Montferrat Coin Knight-Life

Roman-esque: Novels set in the Middle Ages


The Hanging Tree
King's Grey Mare

Allan Massie, The Hanging Tree

Set in 15C Scotland, England and France, with everything from Border reiving to Jeanne d'Arc to the Wars of the Roses. It's highly atmospheric, and in Maurie Laidlaw, the hunchback, Massie has created a gripping anti-hero. It's a terrific adventure, full of intrigue and colour.

Some Touch of Pity Sunne in Splendour

Novels about Richard III:

I've read a few of these, and most are not memorable. One young man's short but violent life can only bear so much retelling, I fancy. Rhoda Edwards' Fortune's Wheel and Some Touch of Pity were the best I've encountered. The multiple character-voices are well-done, and the history is pretty good. Rosemary Hawley Jarman's We Speak No Treason introduced a Mary-Sue character, The Nut-Brown Maid, before I even knew the term 'Mary-Sue' but still found her annoying. Sharon Penman's The Sunne in Splendour was interminable... I don't remember anything about Marian Palmer's The White Boar. Curiously, I can't think off-hand of any Richard novels by male writers: not sure why this is. A lot stray dangerously close to 'romance' territory.

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