Thursday, August 29, 2013

THE KINGMAKER'S DAUGHTER by Philippa Gregory ★★★★

Reviewed by Emily Barber

‘The Kingmaker's Daughter’ by Phillipa Gregory 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.
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.
First of all a disclaimer of sorts: I love Sharon Kay Penman's ‘The Sunne in Splendour’ set in the ‘War of the Roses’ period and I have read it multiple times. So my reactions whilst reading ‘The Kingmaker's Daughter’ are coloured by that. There were multiple times whilst reading I found myself saying "Wait, that's not right" and I had to remind myself that both books are novels and no one can know the truth about character and motivations. However, most readers won’t know this.
In saying that I did enjoy this book and Phillipa Gregory deserves much praise for this series. I highly recommend this book, but I have to warn readers that this is an intense and dark part of history and there is no happy ending.

My review copy of THE KINGMAKER’S DAUGHTER thanks to the very wonderful people at Simon & Schuster Australia.
Release Dates: Australia and New Zealand: August 2013

Philippa Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the internationally bestselling novel The Other Boleyn Girl. Now she is looking at the family that preceded the Tudors: the magnificent Plantaganets, a family of complex rivalries, loves, and hatreds.
Her other great interest is the charity that she founded nearly twenty years ago: Gardens for The Gambia. She has raised funds and paid for 140 wells for the primary schools of this poor African country. A former student of Sussex university, and a PhD and Alumna of the Year 2009 of Edinburgh University, her love for history and commitment to historical accuracy are the hallmarks of her writing. She lives with her family on a small farm in Yorkshire.
She welcomes visitors to her site

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