Pen & Sword TBR Pile Review: Richard III – Fact and Fiction, by Matthew Lewis

41093351
Hardcover, 127 pages
Published March 20th 2019 by Pen and Sword History
ISBN1526727978 (ISBN13: 9781526727978)

Blurb

King Richard III remains one of the most infamous and recognisable monarchs in English or British history, despite only sitting on the throne for two years and fifty-eight days. His hold on the popular imagination is largely due to the fictional portrayal of him by William Shakespeare which, combined with the workings of five centuries of rumour and gossip, has created two opposing versions of Richard. In fiction he is the evil, scheming murderer who revels in his plots, but many of the facts point towards a very different man.

Dissecting a real Richard III from the fictional versions that have taken hold is made difficult by the inability to discern motives in many instances, leaving a wide gap for interpretation that can be favorable or damning in varying degrees. It is the facts that will act as the scalpel to begin the operation of finding a truth obscured by fiction.

Richard III may have been a monster, a saint, or just a man trying to survive, but any view of him should be based in the realities of his life, not the myths built on rumour and theatre. How much of what we think we know about England’s most controversial monarch will remain when the facts are sifted from the fictions? 

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TBR Pile Review: The Deep, by Rivers Solomon

42201962
Paperback, 155 pages
Published January 30th 2020 by Hodder Paperbacks (first published November 5th 2019)
ISBN:1529331730 (ISBN13: 9781529331738)

The water-breathing descendants of African slave women tossed overboard have built their own underwater society—and must reclaim the memories of their past to shape their future in this brilliantly imaginative novella inspired by the Hugo Award nominated song “The Deep” from Daveed Diggs’ rap group Clipping.

Yetu holds the memories for her people—water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slave owners—who live idyllic lives in the deep. Their past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly, is forgotten by everyone, save one—the historian. This demanding role has been bestowed on Yetu.

Yetu remembers for everyone, and the memories, painful and wonderful, traumatic and terrible and miraculous, are destroying her. And so, she flees to the surface, escaping the memories, the expectations, and the responsibilities—and discovers a world her people left behind long ago.

Yetu will learn more than she ever expected to about her own past—and about the future of her people. If they are all to survive, they’ll need to reclaim the memories, reclaim their identity—and own who they really are.

Inspired by a song produced by the rap group Clipping for the This American Life episode “We Are In The Future,” The Deep is vividly original and uniquely affecting.

My Review

I learnt about this novella from the Narrative of Neurodiversity Network, and have one of Rivers Solomon’s other novella’s, An Unkindness of Ghosts, on my TBR pile. The Deep draws on the terrible history of the Middle Passage, during which sick and pregnant people were thrown overboard as too much hassle. The ‘what if’ question of what if the babies born to their dead parent were able to breath underwater and survived.

The Historian holds the memories of the people, but for Yetu it is a painful position to hold every touch, every movement of the water, every memory is real. Getting lost in the pain at the wrong time almost kills her. In her pain and anger she shares the memories with all of her people and runs away.

Oh, it’s so beautiful! I found Yetu so relatable. The sensory perception of everything, of feeling overwhelmed by life, is familiar. Also, the way water feels and the pressure of the sea is familiar, I feel like that in the pool, and in the sea when I get a chance to swim in the sea. I love the love story between Oori and Yetu, it was so gentle and powerful. I totally understand the hesitancy and shyness. It’s a powerful story of history, memory and love for family and friends.

Totally in love with this novella, highly recommended.

Review: The Devil’s Shadow, by BJ Edwards

The Devil’s Shadow

In a vault beneath the Mediterranean Sea, a creature from myth and folklore sleeps. Government agents David Coswell and Hannah Martin join forces to find and study the creature with the hopes of harnessing its power for their country’s good. Accidentally, they release the creature and London is plunged into chaos. Lawlessness and hedonism spread as Lord of the Flies regains his strength and uses violence and fear to build his new kingdom.

David Coswell, along with his ‘handler’ Sentinel Nutbeam, retired soldier Nigel Carter, and Spanish matriarch Maria Perez help the Prime Minister confront the beast and take back control of a fractured country.

The Devil’s Shadow is a fast-paced supernatural thriller. Sometimes scary, sometimes sexy and always exciting, it is an absorbing tale of friendship, loyalty, faith and belief.

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1528985540 

US – https://www.amazon.com/Devils-Shadow-BJ-Edwards-ebook/dp/B08Z8KDK2X

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Review: Ruabon (Tales of Lost Solace #4), by Karl Drinkwater

Ruabon

Welcome to Tecant.

Nothing ever happens here.

Until today.

Ruabon Nadarl is just another low-ranking member of the scan crew, slaving away for the UFS which “liberated” his homeworld. To help pass the time during long shifts he builds secret personalities into the robots he controls. Despite his ingenuity, the UFS offers few opportunities for a better life.

Then Ruabon detects an intruder on the surface of a vital communications tower.

