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ePublish a Book » Book reviews, Historical and Literary fiction, Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror » Book Review – This Time by Joan Szechtman

Book Review – This Time by Joan Szechtman

This Time by Joan Szechtman

Review by Dianne Rapp

Shakespeare got it wrong!

When a wealthy history buff endeavors to unravel the truth about his favorite English king, he funds a time travel project.  According to Shakespeare’s play, King Richard III was a hunchback who murdered his wife and two nephews, but he was wrong.  The novel opens as Richard III fights his last battle, the one where he gets cut down in a bloody massacre, but time-travel scientists drag him into 2004.  They leave a “look alike” body behind so that history remains in tact.  Unfortunately the rich historian thinks he owns Richard.  He plans to “question” Richard and send him back to die.

While I was reading this fascinating book, I wondered who I’d like to snatch from history.  There are so many remarkable people I’d enjoy meeting, but my favorite would be Benjamin Franklin—a pivotal character in our country’s forming.  He franchised businesses, started the postal system and lending libraries, and served as ambassador for his fledgling country.  It would be fun to meet him.

King Richard III did not have much “fun” as his captors grilled him about his life.  Since he was an intelligent soldier, he immediately tried to find a way to escape from his prison.  Wouldn’t anyone?  How can he survive in a strange new world?  He must develop allies.  The excellent narrative follows his journey from an archaic royal to a modern man.  We appreciate his struggle to learn modern English and catch up on history, while we cheer his romantic adventures and quest to save his son.

The author helps us understand King Richard III in a way that Shakespeare never imagined.  I don’t know much about English history, but I learned a lot about the problems that faced royalty of that time period from this well-written novel.  I peeked at the sequel, Loyalty Binds Me, and I’m anxious to find out how Dickon (his favorite nickname) manages to get into more trouble during the next phase of the story.  Buy this book and discover how Shakespeare got it all wrong in his famous play.  (I’m still wondering how we can snatch Benjamin Franklin.)



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