Rings of Passage by Karla Tipton
Overview by Amazon:
Anise Wynford stumbled down the porch steps of her farmhouse in 21st century Massachusetts and into the nightmare of a raging battlefield of armor and sword fighting.
When she later awakens in a medieval forest in the presence of a gallant white knight, their connection is immediate. Concerned for her safety, the knight carries her to his castle. Her knight turns out to be King Richard III, the villain of Shakespeare’s most famous play.
The truth dawns that she has been transported through time by a magic ring. As Anise navigates the complex rules of politics and etiquette in the king’s court, she falls in love with Richard and he with her.
But Anise knows Richard is destined to die in the Battle of Bosworth Field. If Anise chooses to save his life, she will alter the course of history.
I found this book on Netgalley and it looked interesting so I requested it. I’ve been on a real time travel kick lately, so a book that featured time travel and a time period I didn’t know much about seemed like a great combination.
I would have to say this book didn’t fit into the historical romance category that most books I read do. There is a beautiful love story, but the political intrigue and supernatural events are a major focus. I found this story to be a slow burn…but it kept me hooked.
It starts with Anise’s troubled modern day life. Nothing seems to be working for her so she sets out to discover her past. As she is in her father’s farm house she discovers a ring and puts it on. Once she does, she is transported back to the time of Richard III. Luckily for her, she was actually dressed in costume as she was practicing Shakespeare’s play.
What I really loved about this book was how I fully understood the time she travelled to. The author weaves the historical facts into the story, but breathes life into the time. While Anise doesn’t do the constant comparison to the past and present, through her observations you quickly get the lay of the land. I laughed out loud when she used a garderobe for the first time.
Richard is the first contact she makes. He rescues her and brings to her safety in his home. It seems her ring has special powers that allow her to feel the emotions of others. She feels the despair and grief rolling off Richard and with his mother’s push, seeks to support him.
There is one major problem for Anise. She knows how this story will end. It’s no coincidence that Shakespeare called it a tragedy. As Anise grows closer to Richard, she wants to save him at all costs. I was freaking out reading her intentions – aren’t time travellers not supposed to change the past – at all costs?!? Saving Richard is much harder than Anise imagined. She has the politics of the day to deal with. The men who surround Richard are deceitful and untrustworthy. Her sudden appearance, particularly so close to Richard has aroused major suspicions and Anise finds herself drawn into the tangled web.
The paranormal content revolves around the rings that Richard and Anise have. The rings were forged by a Welsh sorcerer who has been summoned to help Henry Tudor capture the crown of England. This was a spooky element to the story, yet somehow the mysticism matched the period of time.
This story was full of great villains, heroes and politics. While there were only a few romantic moments, if you like historical romances with a healthy dose of mystery and intrigue, then this book is for you! My only complaint is the cover. I know that is how men wore their hair in that time, and call me shallow, but I refused to imagine Richard looking like that! It did the opposite of most romance covers – totally turned me off! But I could imagine him in my head as I liked.
Here’s another version of the cover. I guess it truly is what they say – don’t judge a book by it’s cover! I’m really glad I didn’t!