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Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Book Review: The Medievalist by Anne-Marie Lacy

Title: The Medievalist
Author: Anne-Marie Lacy
Publisher:
City Owl Press
Publication Date: 31 October 2017
Pages: 304
Format: eBook-EPUB

Genre: Historical Fiction/Time Travel
Source: ARC via NetGalley


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Aspiring historian Jayne Lyons has pinned her career hopes on proving that her ancestor, King Richard III, is innocent of the murder of the Princes in the Tower. While volunteering at the search for his missing grave, she is cast back into the brutal 15th century, in the middle of Richard’s army camp. As Jane realizes she may not be able to return home, she adjusts to her new life and finds herself falling for Richard, and becoming his mistress. She even starts entertaining the hope of saving him. But the Princes are missing, and all evidence points to Richard. When he asks her to spy for him against his enemy, Henry Tudor, she must decide whether to help the man she loves, even though he may be one of history’s greatest villains. (Goodreads Synopsis)


Richard III is a figure who has long interested me. While I love the Shakespeare plays (in which Richard gets some great lines) I have never committed to the black legend those works portray. Non-fiction texts present a different picture of Richard, and I've always believed that the truth is somewhere in the grey area between the two schools of thought. As such, the premise of this book appealed to me as soon as I saw it listed on NetGalley. Overall, I found The Medievalist to be an enjoyable and page-turning tale. How the time travel works is never explained, but that's probably better than getting caught in a mess of trying to account for it. Jayne was an interesting character, and I enjoyed Lacy's well-rounded portrayal of Richard. Her explanation regarding the missing princes is also satisfying. One thing that almost ruined the story for me, though, was the appearance of one of my pet peeves: I could care less. I never understand how this gets past editors, even in the US where it seems to be a common mistake. I find it so jarring that it pulled me completely out of the story and it took me several pages to stop thinking about it and return to the characters. That aside, this was a fun and gripping read that should appeal to historical fiction lovers.

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