The Kingmakers Daughter by Phillipa Gregory
Plot: Spies, poison, and curses surround her...
Is there anyone she can trust?
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.
Characters: Anne Neville
Queen Elizabeth Woodville
I’m a huge Historical Fiction fan, ever since I read The Other Boleyn Girl by Gregory, she’s made me fall in love with the English court. I've read a couple of her books, and also enjoyed the rest of the Cousins War series such as The White Queen, The Red Queen and The Lady of the Rivers.
This one did not disappoint. The Kingmakers Daughter is the story of Isabel and mostly Anne Neville, the daughters of the Earl of Warwick, nicknamed The Kingmaker. Warwick had put Kind Edward of York onto the throne, Warwick actually being the more powerful man, but then Edward goes and marries the widowed Elizabeth Woodville in secret, messing up some of the plans Warwick had.
Warwick still has much ambition and still wants to put one of his daughters in the position to be queen or to have a grandson on the throne. So he uses his two daughters as pawns in his game to become the ruler of England.
Isabel marries the brother of the King, second in line to become ruler of the country and her father hopes to keep it that way, but the Queen is very fertile and seems to have a new baby every year. Warwick then had his daughter Anne marry Edward, the son of King Henry VI, whom she had grown up believing was the “bad ones”. But Edward dies and she gets sent to live with her sister Isabel, whose husband is their mothers favorite and along with his mother spreads rumors that his brother the King is a bastard.
Also there are the rumors that the Queen is a witch who used sorcery to get the King to fall in love with her. Strange things start happening and when Isabel and her young infant son die Anne is sure it is the Queen’s doing. But her new husband is the youngest brother of the King, Richard, and he is the faithful brother who does not want to believe such accusations against his brother. But when George gets more and more suspicious believing that it is the Queen who poisoned his wife Richard starts to question it too.
In the event George is arrested for treason against the King, and is set to be executed for his allegations. Richard becomes worried that the Queen wants to put her extensive family in all the favorite spots of the court, placing them all in high positions, creating a court with her family. When the King dies, Richard becomes the new ruler after placing the Queens sons in the Tower of London, with Anne as his Queen, just as her father had always wanted. But there is a new uprising, that of the Tudors.
The story is told from another side of the cousin’s war, with the first parts being told in The White Queen and The Red Queen. You see the side of the York’s, not from that of Elizabeth Woodville and her King, but more of his brothers and their wives, the Nevilles.
I really enjoyed the book and found Anne to be a great character. It is of course only fiction based on the truth, but of the series and the women who tell their stories in it, she is by far my favorite We get to know her (and Isabel) as a child, see her grow up and become only a player in her father’s game. She grows from a fearful child to a formidable young woman, who finds love and then grief.
All I can say is well done to Gregory for another fine novel.