Book Jacket


rank 4563
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 41

    Sunrise found Richard in his room preparing for the wedding, his page dressing him in clothing Eleanor chose for the wedding. He wore a rose colored samite belted tunic. His mantle of striped silk gauze, decorated with gold crescents and silver suns, lay on his bed. Next to his mantle sat his red hat. It too was embroidered, but with golden beasts and birds. On the floor, his ceremonial buskins made of golden cloth and his gilted spurs, waited.

    Andrew sat in a chair looking on, chatting away hoping to distract Richard. Knowing Richard well, he could see that the king was anxious. He barely stood still long enough for his page to dress him. Richard’s arms were outstretched, and it made Andrew think that the kings crucifixion was coming. At least your wife is fair to look at. The wife you gave me, well, let us just say, I consumed copious amounts of wine to get through my wedding night,”Andrew quipped.

    Richard turned at the waist, arms still stretched. You are not helping.

    “Sorry, I was just trying to point out the positive. Andrew empathized with Richard. 

    “Where is Baldwin? Richard burst out. I sent that man to find her an hour ago!

    “If anyone can convince her to come, it is Baldwin, poor fellow,” Andrew reassured him.

    The page helped Richard into his buskins. All I want to do is talk to her. She left here with things so unsettled last night. What is worse, in my conference with Guy yesterday, he seemed very interested in her. Well, I put a stop to that right away.

    “I understand, My Lord. Andrew could wait no longer, and took a swig of wine. It was going to be a very, very long day.

    The page struggled with the laces as Richard took several steps to the right, then back again. I do not know what she is about. Here I am, I have kept her by my side all these years, and I have never gained a penny for it, only one scandalous story after another.

    Baldwin knocked and entered the room, followed by Blondel.

    “Well, where is she? Is the lady not here at present? Richard growled.

    Baldwin let out a long breath. “Your Highness

    Richard did not let him finish. Do not tell me you could not convince her to come.

    “My Lord, she really is not here. Baldwin shrugged.

    Richard moved away from the hapless page, who still tried to lace his boots. What do you mean she is not here?

    “Sire, what I mean is she left the palace. Her room is empty. I have been trying to discover where she went, but it would seem she aided the memory loss of many with the glint of gold.

    Richard moved again, and the poor page scooted along on his knees trying to follow and complete his task. When Richard started to pace back and forth the boy sat on the ground to wait for on opportunity to snatch up the laces again. Gods legs! I never gave her permission to leave! Richard shouted.

    Andrew stood now to aid Baldwin. “No. No, you did not. Perhaps Anne does not think she needs your permission. In principle, she is only a guest in your household, and she is not your subject.

    “Think about how she feels,” Baldwin jumped in. I doubt today of all days she wants to be anywhere near the palace, My Lord. I know she understands why you are marrying. That is not an issue for her. All the same, I fear this is hard for her to bear. 

    Richard still paced, flinging his arms about. This is absurd! This is childish! What sort of game it she at? He pounded his fist on a nearby table. Find her and send someone to fetch her here! He pointed to the ground.

    Richard stopped for a moment, and the page pounced at his laces but fell short as Richard began to move around the room again. Andrew threw his hands up in the air. Will you please try to reason with him Blondel?

    Blondel pulled his lute around from his back and plucked at it. Love has no reason, gentlemen.

    “Bloody poets,” Andrew snapped at him. 

    “With all due respect, Your Majesty, you must not worry about Lady Anne right now,” Baldwin broke in again. You are to be married in a few hours. You have a duty to your crown—to your people. You owe them a proper queen.

    Richard stopped moving again and this time the page caught the laces. Oh for hells sake, Richard yelled down at him. Let me alone, boy! I will do it myself!


    Numb and distant, Anne sat in a chair beside the shuttered window feeling. She knew where Marguerite wished to be and sent her away. Anne longed to be alone. She could hear crowds gathered outside in the narrow street hoping to catch a glimpse of the royal couple as the made their way to Saint Georges chapel. All at once, a cheer went up from the street below, and Anne knew the wedding procession was coming. On impulse she shrank away from the window and sat down on the hearth taking some consolation in the grey storm clouds gathering outside, a spring storm threatening the festive occasion.


    The small chapel of Saint George brimmed with dignitaries from the city and the kings men. Richard and Berengaria knelt at the altar before her personal priest. Berengaria wore a mantilla of delicate white lace over her deep blue dress.   

