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.
I knew that Game of Thrones had been based on The War of the Roses, but I had no idea just how closely it followed it. From the very moment I started reading The Kingmaker’s Daughter, it was impossible not to compare the two–even though one is complete fantasy, and one is based on real history. It really shine a whole new light on the series.
But, this review isn’t about GOT. So that’s enough about that.
Since I love British history as much as I do–especially Tudor history–it’s impossible not to love Philippa Gregory. I’m pretty sure I have every one of her books on my Goodreads TBR. She is pretty much THE historical fiction author of our time. Her stories are thick with passion and drama, and she goes super deep into the lives of the women who lived in those castles and magnificent dresses. She reminds us that it SUCKED to be a woman back then–our idea of “princess” today is not exactly accurate.
The Kingmaker’s Daughter takes us into a story of a relatively unknown queen, and through her eyes we see it all–war, treason, childbirth, witchcraft, and everything else a woman had to deal with while the men battled for power. Gregory writes the game of chess magnificently.
It’s been awhile since I’ve picked up a Philippa Gregory novel, and now I’m rehooked. Be warned. I know where her section of the library is now! If you love historical fiction, or you just finished GOT and are asking yourself “WHAT DO I READ NOW?”–this is a good choice! It’s also part of an overall Cousin’s War series, so there are more!
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