Reviewed by: BigAl
Genre: Historical/Science Fiction
Approximate word count: 100-105,000 words
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Joan Szechtman’s interest in the 15th century monarch Richard III, originally prompted by reading Sharon Kay Penman’s novel The Sunne in Splendour, led her to try her hand at writing this novel with Richard III as a major character. A sequel to This Time called Loyalty Binds Me is now available. For more, visit Szechman’s website.
Moments before he would have died in battle, Richard III (the 15th century English monarch) is transported to the present day. He finds a vastly different world and discovers that history has not been kind to him.
This Time is a strange blend of history and science fiction. I don’t often read historical fiction and what little I do is typically from periods much more contemporary than the Middle Ages. Yet, I found Richard III’s story interesting. Using time travel (the science fiction portion) as a device to transport a historical figure into contemporary times gives the reader a different prism through which to view our current times. Richard’s struggle to understand and adapt to contemporary times is a great story idea and illustrates how much the world has changed. It also makes me glad I wasn’t born in the Middle Ages.
One of the story threads regards Richard’s place in history. Many believe the historical record is incorrect, with much of the historical record being inaccurate or not supported by the evidence. Much of the blame for this is attributed to Shakespeare’s play. This Time integrates some of those items that are often questioned into the storyline with Richard attempting to set the record straight. This Time was not only entertaining as a story, but I felt as though I learned something in the process, not only about Richard and the times in which he lived, but also about the believability of history in general.
Some mild sexual situations.
No significant issues.
Rating: **** Four stars