    Overcome with joy, Berengaria shed tears. Richard, however, remained solemn throughout the entire wedding mass. At one point he noticed rain running down the stained glass window. As the sky outside darkened, the light from the candles and flambeaux on the wall made shadows dance about. Berengaria gave him a slight poke in the ribs, which brought him back to focus on the ceremony.

    While John Fitzluke, the Bishop of Evreux, crowned Berengaria Queen of England. Richard pretended to pay attention, but his thoughts were not on the ceremony. They were somewhere else in the city with someone else.


    When the sounds of the cheering crowd died away, Anne returned to the window. She sat in the chair and listened to the rain patting the rooftops and the cobblestone street below. After what seemed like an eternity, she heard it. The abrupt sound came and lingered, the peal of the church bells happily tolling the completed nuptials. To Anne their sound was no more welcome than the sound of funeral bells. For a moment, she wished they were funeral bells. Each strike of the bells of Saint George overwhelmed Anne all the more. Her head hung low until she could bear it no longer and dropped to her knees, her body shaking with sobs. She did not expect him to back out, but at that moment she knew Richard no longer belonged to her.


    The extravagant royal wedding feast commenced with much food and entertainment. The airy great hall decked in bridal garlands and fresh rushes, gave off a pleasant aroma. Richard saw that his guests enjoyed themselves, but, for his part, he had no appetite. Nothing appealed to him. He could still smile and laugh, but inside he felt empty and hollow, as if some part of him had been plucked out and taken elsewhere.

    Glancing at Berengaria, he saw her beaming. He could not deny that she was a beautiful woman, but she was not the woman he wanted. As he looked out over the assembled guests, he thought to himself that there were many men present who would give their souls to trade palaces with him. Tonight, he wished he could trade places with them, or even with a peasant, for a peasant could marry for love.

    Blondel strolled by playing a tune on his lute, stopping close to the royal couple. It took a moment, then Richard recognized the tune. It was the song that Anne sung that first night he met her at Poitiers. He had heard the song many times since, but never heard Blondel play it.

    His first reaction was to be angry with Blondel for having such audacity, but he watched as Blondel gave a bow to the royal couple and sauntered off still playing the song. The troubadour wandered out of the great hall. Richard took this as a signal.

    “Excuse me. I just saw a messenger from Philip at Acre wander into the hall and back out again. I must see to the man. Richard lied to Berengaria.

    “It is our wedding night.” Her blue eyes widened.

    “And I am still a king, and we are still on Crusade. I will be but a moment. Richard did not give her a chance to protest further, leaving the great hall to the corridor beyond.

    Blondel waited for him. “Andrew spoke with Marguerite. She is staying at the house of a nobleman named Petane.”

    “I know the man,” Richard whispered back.

    “Your Majesty, I believe it would be safe to assume Anne is there as well,” Blondel continued.

    “Is there any message?”

    “Andrew reported that Lady Anne admonishes you to remember your duty above all else. Blondel finished and strolled off again, sending gentle strains of music from his instrument as he went.


    Richard opened his eyes. He could hear Berengaria breathing next to him in the bed, and he knew she had fallen asleep. The sound made him feel sick. With caution, he sat up so as not to wake her, and as he did, he found that he shook. He got out of bed, and she stirred a little. He froze and watched her roll over, holding his breath, until certain she had gone back to sleep. He could hear rain pouring down like a waterfall against the castle walls as he dressed and left the room.

    Outside a drowsy sergeant-at-arms snapped to attention. Richard shushed him with a signal. He waited until he was further down the hall to start speaking. He could hear strains of laughter coming from the great hall as the feastivities continued. Andrew and Baldwin were in the hallway not far from his room. Andrew, is she at Petanes or no?

    “Your Highness, do you really think this is wise? Your guests are still here. What of your wife? Andrew admonished him.

    “To hell with the feast, and to hell with my wife! Saying those last words made his temper flare.

    Andrew threw up his hands. “My Lord, she is preparing to leave the city, but she is at this moment lodging at the house of Petane.

    “Bring me my horse! He shouted.

    “But, My Lord, the weather is dangerous outside,” Baldwin interjected.

    Richard’s face turned red. He marched down the stairs towards the courtyard, strapping on his sword as he went.Richard! Andrew tried to make him stop.

