Book Jacket

 

rank 4565
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 34

 

Anne returned to Mategriffon and headed straight to her chamber. Almost as soon as she entered, she took her cloak off and tossed it toward her little bed. It landed only part way on the bed, so Anne sighed and picked it up. She looked at the bed a moment. She hated that bed. Her room in Mategriffon was more undersized than usual, but that was only to be expected. She estimated a person could cross the length of the room in about ten large strides, and the breath in five. Irritated, she placed her cloak over her trunk and called out for Marguerite.

“Marguerite is not here.” Richards voice came from the corner behind the door.

Richard!” Anne jumped. How long have you been there?

“I waited here while you were gone. He sat in her chair that stood in front of her small dressing table.

What on earth for?

I wanted to know the moment you returned.

Anne sensed the tension she often felt before he became angry with her. It seemed to surround her, pressing in on them. She tried to placate him. You know I would have come at your bidding, My Lord.

Yes, but I did not wish to waste any time. So, tell me. What did Philip want with you?”

Anne knew better than to bring up Joanna, so she skirted the subject. “Oh, you know Philip; he wanted to gossip mostly.

What about Anne? What was the topic of your conversation?

“Marriage, Sire. Philip wanted to talk about marriage. With the passing of his wife, he must remarry. He asked me what I thought of some different candidates. I know you may find it hard to believe, but he values my opinion on the subject. Anne sat down on her bed. It sounds as if there will be weddings for both of you when you return from the crusades. Perhaps youll make it a double wedding, you, Alice, and Philip and whomever he chooses.” Anne watched Richard for a reaction to her mentioning Alice, giving him an opportunity to tell her the truth.

Richard studied her for a moment without saying anything. In a brisk move, he stood. Well, then, I guess we should just be grateful, he did not seek to marry you. I need to be able to travel back through Marseilles when I am done in the Holy Land, and I would not want to have to cross hostile territory.

Disappointed, Anne managed to answer, Yes, My Lord.

Do excuse me, Anne. I must return to my other business.

z

Christmas time came to Messina, but not like other Christmas seasons. The mild weather reminded Anne a little of the Christmases from her childhood, but those had not been spent in a cramped fortified wooden tower.

In a gesture of friendship, Richard invited Philip to a Christmas court at Mategriffon, and Philip accepted. Anne suspected his eagerness was not due to his warm feelings toward Richard, but Philips desire to spend time with Joanna. Anne noted Philip and Joannas behavior towards one another. There were many exchanges and glances, and it did not take long for Anne to conclude their feelings were mutual.

The two kings attended mass together at Annunziata dei Catalani, an impressive cathedral completed during the reign of Joannas late husband. Their various entourages accompanied them, and they sat side-by-side. After mass, they traveled to Mategriffon for a sumptuous holiday feast.

Ever aware of the importance of impressions, Richard provided all the exquisite food, wine, and gifts obtainable in Messina. As usual, the entertainment was spectacular. Richard treated his guests to an event worthy of the season. Even a Yule log blazed away in the fireplace.

Blondel sang carols and recited poems during the meal. Afterward, Richard called for dancing. Even in the cramped space, the atmosphere resembled those long ago days at Poitiers.

Richard sat at the head table with Joanna on one side and Philip on the other. Philip turned to Richard and asked, Richard, do I have your permission to dance with your sister?

Richard grinned. I give you permission on the condition that Joanna can stand to dance with such a dangerous partner.

Dangerous? You forget who I am, Brother. I dare say I have faced down much more frightening partners than this. Joanna’s eyes sparkled.

Drink your Christmas wassail, old man, and let the young folks show you how it is done.” Philip teased.

Philip rose from his seat and extended his arm to Joanna. She took it and they headed toward the space serving as a dance floor as Richard called after them, “Alright then. Do not come whimpering back to me when your toes are smashed and raw because your partner ungracefully stomped on them.” He laughed. Old man! Old man! I shall show you how an old man can dance circles around you any day! Anne!

When Richard called for her she was deep in conversation with Gustave. Gustave did not share in the celebratory mood of the hour and wanted to go over some figures. When she heard Richard call her name from across the room, she did not hesitate but turned to him. He made his way to the crowded dance floor and beckoned her to come to him.

