Saturday, 27 July 2013

The Kingmaker's Daughter- Philippa Gregory BOOK REVIEW

“Anne Neville and her sister Isabel are daughters of the most powerful magnate in the 15th century England, the Earl of Warwick, the ‘Kingmaker’, born with royal blood in their veins. Widowed at fourteen, fatherless, stripped of her inheritance and with her mother locked in sanctuary and Isabel a vengeful enemy, Anne faces the world alone.
But fortune’s wheel is always turning. Plotting her escape from her sister’s house, she finds herself a husband in the handsome Dyke of Gloucester, and marries without permission. Danger follows her and she finds she has a mortal enemy in the most beautiful queen of England. Anne must protect herself and her precious only son, from the treacherous royal court, her deadly royal rival, and even from the driving ambition of her husband.”

I have been wanting to read these books for absolutely ages, it was only when books by Philippa Gregory were made into a BBC television show (called the White Queen which is based on the books ‘The White Queen’, ‘The Red Queen’ and ‘The Kingmaker’s Daughter’.) that made me want to read them even more. You see, despite them always being on my reading list they always got pushed back in favour of something else. I think this is because I had some reservations because they are of course novels based on history. Whilst that may be true; they have far more dimension and entertainment than that of your average historical novel. The books are described as being fiction based on facts; which means that the main plot and what ultimately happens is all true, but some parts have been exaggerated and made into fiction to make it more enjoyable for the reader.

I don’t claim to know much if anything about the Cousin’s War or more commonly known as the War of the Roses but you don’t need to know anything about it to be able to understand and enjoy these books. You may also learn a little something about what happened along the way although I suppose you have to take it with a small pinch of salt because there are bits of complete fiction interspersed with fact.

Although this is the fourth in the series of books, it doesn’t seem to matter which you read first because ultimately they are all based on the same plot just with different view points. I chose the Kingmaker’s Daughter as the first one to read because Anne Neville’s character interested me from watching the TV show, (well that and it was the only one left in the shop).

Anne Neville is an extremely complex character; she has always been a follower and so when it is her chance to rule and be the better of the two Neville sisters she jumps at the chance. However, her path to the top is certainly not an easy nor enjoyable experience. Whilst she marries for love in secret soon it turns sour and she lives in constant fear of the Queen whom she believes is her mortal enemy.

I don’t believe she ever reached full happiness or if she did it was very short lived, I feel sorry for her and in some ways respect her for carrying on when her world was falling apart. She defiantly had a tough life with little who truly loved her. I believe though that when the book ended it ended with her finally being at peace.

This is definitely a must read if you are a fan of the BBC show or just a fan of historical novels. I finished this book within a day of intense reading, considering that this is a 400+ paged book, that shows you just how good this book was.

I am about to read the next books in the series and so I will also review them, once I have finished them all I will write another review telling you whose side I am on- York or Lancaster.

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