He could just report it and let the deadly UFS commandos take over, while Ruabon returns to obscurity.

Or he could break UFS laws and try to capture the intruder himself. For the UFS, only the outcome matters, not the method. If his custom-programmed drones can save the day, he’ll be a hero.

And if he fails, he’ll be dead.

Purchase Link – https://books2read.com/b/Ruabon

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Review: Girls Who Lie, by Eva Bjorg AEgisdottir

PUBLICATION DATE: 22 JULY 2021 | ORENDA BOOKS | PAPERBACK ORIGINAL | £8.99

At once a startling, tense psychological thriller, and a sophisticated and twisty police procedural from a rising star in Icelandic literature.

When single mother Maríanna disappears from her home, leaving an apologetic note on the kitchen table, it is assumed that she’s taken her own life – until her body is found on the Grábrók lava fields seven months later, clearly the victim of murder. Her neglected fifteen-year-old daughter Hekla has been placed in foster care, but is her perfect new life hiding something sinister?

Fifteen years earlier, a desperate new mother lies in a maternity ward, unable to look at her own child, the start of an odd and broken relationship that leads to tragedy.

Police officer Elma and her colleagues take on the case, which becomes increasingly complex, as the list of suspects grows ever longer and new light is shed on Maríanna’s past – and the childhood of a girl who never was like the others…

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Blog Tour Review: Clarissa (Lost Tales #3), by Karl Drinkwater

Clarissa

If you’re reading this: HELP! I’ve been kidnapped.

Me and my big sister stayed together after our parents died. We weren’t bothering anybody. But some mean government agents came anyway, and split us up.

Now I’m a prisoner on this space ship. The agents won’t even say where we’re going.

I hate them.

And things have started to get a bit weird. Nullspace is supposed to be empty, but when I look out of the skywindows I can see … something. Out there. And I think it wants to get in here. With us.

My name is Clarissa. I am ten years old.

And they will all be sorry when my big sister comes to rescue me.

Purchase Link – https://books2read.com/b/Clarissa

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Review: The Beresford, by Will Carver

PUBLICATION DATE: 22 JULY 2021 | ORENDA BOOKS | PAPERBACK ORIGINAL | £8.99

Just outside the city – any city, every city – is a grand, spacious but affordable apartment building called The Beresford.

There’s a routine at The Beresford.

For Mrs May, every day’s the same: a cup of cold, black coffee in the morning, pruning roses, checking on her tenants, wine, prayer and an afternoon nap. She never leaves the building.

Abe Schwartz also lives at The Beresford. His housemate Smythe no longer does. Because Abe just killed him. In exactly sixty seconds, Blair Conroy will ring the doorbell to her new home and Abe will answer the door. They will become friends.

Perhaps lovers.

And, when the time comes for one of them to die, as is always the case at The Beresford, there will be sixty seconds to move the body before the next unknowing soul arrives at the door.

Because nothing changes at The Beresford, until the doorbell
rings…

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Review: Sandraker, by Heide Goody and Iain Grant

Sandraker

The aristocracy abide by a different set of rules…

…or so it seems to Sam Applewhite when her job brings her to Candlebroke Hall, the stately home. The burglary definitely wasn’t what it appeared to be, and the subsequent accidents suggest that it’s a dangerous place to spend time.

Sam is caught up in events as she tries to protect the interests of young Hilde Odinson, part of the local viking family. The Odinsons insist on doing things their own way though, with scant regard for the law. In the meantime, Sam starts to understand that while many people would kill to live at Candlebroke Hall, maybe there are others who would kill to get away from it

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B095LV3F8T

US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B095LV3F8T

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Review: Doggerland, by Heide Goody and Iain Grant

Doggerland

There’s something very wrong at the Otterside care home.

When Sam Applewhite tries to help a friend who’s lost a beloved pet she  finds that it’s just the first in a series of seemingly unconnected deaths. Is it her imagination, or do all of them somehow point back to the same residential home for seniors?

Sam’s skills are in demand elsewhere however, as she must orchestrate a safety drill with animal actors, cook dinner on an abandoned oil rig and keep an eye on those vikings who are building a longship.

When the police don’t see the pattern, it’s all down to Sam, and the closer she gets to uncovering what’s going on at Otterside, the more danger she’s in

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B095LT3KZ5/ref=series_rw_dp_swUS – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B095LT3KZ5/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

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Review: Emma’s Quest, by T.R. Willard

Summary:

Let’s discover the path on Emma’s quest, to protect and respect the earthlings among us.

Emma will show you how precious her life, your life and all the creatures on this planet’s lives are by going on a legendary quest so we can all fill our lives with love.

This is the first illustrated book for children by T. R. Willard aimed at young readers from 4 upwards.

Information about the Book

Title: Emma’s Quest

Author: T. R. Willard

Release Date: 24th June 2021

Genre: Picture Book

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Emmas-Quest-T-R-Willard/dp/1913340805

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