As Richard took his place on the floor, Anne joined him. Play! He commanded his musicians.

The musicians played a popular lively carol and the dancers set into motion. While Richard enjoyed himself, Anne kept an eye on Philip and Joanna. They did not seem to notice anyone but each other. When Anne came in close, she whispered to Richard, I do not think I have ever seen your sister so happy.

Richard glanced at his sister. Yes, she does look rather joyous. The Christmas festivities must have brought it out in her.

They danced apart for a moment and then formed back in together. Philip looks most content,” Anne observed.

He drew her extra close. I fail to see why. He is not dancing with you.

“Oh, Richard, it is not about me; do not be so thick. Give a moments thought and you shall see what I am trying discretely to tell you. Anne followed the dance and glided away from him.

Richard looked at Philip and Joanna, then Anne. Anne raised her eyebrows. He looked back at the dancing couple. Just then the dance ended. Richard watched as Philip whispered something in Joannas ear. She tossed her head back and laughed. His eyes wide, Richard looked at Anne again. She clapped for the musicians but watched Richard. His eyes questioned her, so nodded her head in affirmation. Richard reached out and took her elbow. I wish for you to tell me more. Will you come to me after my guests have departed?

If that is your desire, My Lord.

It is not my only desire, but we both know that that one will have to do.” Richard returned to the head table.

z

Anne waited until the last of the guests left Mategriffon then made her way to Richard’s chamber. Richard occupied two rooms in the tower. One was his outer receiving chamber and the second his bedroom. Anne passed through the outer chamber where several pageboys lay asleep on the floor. A drowsy Andrew sat in a large chair placed in front of the kings door. His sword lay across his lap. “Lady Anne.” Andrew acknowledged her as he stood and opened the door for her. He told me to expect you.

Happy Christmas, Andrew.” She smiled at him as she passed through the door.

Anne found Richard alone, still up and dressed, standing near the only source of light in the room, a large candelabra situated in the far corner. His arms were crossed, and he was deep in thought. “Thank you for coming, Anne. 

He pulled out a large chair for her and one for himself. She sat down in the chair and glanced around the room. Despite the darkness, she envied its spaciousness compared to her own. Some wine? He offered her a goblet.

No, thank you. I think I have drunk more than enough wine for one evening, My Lord.”

Richard scooted his chair around to face her. I guess it is best to come straight to the point. Pray tell, what do you know of Philip and my sister?

I know that Philip finds her rather becoming and is very interested in her as a candidate for marriage.” Anne leaned back in the chair.

And Joanna? Richard absent-mindedly put his hand on Annes knee.

You know she would never take me into her confidence, but think about it. Think about the way they have acted around one another. I think she is smitten with the King of France. Anne did not move her knee away from his hand.

Shit!

Anne laughed. “Richard!

This is not good, Anne. This creates a problem, a very large problem.” He stood and paced before her.

Anne sat up straight. Come now Richard, this is not quite the crisis situation you imagine. They are in love. Do not take it so personally.

Richard gave her a nasty look. Then his expression changed to one of concern. You do not suppose they have… have…” He shuddered.

Have what?

You know. He widened his eyes and raised his eyebrows.

Anne chuckled. No. Philip would never dare. He would not even dance with her without your permission.

How long have you known? Was this what you two talked of that day you went to visit him? Why did you not tell me sooner? Richard fired questions at her without giving her a chance to answer.

Anne bristled. I did not want you to overreact, just like you are doing now.

“Overreact? Anne, you do not realize that this throws everything off. I cannot allow this relationship! Richard’s face reddened.

What is so wrong with two people being in love? Why can you not just let them be happy? It would be a second marriage for them both. It would give you and Philip another reason to play nicely with one another and form a solid alliance. What would be so bad about your sister being the Queen of France, Richard?” Anne bolted out of her seat.

You do not understand the complicated politics involved here Anne.” Richard waved her off.

Anne raised her voice. Then explain it to me. I believe I am more than capable of understanding if you just tell me. I would like to understand, but honestly, I do not.

