Loyalty Binds Me. Joan Szechtman. Star Publish LLC. May 2011. 212 pp. Pb. ISBN #: 9781935188254.
In the novel, This Time by Joan Szechtman, Richard III and his son, Edward, were brought into the 21st Century by scientists who invented a time machine financed by a wealthy businessman who yearns to be accepted as a Ricardian scholar. Richard marries the scientist who originally created the undeveloped time machine and her daughters come to cherish Richard as the solid, caring father they never had.
As this new story begins, the family has traveled to England to pay their respects as a family to Richard’s first wife and Edward’s mother, Anne, at Westminster Abbey. It’s a journey complicated by the fact that Edward is trying to cope with a new family and living in a totally different world, and Sarah and the girls are still moving through their own family adjustments. These insecurities lurking below the surface are about to be stretched to the limit!
On their arrival in London, Richard is accosted by British authorities who tell him he is about to be charged with the murder of Edward IV’s “missing Princes,” as they have come to be called throughout history. The accusation initially strikes the reader as ludicrous, until British and American agents, a dynamic British journalist, a Ricardian lawyer, and other characters become intimately connected with this family who just want to be left alone to grow as the loving family they are becoming.
When the allegations change to something even more drastic, the unfolding scenario becomes intricately complex because of the mixed motives emerging that tell a totally different story, one packed with suspense, intrigue, and even violence.
Loyalty Binds Me is a credible, finely plotted historical mystery that encompasses all possible theories about Richard III’s motives and acts in the 15th Century. It also challenges the traditionally accepted Shakespearean depiction of this “distorted” King and provokes readers to challenge historical interpretation in an intelligent, dynamic, and adventurous way. Well-researched and well-written, Loyalty Binds Me is an exciting, surprising, yet sensitive novel that will delight every reader appreciative of excellent historical and time-travel fiction.