I have enjoyed Philippa Gregory's Cousins' War series so far. The Kingmaker's Daughter would probably be my favorite--at least so far. It is the story of Anne Neville, the daughter of Warwick, the "kingmaker", and wife of Richard III. The book chronicles her from childhood until her death--beginning with the marriage of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville. Her father always had a plot or scheme, always had a plan and a backup plan. So in a way, the book is very political and gives a behind the scenes look at corruption, power, and manipulation. But it is also a personal story. Readers see Anne as a daughter, sister, wife, widow, and mother. In various roles, readers are able to perhaps catch a glimpse of what it might have been like to live during these turbulent times.
I loved the focus on relationships. I loved the complexity of those relationships. It must have been hard to live with the decisions and consequences of such an ambitious father, never knowing from one week to the next whose side you're supposed to be on and if your father is scheming to make YOU queen or if he's scheming to make your sister queen. Wanting to support him and be a good daughter, yet, at the same time never understanding him fully.
There are so many intense scenes in this one. One of the toughest scenes is when Anne is trying to help her sister during her labor at sea. WOW. And that's just one of the emotional scenes of the novel. It's a compelling novel, a sad novel since Anne's story is a tragic one, but it's a fascinating story too.
I would definitely recommend this one. I just LOVED it. The novel is not perfect, perhaps, I wish Richard had been portrayed a little differently. Though I was VERY RELIEVED that Richard's portrayal was so complex, seeking to see his strengths and weaknesses. He was not portrayed as a horrible, evil, despicable person. And he definitely wasn't portrayed as a saint.
Read The Kingmaker's Daughter
- If you love historical fiction
- If you love historical fiction set in the fifteenth century
- If you want to read more about the War of Roses, or The Cousins' War
- If you are a fan of Philippa Gregory
© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews