Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Kingmaker's Daughter by Philippa Gregory

"Once I was the kingmaker's daughter, raised in the knowledge that I would be one of the great ladies of the kingdom.  Now I am queen.  This should satisfy my father and satisfy me, but when I think of the price we have paid, I think that we have been cheated."

Cousins' War #1 - The Lady of the Rivers 
Cousins' War #2 - The White Queen
Cousins' War #3 - The Red Queen

Having read a lot of so-so novels lately, it was such a relief to dive into another Philippa Gregory novel. I have read and enjoyed almost everything that she has written to date and I loved this book as well!  

This is the fourth book in the Cousins' War series and tells the story of Anne Neville and her older sister Isabel, daughters of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick and known as the "Kingmaker" for his powerful role in fifteenth century England royalty.  As a young women, Anne grows up being a pawn in her father's plans to put a new king on the throne that he can rule through.  He uses his daughters to marry potential heirs to the throne and Anne is left a widow at fourteen with her sister married to the enemy and her mother fleeting for her life.  Anne escapes a life of sanctuary when she marries Richard, Duke of Gloucester, brother to former King Edward IV.  She lives out the rest of her live with power and riches beyond her father's dreams, but quickly learns that these also come with a price.

After reading The White Queen (Elizabeth Woodville) and the The Red Queen (Margaret Beaufort), it was really interesting to get a third prospective of the Cousins' War (also known as the War of the Roses).  I am really enjoying this series.  The Tutors are always so popular as far as English history goes, and this family was just as interesting, if not more so.  I'm always amazed at how many battles and rivals there was for the throne of England between the House of Plantagenet, Lancaster, and York.  I kept having to remind myself that all of the major events actually happened and weren't just there to keep the story going.  I love how Philippa Gregory is able to show this period in history between three different point of views - espeically the Battle of Bosworth Field when Henry VII claims the crown from the York house Richard III and marries Elizabeth of York to unite the houses.

And now onto The White Princess - which, thankfully, is sitting on my bookshelf :)

This book was #10 on my top ten list of 2014.

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