Friends Don't Let Friends Read Bad Historical Fiction

Or do they?

Not so very long ago, A Reader's Respite found ourselves at home with a few hours of spare time on our hands. Feeling industrious, we drove into town to meet a Bloggy Friend for lunch. After a wonderful greasy feast (the Bleu Baron: a marvelous concoction of roast beef on sourdough with a bleu cheese dressing), our Bloggy Friend surreptitiously slid a novel across the table towards us.

Now to be fair, she did give us fair warning. But did we heed that warning?

Oh nooooooooooooooooooo. We did not.

No, being the historical fiction fanatic we are, A Reader's Respite dove headfirst into this novel of Tudor England. Admit it, you'd do the same.

Now there are plenty of book reviewers out there who go out of their way to find some good in even the worst book.

A Reader's Respite is not one of those reviewers.

This was a bad, bad book and we aren't afraid to say so. This book was so horrible that we're not sure how to convey this level of bad-ness. Allow us to offer a synopsis:

Heir Apparent, despite being an attempt at historical fiction, is actually set in the future. We begin the story sometime in the latter half of this century in London. Kaitlyn and Colin, museum curators of the future, time-travel back to the court of King Henry VIII in order to....well, we're still not precisely sure what they were doing there, but it had something to do with preserving the Tudor bloodline and securing an heir for the throne in 21st century.

Life in the future, as presented in this novel, is painfully conveyed via dialogue throughout the story...

"I got home late last night and forgot to zap the battery-plate with the ultra-violet recharge light."
Heir Apparent, p. 42


"...unless you want to use the safe-solar chamber to dry, tan, and moisturize. It only takes a couple of seconds."
Heir Apparent, p. 59

How do they manage the time travel to Tudor England? We're so glad you asked....

"This is what I call my B.T.E. Remote, which is short for Bending Time Electrically. Basically, this 'television remote' if you will...can bend time with you in it, and send you to and from different places in time."
Heir Apparent, p. 8-9

Okay, perhaps we're being a bit picky in the science department. After all, this is a work of fiction.

But when the characterizations, plot and dialogue are just as awful, the entire novel becomes a train wreck that you just cannot turn away from.

Once our erstwhile heroes actually arrive in Tudor England, they immediately run into Henry VIII and the evil Queen Anne. Henry, the randy royal, wants nothing more than to screw every female in his direct line of sight, while Anne engages in hair-pulling, bitch-slapping, knockdown, dragout catfights with her 21st century rival Caitlyn.

The rest of the story pretty much encapsulates Caitlyn and Colin's attempts to get back to their own time with their heads intact. We have no idea whether or not they actually achieved their initial objective. Things were fuzzy by the time we reached the end of this 350-page disaster.

The moral of this review?

A. You can be traumatized by bad historical fiction, and
B. Never, ever borrow a book from Misfit. :p

A Reader's Respite and At Home With a Good Book and the Cat suffer from Sour Milk Syndrome. You know, that's when you open up a bad carton of milk, smell it, and immediately tell the person closest to you, "Ewwwww, smell this."

In that grand tradition, we are offering this book up to you. If you want to see for yourself (and you know you do) how bad historical fiction can be, tell us so and on October 30th, we'll draw one random winner.

C'mon, it'll be fun!


  1. thanks! It's been awhile since I've had spoiled milk in my house, and don't want to start now! You know, Michele, paybacks are hell. You need to get her good! Perhaps something from WTF Wednesday?

  2. I have read books like this before. I usually call my mother and read parts aloud to her and we have a good laugh or she just begs me to stop. Thanks for the offer but I will leave this gem for someone else to enjoy!

  3. ROFL LMAO, what a way to start my morning! Somehow I don't think you're going to be able to give this one away.

  4. wow, you read 350 pages of this book :)

    DO NOT enter me please, I just wanted to say I enjoyed this post :)

  5. So sorry!!! And I'm passing. But next time I'm Seattle, I want to order same wonderful sandwich.

  6. I think I'll pass on this one as well. Historical fiction set in the future holds no appeal for me.

  7. I loved your review and I'll be the first to step up & sniff. Not sure if I'll make it clear through but I'll give it a shot.

