Thursday 2 September 2021

A Discovering Diamonds Review of The Road Not Travelled: Alternative Tales of the Wars of the Roses

Various Authors: edited by Joanne R Larner.  C J Lock, Alex Marchant, J P Reedman, Toni Mount, Sandra Heath Wilson, Terri Beckett, Kit Mareska, Richard Tearle, Brian Wainwright, Jennifer C. Wilson, Michèle Schindler, Bernadette Lyons, Maria Grazia Leotta, Susan Lamb, Clare Anderson, Jennifer Bradley, Roslyn Ramona Brown, Joanna Kingswood Iddison, Lisl Madeleine, Kathy Kingsbury. Foreword by Matthew Lewis, Chairman of the Richard III Society.
Richard III / 1400s

"Life is made up of choices and which road we choose to take may be a pivotal decision that affects our whole life and others' lives too. We often wonder 'What if...?' when we think about our past and about history. This collection of short stories from over twenty talented authors explores some of the 'What ifs' associated with the Wars of the Roses. How would history have changed if one of the roads not travelled had been chosen instead? This anthology explores some of these roads and includes most of the famous figures of the Wars of the Roses - Edward IV, Elizabeth Woodville, Warwick the Kingmaker, Anne Neville, George of Clarence, Francis Lovell and, of course, Richard III to name just a few."

This is another of those excellent anthologies of alternative events of history that seem very popular at the moment - the 'what if' speculations written by a variety of well-known (and not so well-known) authors. 

For this collection we have stories about the Wars of the Roses, and what a varied collection it is! I preferred some of the stories more than others (which is inevitable in such an anthology) but every story left me pondering 'Hmm, I wonder...?' And the delight of an anthology is if one story isn't quite to your taste there is always the next one to read instead, (although I did read all of them as they are all readable and entertaining!)

My only criticism, I'm afraid, is the 'home-made' style cover. Whilst colourful and produced with artistic skill and good intent it isn't  professionally designed. The design standards of covers for indie published books have to be higher than high in order to successfully compete with everything that is 'out there'; covers should match - if not outstrip - the superior quality in both design and production of mainstream books. The phrase 'you can't judge a book by it's cover', sadly is no longer true as first impressions, because of online buying, very much do count. We no longer pick a book off the shelf to look inside, but decide by what we see on the cover. This particular design would probably be ideal for a children's book, but doesn't match the expected adult standard. However, the stories inside do reflect expected quality!

I have been asked by Discovering Diamonds to specifically mention one author, Richard Tearle, to whom the book is dedicated. Richard was Discovering Diamonds' senior reviewer but he passed away in April 2021 after a few months of illness. Fortunately he had already submitted his contribution and it is included in this anthology. Sadly, Richard never got to see it in print.

Proceeds  from the sale of this book go to charity.
Reviewed for Discovering Diamonds 

© Anne Holt
 e-version ARC reviewed
some typos and errors were noted - these have been corrected

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