Viviane Crystal

Books

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Smashwords book reviews by Viviane Crystal

  • Loyalty Binds Me on June 06, 2011

    In the novel, This Time by Joan Szechtman, Richard III and his son, Edward, were brought into the 21st Century by scientists who invented a time machine financed by a wealthy businessman who yearns to be accepted as a Ricardian scholar. Richard marries the scientist who originally created the undeveloped time machine and her daughters come to cherish Richard as the solid, caring father they never had. As this new story begins, the family has traveled to England to pay their respects as a family to Richard’s first wife and Edward’s mother, Anne, at Westminster Abbey. It’s a journey complicated by the fact that Edward is trying to cope with a new family and living in a totally different world, and Sarah and the girls are still moving through their own family adjustments. These insecurities lurking below the surface are about to be stretched to the limit! On their arrival in London, Richard is accosted by British authorities who tell him he is about to be charged with the murder of Edward IV’s “missing Princes,” as they have come to be called throughout history. The accusation initially strikes the reader as ludicrous, until British and American agents, a dynamic British journalist, a Ricardian lawyer, and other characters become intimately connected with this family who just want to be left alone to grow as the loving family they are becoming. When the allegations change to something even more drastic, the unfolding scenario becomes intricately complex because of the mixed motives emerging that tell a totally different story, one packed with suspense, intrigue, and even violence. Loyalty Binds Me is a credible, finely plotted historical mystery that encompasses all possible theories about Richard III’s motives and acts in the 15th Century. It also challenges the traditionally accepted Shakespearean depiction of this “distorted” King and provokes readers to challenge historical interpretation in an intelligent, dynamic, and adventurous way. Well-researched and well-written, Loyalty Binds Me is an exciting, surprising, yet sensitive novel that will delight every reader appreciative of excellent historical and time-travel fiction.
  • This Time on June 07, 2011

    Five hundred years have passed. Just as Richard III is struck down at the infamous Battle of Bosworth, a time machine invented by scientists in the 20th Century transports Richard to Portland, Oregon in August of 2004. Hosgrove, the man who wants academic renown displays such an aggressive attitude to Richard that Richard is overwhelmed by the need to defend himself, a stress he certainly doesn't need as he attempts to adapt to a world that seems magical, perhaps even one step above evil. Katarina, a scholarly linguist, is the compassionate one who manages to gently nurture Richard in this startling new environment. They want information from Richard, proof of the "two missing Princes" being alive and more, evidence Richard is unclear about no matter the time or place. The more Richard ponders the past and the present, the more he is riddled with guilt over his part in attempting to hide the Princes and his responsibility for the death of so many peers and soldiers at that final battle whose outcome he has managed to escape. Joan Szechtman has written a novel that immediately draws the reader into Richard's adjustments to technology, clothing, food, and more. After an astonishing act of Hosgrove, Richard disappears until it is safe to return to work together with a team that is actually going to try to restore the life of a family member in Richard's original world. At the same time, the reader is thrilled to see a romance develop in his life, one that is full of formidable challenges but one that is all the more endearing for the way it evolves. While parts of this story are obviously contrived, those events don't detract from a finely imagined story that will interest Ricardian fans and other readers who love a good historical novel. Quite a different take, a redeeming look at King Richard III, "Dick," or "Dickon," a man and leader who continues to intrigue old and new readers! Nicely done, indeed, Joan Szechtman!