I started reading this book fully expecting to enjoy it due to my love of Plantagenet history. In some ways I was not disappointed. The characters were well developed if a little too "black and white" with no one seeming to fall into any moral gray areas. The period was vibrantly (and mostly accurately) brought to life - clothes, food, castles, and mindsets are described in such detail that at times it was almost too much. What I most enjoyed in this book, of course, was Richard. Scott brings him into the story slowly and mysteriously but a fiery Plantagenet King can not walk into a story unnoticed! Having Richard and the dark times in which he lived brought to life to skillfully caused me to reflect for not the first time on what could have been different had he (or his father or older brothers) lived longer. Any time a book makes me mourn the loss of one long dead, I consider it well-written. It is only the simplicity of the other characters, the fact that in the end none of the "good guys" really come to harm, and some dreary verboseness that I rate this book a 3 rather than a 4.