son of yours? I have waited a long time to see him. I shall not wait another moment.

Baldwin helped Will down from his horse. While his mother’s relatives thronged her, Will hung back close to Richard. Anne now motioned for him to come forward. Holding his head up, Will went to her side. Nanettes eyes filled with tears, but only for a moment. I see your grandfather in you, William. I can tell you will be a man to make him proud.

Anne patted will on the shoulders.  “Nanette was my nurse, Dear.” Will gave the old woman a shy smile.

Nanette smiled back, “Uh, oh. Anne, Dear, what have you done to this boy? She spoke to Will again. Dear boy, did you lose your teeth on the way here from England?

Will grinned wider, exposing three teeth missing in the front. He shook his head at Nanette. Well, what shall I call you? Will or William? Nanette extended her hand to him.

“I am called Will.”

Well, then,” Nanette gave a mock sigh. “I am afraid I shall be forced to call you William, for I cannot call you the same name as everyone else. She looked up again at Anne. Mlady, pray excuse us. I need to get to know this young man better.

Nanette did not wait for an answer. She took Wills arm and steered him into the chateau. Etienne lifted his arms and beckoned the others to follow. Welcome to Marseilles, My Lords!

z

All the leaders of Marseilles, Richard, and other important courtiers attended a festive banquet that night. They were seated according to rank, with the hostess and the guests of honor at the head table. As the leading noble of Marseilles, Anne sat on Richard’s right. A laverer placed a washbasin before them, and they both put their hands in it. Reaching out with his pinky, Richard caught hers. She looked him in the eye for the first time since they left Vezelay, allowing him to linger only briefly before withdrawing her hands and drying them on a towel before her.

Richard and his men were in for an enjoyable evening. The food was served, the wine flowed, and the entertainment amused.  It reminded Richard of those days long ago at his court in Poitiers. He observed to himself how Anne directed the proceedings in such a subtle way that one thing seemed to flow smoothly into the next without much effort. Here she was in her element. This was her court, and she reigned over it with natural poise and elegance. At that moment he let himself imagine that this was their court, and she was his queen.

She stood to make a toast to the king and his men. Richard did not really listen to what she said. He felt as if he were in some sort of trance, as if he were someone watching the whole proceedings from without. When the court all drank to the toast, she sat down but did not look at Richard. Andrew nudged Richard, which brought him to his senses. He rose and offered a toast of his own. To Marseilles, her viscountess, and all those who inhabit this wondrous city, may she always be a jewel of the Mediterranean.

The crowd echoed his sentiment and drank to their hostess. Anne gave a gracious nod of thanks to Richard, and with the slight wave of her hand, signaled the next round of entertainment. The celebration continued long into the night.

z

When Richard woke the next morning, it took a moment for him to remember where he was, his senses conscious that he was not in a tent. He opened his eyes and recalled his location. A genuine ceiling hung over his head. The bedroom was light, warm, and airy. He watched the gossamer bed curtains float in the breeze that filtered in through the open window. Carried on the wind, the smell of the fresh sea drifted around him. He bolted upright. He wanted to see Anne and determined she would not put him off, not today.

After dressing, he strode into her room. Still early, the house was just beginning to stir. When he entered the chamber, he was surprised to see the bed already made. He heard a rustle and saw Nanette in the corner of the room placing some flowers in a vase on a dressing table. Excuse me. Where is Lady Anne? His voice sounded his disappointment.

Nanette made her way to a chair. Forgive me, Your Highness.” Her body bent so much that Richard wasn’t sure if she bowed. My knees neither bend nor hold like they once did, so I must often rely on four other legs. I mean you no disrespect. She dropped down into the chair. Anne is not here, My Lord. 

Please, can you tell me where I might find her?”  

Love is a very confusing thing, your Highness. Richard noticed that her voice had a gravely sound to it, although it was still quite strong. I have lived in this house since I was a young girl. I have seen people in it love with a passion that is incomprehensible to many. Only someone who has felt that way can understand it. I know I am an old woman, but that does not mean that I cannot remember what it is like to love. She paused, holding the top of her stick with one hand on top of the other. Love does change over time, because we change over time. That does not mean love is any less than before.

Nanette pushed herself up from the chair and went toward a window. She swung an arm in a wide motion for Richard to follow. “There.” She pointed with a crooked finger. Up there on a bluff overlooking the ocean. That is where you will find our Anne.

Richard followed the aim of the gnarled finger to a cliff in the distance. Nanette moved toward the door. She spoke to him without looking back. As soon as she left, I ordered your horse be saddled. Your Majesty will find the stable boy waiting for you. He shall show you the way.

 

Chapters

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Seringapatam wrote 385 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 520 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 610 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 649 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 671 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 671 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 695 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 714 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 715 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 717 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 720 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 726 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 727 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 728 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 729 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 729 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 730 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 730 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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