    Just do me a favor? Can you write down a good recommendation for afterwards?

  8. Ok, I want to see how bad historical fiction can be. Count me in!


  9. I think you should try Misfit's tactic - meet another bloggy friend for lunch and slide it across the table. Better yet, go to lunch alone and slide it across the table....

  10. LOL - I called in to see if there were any new comments under the review for my book for me to reply to and caught this delightful review. Made me smile.
    Perhaps a lesson here in how not to write 'historical' fiction?

    I'd put myself down to win a copy, but what a shame, I'm in the UK so I don't suppose I'm able to enter :-/ LOL

    One thing I'm pleased about though - here is proof that not every book on this blog gets an automatic good review, so the good reviews are worth twice as much.
    (therefore, thank you for mine!)

  11. Woohoo, a couple of brave souls out there. I will post my review from Amazon for tomorrow's Wall Banger Wednesday.

    Beth, do go to Johnny's at Fife next time you're in the area and have a Bleu Baron,

  12. Ok Michele...NO Thanks! Misfit needs a payback -lol!!

  13. Erm, there are 36 people wishing this book at Paperbackswap. Why......

  14. A chaming blog done by a clever writer. I'll visit often now I've found your site. Thanks for sharing.
    All the very best,

  15. your posts. Only you can be so witty and charming whilst completely bashing a book...

    P.S. Kindly do not enter me in contest :)

  16. SaraW - Eur. Royalty GroupOctober 20, 2009 at 5:30 PM

    Sign me up! Too funny! :)

  17. I find it sad that now I almost want to read this. Great post and count me in, please! This is clearly the definition of 'awesomely bad'.

  18. Hehehe. I read Misfit's review and yours and I'm ROFLMAO. I'll give it a shot just to get the laugh out of it that y'all did!

    Count me in!

    robinbird_79 AT hotmail DOT com

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. Actually I'm really interested.. you piqued my interest that I want to try it out myself.. I adore the Tudor period.. and it seems this is quite different LOL

    So if this is open internationally please enter me.


  21. The review was good but I will pass on this.

  22. I really don't want this book! It sounds absolutely awful, and those quotes - ugh! Thanks for warning us off of this book.

  23. Great post!
    I'll read it...or at least I'll skim it...
    Looks too funny to pass up!

  24. Oh my - this sounds perfectly horrible! No I don't want it! Thanks for the warning, though.


  25. I tried to read a book like this once. I wanted to write the author and tell them to pick a time period and stick with it. That and the sci-fi hover ships and ray guns really don't work in an ancient Egyptian setting. Unless your doing a Stargate/SG-1 book.

    I'll pass on the give away too. Thanks though.

  26. LOL
    I came over from Misfit's blog/review and hellllll nooooooo.

    But thanks for your unending generosity!

    Fabulous firewood for a rainy day.

  27. Oh wow, this sounds bad. If the premise didn't scare me away, the snippets that you posted would surely do the job. It sounds like an atrocity!

  28. I do not want it either, as a matter of fact I do believe that I have it somewhere in my wee pile of books either. I know the cover looks familiar...hmmm if I come across it and I haven't read it , I won't... Thanks for the heads up...

  29. This was sooooooo fun to read .. but you're not sucking me. Sorry.

  30. I love the Tudor period and a great laugh!!! count me in!!!!

  31. I'm going to pass. Sounds like a waste of time. Great review for a bad book, though.

  32. Oh, my, Michele, you are not an adventurous spirit & an amazing friend!

  33. I'll game to give it a try :)

    karen k

  34. Great review on a horrible book! I'll take it, just to see how bad bad can be. I'd say thanks but I'm not sure it's appropriate!



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