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Carpe Librum

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Review: Loyalty by Matthew Lewis

Loyalty - Matthew Lewis

This was an enjoyable and surprisingly unique take on Richard III. Lewis uses the unlikely narrator of Thomas More and the theory of his family portrait by Holbein to direct Richard's story. If you are not familiar with the Holbein painting, see http://www.holbeinartworks.org/bfours....

This novel makes use of very beautiful descriptive language. I felt almost as if I was watching a movie, every detail of movement and thought was described so thoroughly. For some portions of the book, I enjoyed this and felt that Richard was very much brought to life. In other sections, I felt the story drag with the verboseness of inner thought and minutia of movements.

Lewis creates one of the more pious versions of Richard that I have read. I applaud the author for including this very realistic faith which Richard undoubtedly had, for it is, in modern times, not what usually makes a novel popular. Though Richard was devout and dutiful, he was also quick-tempered and a little short-sighted. It was a very realistic portrayal.

Maybe the version of this that I read had been through an extra editing step because I did not find the swarm of errors that other reviewers have noted. I found this novel very well-written. The only error that I remember was references to Brittany (where Henry Tudor is in exile) getting confused with a discussion of Burgundy. No, they are not the same place, and, no, this was not vital to any part of the story.

Lewis does an especially good job writing battle scenes. He weaves together Richard's inner thoughts with the action going on around him in a way that brings it to life for the reader. I also enjoyed the somewhat "Hollywood" version of Richard rescuing Anne from George of Clarence's clutches. It inspired the writing of this blog: http://carpelibrum.booklikes.com/post.... I do not think that Lewis was aiming to write a "sexy Richard" or that Richard really came across that way through the whole book, but this scene did make me wish - just a little bit - that I was Anne Neville.

Overall a very worthwhile and well-written portrayal of Richard III.