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3.85  ·  Rating details ·  209 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Born to be nobody. Destined to be king. Doomed to be a villain. What matters? Loyalty matters. Loyalty Binds Me.

Artist Hans Holbein receives a summons to the home of Sir Thomas More for the commission of his lifetime, but he will leave with a secret that puts his very life at risk. What he will learn is the truth about the life of King Richard III, from his return from exi
Kindle Edition, 597 pages
Published June 2012
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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Jun 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was an enjoyable and surprisingly unique take on Richard III. Lewis uses the unlikely narrator of Thomas More and the theory of his family portrait by Holbein to direct Richard's story. If you are not familiar with the Holbein painting, see

This novel makes use of very beautiful descriptive language. I felt almost as if I was watching a movie, every detail of movement and thought was described so thoroughly. For some portions of the book, I enjoyed
Aug 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Great story. I especially like the fact that Anne is not portrayed to be a pawn and a pushover like she normally is.

But can I just say??? Someone shoot the copy editor! Typos everywhere!
Nailing my colours to the mast, Richard III Duke of Gloucester has been one of my history crushes ever since I read Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time many years ago, so any novel with a sympathetic take on a much maligned monarch and man is bound to go well with me. So what did I think about Matthew Lewis' book? I enjoyed it very much and would award 3.5 stars only because I had reservations about the basic stylistic structure of the novel.

Sir Thomas More calls in Hans Holbein to paint the f
Alan Hamilton
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
I have to declare an interest here. I’m in the process of writing an alternative history novel – the starting point being that Richard III is victorious at Bosworth – and the story explores what his post-Bosworth reign might have been like. Matthew Lewis’s narrative of Richard's life and death is beautifully done; remarkably well-written, very moving, and, in my opinion captures a highly credible characterisation of the man as deeply honest, pius, insecure, impulsive, and prone to sudden anger t ...more
By Matthew Lewis
Reviewed February 21, 2021

Loyalty is a story within a story. It starts many years after King Richard III’s death, during the reign of Henry VIII. Artist Hans Holbein has been summoned to the home of Sir Thomas More. More wants to commission a painting of him and his family, but before Holbein can begin, More explains, he needs to know the truth about the late King Richard. How the two are connected isn’t revealed until much later in the book.

As More tells his story, we dis
Dec 04, 2013 rated it liked it
The author re-imagines the story of Richard, Duke of Gloucetser's time as loyal servant of his brother, King Edward IV of England, through his death at the Battle of Bosworth. In the story, Richard takes over the throne as a matter of religious duty and is the subject of negative propaganda from the Tudor faction. He does not kill his two nephews or his wife, and strove to promote the interests of the commoner; this was his downfall: he was unliked by the nobility. In the author's notes at the e ...more
Jul 31, 2020 rated it really liked it

It was if someone told Lewis his book needed to be about 15% longer when he finished, so he weaved in the framework of the story being told by Thomas More to a very confused Hans Holbein, hinting that his pro Richard III story will have some sort of major pay off. Instead, there's a weird, flat "twist" at the end that doesn't really amount to much, ignoring all the mystery still left unresolved.

It doesn't make any sense for Thomas More to be the narrator, as the story itself is 3rd POV omniscien
Constance Hopkins
Mar 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A cracking good read!

Loyalty took me on as wonderful trip inside the life of Richard III. It was great to see him as not perfect, but certainly not the monster Tudor propaganda portrays. The premise of the story being told by Thomas More was clever and very entertaining. I enjoyed Mathew Lewis writing style.

When I ask apologetic RIII books, I'm not asking about this one. Disappointing and bland, that's worse. ...more
Nov 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
A good portrait of Richard III

This is a fictional novel about the life of Richard III since he is a loyal brother fighting next to Edward IV againts Warwick and the Lancasters until the Bosworth field.

The book presents a positive portrait of Richard but not a perfect , the difference is that in this case this book is a political story more than a personal one and there is not balance between thos two aspects , so through the book you will get to know the political issues that Richard faced , the
David Santiuste
This is not a perfect book. I have a copy of the paperback edition, which contains quite a few spelling errors/typos, and a number of passages might have been more tightly edited. Having said that, there is also much to admire here. The characterization of Richard III is thoughtful and considered; Lewis's Richard is essentially an attractive figure, although he does have some intriguing flaws. However, the standout character, for me, is Richard's wife, Anne Neville. Of course this is a work of f ...more
Jun 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A refreshing and different telling of King Richard and his struggles with loyalty to his brother & his country. The author raises some new ideas about what truly happened to the "Princes in the Tower" and removes the veil of villainy that has always covered King Richard to allow the reader a glimpse of a man, thought by history to be a monster, but perhaps more of a complex person than he has been given credit for. Excellent historical fiction novel! ...more
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Long over due!

This is not only a great read it is based on historical fact! I almost did not read it because I have read numerous books on King Richard III and didn't want to re-read the same information. I was presented with information completely different than any previous! I have never been one who believed Richard killed his nephews. This book shows a remarkable man and one of (in my opinion) England's greatest kings.
Mandy Hemmings
May 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
I thought this book was excellent - I've long been interested in Richard III and anything relating to him, and I vowed that this year I would find out more about it all! Loyalty is sympathetic without conferring some sort of God-like status on Richard - in a word, it's balanced. It's also very well-written and interesting. I particularly enjoyed the scene where he rescues his bride-to-be, Anne Neville, from imprisonment by her sister and brother-in-law. ...more
Donna Mcaleavy Ⓥ
Jun 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Although this book bored me a little in places I found that for most of it I was glued to the pages. The twist at the end I kind of guessed it would be something along them lines about halfway through the book but its a very interesting theory and i instantly looked up the hans holbein portrait. I like the take on Richard and on Anne Neville and never bore of reading about how their life and marriage may have been. I will definitely be reading the next book honour.
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really interesting and enjoyable take on the reign of Richard 111. It is a sympathetic view of Richard rather than the one portrayed by Shakespeare.
It is a page turner. The author's notes are interesting.
I want to read more about Richard 111 now. Worth reading if you are interested in Richard 111.
Mar 02, 2013 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book despite the spelling mistakes!.. It gives a new dimension to Richard III even though a little Mills and Boon in places. An Interesting theory is put forward at the end of the book (I won't give it away") but it did make me google The More's family portrait by Holbein!..... ...more
May 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Interesting take on Richard III. Not use to Thomas More in the role of vindicator of Richard. Easy read.
Sue Cook
Oct 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book and it's unusual angle for viewing Richard's reign. This was despite the author's slightly unusual style and the surprising spelling mistakes.
Cyn Carpenter
Oct 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
Needs more research into the cultures of the times.
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Matthew Lewis was born and grew up in the West Midlands. Having obtained a law degree, he currently lives in the beautiful Shropshire countryside with his wife and children. History and writing have always been a passion of Matthew's, with particular interest in the Wars of the Roses period. His first novel, Loyalty, was born of the joining of those passions. ...more

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