The Kingmaker’s Daughter ~ Philippa Gregory

Publisher: Touchstone
Pages: 417
Year: 2012
Rating: ««««

Book Blurb:
Spies, poison, and curses surround her...

Is there anyone she can trust?

The Kingmaker's Daughter is the gripping story of the daughters of the man known as the "Kingmaker," Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick: the most powerful magnate in fifteenth-century England. Without a son and heir, he uses his daughters, Anne and Isabel as pawns in his political games, and they grow up to be influential players in their own right. In this novel, her first sister story since The Other Boleyn Girl, Philippa Gregory explores the lives of two fascinating young women.

At the court of Edward IV and his beautiful queen, Elizabeth Woodville, Anne grows from a delightful child to become ever more fearful and desperate when her father makes war on his former friends. Married at age fourteen, she is soon left widowed and fatherless, her mother in sanctuary and her sister married to the enemy. Anne manages her own escape by marrying Richard, Duke of Gloucester, but her choice will set her on a collision course with the overwhelming power of the royal family and will cost the lives of those she loves most in the world, including her precious only son, Prince Edward. Ultimately, the kingmaker's daughter will achieve her father's greatest ambition.

My thoughts:
As much as I like to think of myself as being pretty knowledgeable when it comes to European history, especially where it concerns the royal families, I have to admit that I really did not know much about Anne Neville before I read The Kingmaker’s Daughter. I have to say that Anne Neville is a very interesting character and her prospective of this tumultuous time was refreshing.

I am (and have been for years) a HUGE fan of Philippa Gregory. I love how she is able to take an event, such as the War of the Roses, which can potentially be a tedious subject full of politics and make it into something intriguing and exciting to read. I love how she is able to weave in court life and the fashions in with political scandals and betrayals, all well making the story realistic and plausible.

The relationship between the Neville girls, Anne and Isabelle, was reminiscent of the relationship between another set of sisters in a previous Gregory novel – the Boleyn sisters, Mary and Anne, in Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl (which, coincidentally was the book that got me hooked…). Clearly, the sisters love each other, but neither one of them even hesitated to turn on the other to further herself or her own cause. Speaking of characters, I actually found myself to like Richard III in this novel. Normally, I cannot stand him but here he is portrayed in a sympathetic light, as a caring husband who truly loves his wife Anne but he is still a calculating politician.

Once again, any amazing novel from Ms. Gregory. Can’t wait to read The White Princess, the next novel in the Cousin’s War series. 

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