Loyalty Binds Me is the second book about Richard III in the 21st-century by award winning author, Joan Szechtman.* It begins about a year after the first book of the series This Time ends. Richard has married a divorcee, adopted her two daughters, and with the help of his new wife, rescued his son Edward, who had predeceased him in the 15th-century. Richard has lived in the twenty-first century for two years, and his son has been with him for the past year. At the start of the novel, they have just arrived in London, when Richard is brought in by the Metropolitan Police for questioning about the alleged murder of Richard III's nephews in 1483. Richard must now find a way to clear his name and protect his family while concealing his true identity.
* This Time received the 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Awards General Fiction Finalist award.
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About the Author
I retired from my career as an electrical engineer, specializing in computer science and turned to writing when I discovered the real Richard III. His story was so compelling that I spent the last seven years studying primary and secondary sources on this fifteenth century monarch resulting in my novels about Richard III in this century--'This Time,' 'Loyalty Binds Me,' and 'Strange Times.'
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The first book of this series was mostly about Richard III adapting to life in this century. While the action took place in contemporary times, it integrated historical facts and, in the case of much of what Shakespeare has many believing, corrected historical fiction. In "Loyalty Binds Me," the subtle historical teaching is still taking place, but the plot is closer to a thriller than the science fiction mixed with history tutorial the first time out. The characters had me emotionally invested even more than I might have been, because they were old friends from reading "This Time." That helped draw me into the thriller portion of the plot. Szechtman does an excellent job of integrating the historical with the contemporary, including some strange twists, with Richard III’s arrest for lawbreaking alleged to have happened five hundred years previously. I liked the story, the “big picture,” of "Loyalty Binds Me," but what I liked even more is in the details. As I’m reading a book for review I’ll highlight errors of the kind that should have been caught during the copyediting and proofing process. I’ll also highlight and make notes about things that jump out at me as especially good or bad. When I reviewed my notes from "Loyalty Binds Me" I had exactly one “typo” type error I’d caught, a “you” that I thought should have been a “your.” The rest of the notes were about something Szechtman got right that very few Indie authors seem to pull off. That is getting the language right when there is a mix of characters who would speak different flavors of English. The best example is comparing Sarah (Richard III’s wife) who is American and says, “she probably would be in the hospital there” while an English character asks, “do you know why she’s in hospital.” This is a subtle usage difference between English and American speakers. Szechtman also recognized that Richard would have to cross a lane of traffic to make a right hand turn. It’s possible I might have missed something since my native language, as Szechtman’s, is American English, but I spotted enough instances that could have easily been wrong to be confident there are few, if any. Inattention to these little things can jar a reader out of a story. When done right it makes for a smooth and pleasant read. **Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **
Richard III. What's the first thing that comes to mind? Drowning little boys in a vat of wine? A hunched back that makes dogs bark at him? Lie, cheat, steal his way to the throne of England? I've got news for you. There's a whole Ricardian Society that defends Richard III claiming he's not the horrible person portrayed by Will Shakespeare. Ms. Szechtman gives the readers Richard's side of the story with a lovely device. She has Richard transported into the 20th Century where he attempts to live like a normal man. Unfortunately for Richard, the statute of limitations on murder is forever. He finds himself arrested for the murder of the princes. This is a spellbinding book. Very original idea and handled well both historically and as a speculative fiction. I was lucky to get an advance copy of the book. I've discovered recently that Loyalty Binds Me is now aailable at the usual outlets. I recommend it to readers of historical fiction and speculative fiction. It's a nice blend of both.