30 Oct 2012



Anne Neville and her sister Isabel are daughters of the most powerful magnate in 15th-century England, the Earl of Warwick, nicknamed the 'Kingmaker'. Ever ruthless, always plotting, in the absence of a son and heir, Warwick sets about using his daughters as pawns in his vicious political games.

Anne grows from a delightful child, brought up at the court of Edward IV and his beautiful queen, Elizabeth Woodville, in intimacy and friendship with the family of Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Her life is overturned when her father turns on his former allies, escapes England and invades with an enemy army. Widowed at fourteen, fatherless, with her mother locked in sanctuary, and her sister a vengeful enemy, Anne faces the world alone.

But fortune's wheel turns once again. Anne plots her escape from her sister's house, finds herself a husband in the handsome young Duke of Gloucester, and marries without permission, in secret. But danger still follows her. She finds that she has a mortal enemy in the most beautiful queen of England. Anne has to protect herself and her precious only son from the treacherous royal court, the deadly royal rival, and even from the driving ambition of her husband - Richard III.
..... Inner front cover.

FIRST SENTENCE (The Tower of London, May 1465): My Lady Mother goes first, a great heiress in her own right, and the wife of the greatest subject in the kingdom.

MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 34): My sister and her new husband are put to bed by an archbishop, twenty maids in waiting and five knights of the garter, in a cloud of incense wafted by half a dozen priests, .......

MY THOUGHTS: Admiring Philippa Gregory's work as I do it pains me to say that despite featuring one of the best descriptive passages I've read for a long time - I don't want to give too much away but it involved a storm, a birth and a death - The Kingmaker's Daughter (the fourth book in the Cousin's War series) though a good read fell short of the great read I was expecting it was going to be.

Perhaps that there is relatively less known about this Queen had a bearing on the fact that there seemed to be quite large gaps in the narrative, gaps that the author filled with seemingly inconsequential events and details such as Christmases at Court which towards the end of the book seemed to happen with increasing frequency every few chapters or so.

With less of the 'witchcraft' element then the first three books and in particular The White Queen (book 1) and The Lady Of The Rivers (book 3) there is nevertheless a certain amount of it which though I personally didn't mind too much, I even thought it added an interesting, if not altogether historically accurate, dimension to certain characters, I know the historical purists hated.

Though by no means the strongest book in the series I do however still recommend this book.

KEEP IT OR NOT?: Purchased from The Book People catalogue, this is a definite keeper.


Mary (Bookfan) said...

Your memorable moment made me think more of a funeral than a wedding night ;-) I'm glad it's a keeper!

Arti said...

It seems a very good book judging by your review. Have a wonderful week ahead Tracy :)

Kelly said...

It's been years since I've read one of her books and that was a stand-alone.

Your reviews always make me want to read others.

Hope things are going well there today.

ashok said...

good review!

Suko said...

Thanks for your honest review. Even though this fell just a bit short for you, it seems like you were absorbed by this "keeper". It also sounds like I must read this author's work!

Literary Feline said...

I have only read one book by this author and really need to give her another try. I confess the book I did read by her (which had received high praise) didn't impress me much. This one and its predecessors sound interesting--so I might have to give them a try!

So many books, so little time said...

hmm I have 2 of hers on my tbr but never got round to them, will need to try.
Thanks for reviewing.

Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

Melanie said...

You know, I've never read a book by Phillippa Gregory before, though I've heard tons about her. I do love historical fiction, though, so maybe I should give her a try. However, it doesn't sound like I should start with this one.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Even though this one isn't the strongest, it still sounds good. I have the first one and still need to read it. Looks like I'll be getting the other 2.

Blond Duck said...

I just read her book LAdy of the Rivers--I could barely put it down!

GMR said...

Aww shucks...well, I suppose the experience could have been worse. I'm not a big Historical Fiction fan so I've never tried this author's work but I always love looking at the covers...beautiful.

DMS said...

I have read quite a few books by this author and enjoyed most of them. Some are up there with my favorites. I haven't read this series- but I will probably pick them up. Great honest review!