Al's Reviews > Loyalty Binds Me

Loyalty Binds Me by Joan Szechtman
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Mar 04, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: kindle, read-2012

The first book of this series was mostly about Richard III adapting to life in this century. While the action took place in contemporary times, it integrated historical facts and, in the case of much of what Shakespeare has many believing, corrected historical fiction.

In "Loyalty Binds Me," the subtle historical teaching is still taking place, but the plot is closer to a thriller than the science fiction mixed with history tutorial the first time out. The characters had me emotionally invested even more than I might have been, because they were old friends from reading "This Time." That helped draw me into the thriller portion of the plot. Szechtman does an excellent job of integrating the historical with the contemporary, including some strange twists, with Richard III’s arrest for lawbreaking alleged to have happened five hundred years previously. I liked the story, the “big picture,” of "Loyalty Binds Me," but what I liked even more is in the details.

As I’m reading a book for review I’ll highlight errors of the kind that should have been caught during the copyediting and proofing process. I’ll also highlight and make notes about things that jump out at me as especially good or bad. When I reviewed my notes from "Loyalty Binds Me" I had exactly one “typo” type error I’d caught, a “you” that I thought should have been a “your.” The rest of the notes were about something Szechtman got right that very few Indie authors seem to pull off. That is getting the language right when there is a mix of characters who would speak different flavors of English. The best example is comparing Sarah (Richard III’s wife) who is American and says, “she probably would be in the hospital there” while an English character asks, “do you know why she’s in hospital.” This is a subtle usage difference between English and American speakers. Szechtman also recognized that Richard would have to cross a lane of traffic to make a right hand turn. It’s possible I might have missed something since my native language, as Szechtman’s, is American English, but I spotted enough instances that could have easily been wrong to be confident there are few, if any. Inattention to these little things can jar a reader out of a story. When done right it makes for a smooth and pleasant read.

**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **
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