That is why you are not the king, and I am,” Richard snapped.

Anne glared at him. There was a time when what I thought mattered to you. I have never tried to tell you what to do about your own business; I have only tried to help you, to make you happy. She looked Richard squarely in the eye. I may be just a woman, but at least there is still one man I know who values my thoughts. He invited me to dine with him and talk about your sister. I do not try to tell him his business either, but at least he respects me enough to be forthright with me.

Anne stormed from the room slamming the door behind her. Richard kicked at his bedpost but only succeeded in hurting his foot. He groaned then bellowed, Andrew! Send for my sister. It is time we had a talk.

Andrew opened the door and gave Richard a short bow. “Your Majesty, I have sent for her.

z

In Richards opinion, it took Joanna far too long. When she appeared in his chamber, she looked as if she had been roused from sleep, hastily dressed and rushed there. What could possibly be so important, Brother? You would think the tower on fire the way everyone is acting.” She yawned.

Joanna, I have just had a talk with Lady Anne,” Richard began.

Lady Anne? You dragged me out of bed to tell me that you talked with Lady Anne? Really, Richard, your problems with your mistress are none of my concern.

“Do not speak so of Lady Anne. Richard snapped at her.

Joanna rolled her eyes. “Alright then, would you please be so kind as to tell me why I have been summoned here in the middle of the night? 

Richard pointed a finger at her. Be straight with me. Have you or have you not been carrying on with Philip as of late?

Define carrying on.” Joanna gave him a wicked smile.

Do not toy with me!” Richard growled. “What is the nature of your relationship with the King of France?

Nothing, Richard. It is nothing. I find him attractive and eligible.”

Well put him from your mind. You are not to think of him as anything other than the King of France,” he commanded her.

And why not? I have to look after my own interests too. Richard, you convinced me that once I got my dowry back I should contribute it toward your Crusade efforts.” Joanna showed that temper so famous to her family, and the higher her temper raged, the more shrill her voice grew. You promised me that you would give me another upon my second marriage. I am single; I am free. Why can I not look to a good marriage? Have you forgotten how our mother married our father? 

You cannot marry the King of France, Joanna. Do you not see that he is using you to get to me? Do not be a fool!

Joanna slammed her fist on the table. Is it so hard to believe that someone could fall in love with me and I with him? By some miracle we are both free from marital obligations.

You may be free from marital obligations, but you have others. You have responsibilities to your family and to your station. You have a duty and you must do it regardless your feelings for Philip.

Joanna glared at him. Oh, I see now. Just because you cannot marry your little Anne, you think the rest of the world needs to suffer just like you. All hail the martyr King Richard. He sacrificed himself in the name of duty. Do the good people of England see how you writhe in agony for them, while you deny yourself marriage to your ladylove? I wonder how they would feel if they knew how you writhe in bed with her. You hypocrite! Do not talk to me of sacrifice for duty and honor!

Richard swung his arm at the table, sending ink, quills and books scattering across the room exploding onto the wall. “I told you, do not speak of Lady Anne in such a manner. I swear to you, if I ever even hear the slightest rumor that you have defiled her good name in any way, I will personally see to it that you spend your days married to the most wretched man I can find. Your marriage will be the highlight of your pathetic life if you ever again suggest anything so degrading. 

He turned around to face the opposite direction. When he did, he sensed Joanna heading for the door. I gave you no permission to take your leave. He whirled back around and thundered at her, Pack your bags. Pack them tonight. I am sending you to the Abbey of Santa Maria of Bagnara. You will remain there, out of Philips reach. I forbid you to have any contact with him! Do I make myself clear?

Yes, Your Highness. Joanna gave him a cold curtsey, looking into his eyes as if she were at that moment stabbing a dagger into his bowels.

Go now! Richard ordered her out of the room.


 

Chapters

34

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Seringapatam wrote 387 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.

Best,
Patty
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.
~Hannah

Eftborin wrote 650 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 673 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 673 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 697 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 716 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 717 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 718 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 722 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 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!
Georgia
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 730 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

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 731 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 731 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 732 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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