by J.P. Reedman
“Sacred King” is styled as a “historical fantasy novella” about Richard III, but don’t let that stop you from reading it. The book is in no way a “Mary Sue” story that you often find in the fantasy section of your local Ricardian book store.
Reedman has already written several books dealing with ancient British mythology, and brings that knowledge over to the Ricardian genre to spin an inventive, original, fresh take on Richard’s death, afterlife, and re-discovery. But don’t think you have to be an expert yourself on ancient folklore. Reedman weaves this into the story so that it doesn’t seem as if she’s talking over your head, even if you barely remember the name of Arthur’s sword.
Reedman did her research well on the Ricardian side of the story & it shows. Richard is portrayed as a human being, with all his faults & doubts & sins. This Richard is no over-romanticized “wind in his hair” knight riding off into the sunset with his beloved Anne, nor is he the hump-backed, withered arm evil uncle. Both of these views parody & diminish Richard as a person; Reedman’s story gives him back the humanity that has been lost & has been absent from more recent books on his life.
Overall, Reedman has created a story that can be read, enjoyed, & most importantly, understood by anyone, even someone unfamiliar with Richard’s life and/or British mythology. I really enjoyed reading this version of Richard’s life & afterlife. Who knows? It could really have happened this way.
The book is currently available in print & on Kindle. I read the Kindle version.