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After retiring from my career in computer science and data communications in 2004, I discovered the real Richard III. I found his story was so compelling I continue to investigate primary and secondary sources about this fifteenth century monarch. In addition, I'm a member of the American Branch of the Richard III Society and editor of this branch's publications. My novels about Richard III in the 21st century are: 'This Time,' 'Loyalty Binds Me,' and 'Strange Times.'
on June 18, 2012 :
A History Lesson With a Bang!
Having read This Time, the first book in the series, I felt compelled to discover what happened in the sequel. The author did not disappoint me. When Richard and his new family make a pilgrimage to England, they’re propelled into a political chess game between “friendly” world powers. Governments are anxious to secure the “time travel” device invented by Sarah, Richard’s new wife, but they also want proof that it works. Arrested for a crime that might have occurred 500 years ago, Richard is faced with a “no win” situation, lie or remain silent and get locked up for years as a “terrorist threat.” He might protect himself but what will happen to his family in the meantime?
Richard understood politics in ancient England, but a battle of wills involving the FBI and MI5 might be beyond his abilities. Luckily “Dickon” finds champions for his cause, a Ricardian solicitor and a feisty woman reporter. How can he “prove” he didn’t murder his nephews in 1483 when the authorities are determined to compare his DNA to bones found at the Tower of London?
I absorbed more English history in these novels than I ever learned in high school. That’s probably due to Joan’s superb skill as a writer. She brings the fascinating mystery and intrigue during the 15th century to life in a character who remembers the events. But why should anyone in modern times care enough about Richard III to form a society and hold “mock” trials about his guilt or innocence? Historians should follow Joan Szechtman’s example and “transport” their favorite characters from history into an interesting novel. We might all learn more than we ever thought possible. She weaves enough information from the first book into the sequel to make it a stand-alone novel. Buy this book today and get a “history lesson with a bang.”
(reviewed 41 days after purchase)
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.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)