Anatomy of a Book: The Tournament, by Matthew Reilly

17611937For the next two days, my queen spoke and I listened. (p.7)

Notice this.

She recounted to me an event early in her life when, during the autumn of 1546 at a time when Hertfordshire was gripped by a sudden bout of plague, Roger Ascham took her away from Hatfield House for a period of three months. (p.7)

Do you see?

And so I make this my task, my final task on her behalf, to commit to writing her exact words and recount to you, dear reader, the marvellous things – the terrible things, the terrifying things – she beheld over the course of that secret journey in 1546. (p.9)

Clear writing. Easy to read. Straight forward narrative. This is a secret to success. While complicated prose is exalted by learned scholars, it is the clear and direct language of the popular author that readers want. From romantic-comedies to action/murder-histories such as this, the used of clear language is as important in writing as knowing the basics of storytelling.

Changing Status:

The story uses many real characters, so here we have the future great Queen Elizabeth I involved in murder and foul deeds for the first time in her life. Some of her convictions will be formed.

High Stakes:

Honour and lives can be lost.

Page Turner:

The direct language means events unfold quickly. Also, chapters abruptly end at serious moments of jeopardy from which the following chapter continues directly from.

Believable Characters:

Much of the places and characters are taken from history. This adds accuracy and believability, yet the story is fiction and in much fanciful.

Educate:

There are many points of historical reference, especially regarding chess. This is interesting.

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