SUMMARY: His gaze sweeps over the bloody carnage surrounding him. A cry goes up: “We have found the king!” He sees Henry Tudor standing triumphant over a mauled and battered corpse and hears him whisper, “It is done. England is mine.”
The BookViral Review: An enthralling blend of fact and fiction, Renaissance – The Fall and Rise of a King proves a timely reminder that the victor has always written history. Proving not only highly entertaining, but sure to prompt serious reflection. Much has been written about Richard III whose death marked the end of the Plantagenet dynasty. William Shakespeare famously depicted his Machiavellian rise to power and subsequent short reign, but this isn’t a novel about Shakespeare’s hunchbacked villain. Yes, we pick up history and familiarity as we go along, but the inspiration behind Skidmore’s prose gives us an entirely different perspective. One in which the machinations of power have taken a decent man and wholly maligned his character. Benefitting from extensive research and Skidmore’s acerbic prose we find a man locked in purgatory where through reflection and the calming guidance of a monk named Gilbert we come to know Richard for his bravery, wisdom, sadness and guilt over the murder of his nephews. “Forgive yourself and shed your feelings of guilt and shame, Dickon,” Gilbert commands but it’s not an easy thing for a King whose name has become a watchword for evil to do. The centuries are quick to pass as society evolves and when Skidmore finally brings us back to present times and his reburial in Leicester on 26 March 2015 it makes for a cracking denouement.
An original and applaudable debut from Marla Skidmore which is sure to appeal to fans of historical fiction and avid historians alike, The Fall and Rise of a King is recommended without reservation.