    Richard turned on them. I said bring me my horse! Gods legs! We are not even in battle and everyone is second-guessing my orders! Am I not the king? His eyes were on fire now. I said bring me my horse, and bring me my horse you shall, or you will suffer the consequences! 

    Two nearby pageboys sprang into action and sprinted for the stables, while a third stood scared motionless. “Good God!” Richard screamed as he resumed his flight down the stairs, Andrew, and Baldwin trailing him. Blondel caught sight of the ruckus and followed.

    Richard sprang forth from the building into the rain. Blondel shouted at him, “Your Highness, we can send someone to fetch her. Please do not go out in this rain.

    “Where is my damned horse?

    One of the pageboys led Richards horse into the courtyard. Both were drenched from the rain, and the poor boy could hardly see through the water that ran from his hair to his face. The horse was still unsaddled as the second boy trudged behind through the mud with the saddle. Richard did not seem to care. He bounded down the steps and onto his horse. The restless animal did not wish to be out in the rain, and struggled against the bit. Still, Richard spurred him on and galloped out of the courtyard. Just as he cleared the gate, the second pageboy made it around with the saddle. His shoulders slumped when he saw Richard go, and like a dejected dog, he slunk back to the stables.

    Andrew, Baldwin, and Blondel watched Richard go. Without saying a word, Andrew and Baldwin returned to the interior of the castle. Blondel descended the steps and headed to the stables for his own horse.


    Anne experienced a miserable day. Petane treated her with generousity, and even returned after the ceremony, offering to escort her to the feast. He could not be to blame. He did not know. When Petane learned that his guest would not be attending the feast, he offered to stay with her, but Anne insisted that he go. She told him she was just tired and needed some sleep. Petane regarded her with his large brown eyes. His round head on his squat neck tipped to one side as he studied her. Then he bid her a reluctant good day and left for the palace.

    That was hours ago. Day became evening, and evening turned to night. When night came, Anne would not let even Marguerite enter the room. She gave strict instructions not to disturb her, claiming that she only wanted to sleep uninterrupted.

    Now she sat in a little chair next to the window and watched the raindrops plummet down the panes of glass. Her kerchief long since soaked through, she resorted to using her hem or sleeve to wipe away the tears. On the street below, she heard the sound of horse hooves and thought to herself that Petane was returning. Sighing, she wondered if she would have to speak with him. She knew her face looked puffy and red from crying, but there was nothing she could do about it. Still, she did not wish to give Petane cause to worry. She poured a small amount of water into a basin and washed her face.


    It took Richard little time to remember where Petane lived. Petane was, after all, perhaps the wealthiest merchant in the Limassol and aided Richard in capturing the city. When Richard came to the tall manor house, he brought his horse to a halt. The animal slid on the wet cobblestones and very nearly fell as it struggled to do its masters bidding.

    Inside, Petanes servants were startled by a visit in the night from the strange man. They could tell it was not their master. Marguerite, who sat by the hearth, knew who it was, and rushed to the gate. She opened it just in time for Richard to erupt into the enclosed courtyard. Where is she, Marguerite? I know she is here.

    “Please.” Marguerite curtsied so low that she was almost kneeling. “I beg you, Sire, have mercy on my mistress. She does not wish to see you. 

    In response, Richard unsheathed his sword, which sent Petane’s servants scattering. Determined to find Anne, he marched into the house and rooms on the bottom floor. When he did not see her, he climbed the stairs leaving a trail of water behind him. Marguerite followed.


    From inside the room, Anne heard a ruckus in the hallway. Instinct to her to lock the door, but just as she started across the room, the door burst open. Before she had time to think, Richard stood in front of her, his hair and clothes soaked through from the rain. He cared no more for his sword, and with a loud clang it struck the floor.

    Without warning, Richard fell to his knees before her. “Anne, I have done my duty,” he choked out.

    She opened her mouth to say something, but there were no words. She looked down into his grey eyes. Grabbing her close, he pressed his face into her stomach, all the while mumbling, I have done my duty! Oh, God in heaven, I have done my duty!




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Seringapatam wrote 386 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 521 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 611 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 649 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 672 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 672 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 696 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 715 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 716 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 721 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 727 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 728 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 729 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 730 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 730 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 731 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 731 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!