THE KINGMAKER'S DAUGHTER by Philippa Gregory
Best of 2012

THE KINGMAKER'S DAUGHTER

KIRKUS REVIEW

The latest of Gregory’s Cousins’ War series debunks—mostly—the disparaging myths surrounding Richard III and his marriage to Anne Neville.

Anne and her sister Isabel are both used without hesitation as political bargaining chips by their father, Richard, Earl of Warwick. True to his sobriquet, "Kingmaker," Warwick engineered the downfall of the Lancastrian King Henry VI after Henry succumbed to mental illness and supplanted him with Edward IV, scion of the Yorkist-Plantagenet claims to the English succession. Increasingly disenchanted by the degree to which Edward is allowing his queen, Elizabeth Woodville, to dole out favors to her large family, Warwick marries Isabel off to George, Duke of Clarence, Edward’s brother, on the theory that George, next in line for the throne, can dislodge his older brother. When George fails at this, Warwick gives Anne, barely 14, in marriage to Henry’s son, Edward and, together with his former enemy, Margaret of Anjou (Henry’s exiled consort), attempts a coup that fails miserably, bringing us to the time period chronicled in Shakespeare’s Tudor/Lancaster-biased take on events. With her father and new husband slain in battle and mother and mother-in-law either in prison or otherwise defanged, Anne is left penniless. Her brother-in-law, George, and her own sister have taken her inheritance and are keeping her a virtual servant. King Edward’s youngest brother, Richard, rescues Anne, marries her and uses some unorthodox means to regain her inheritance (while ensuring that it all belongs to him). The marriage, unlike the sinister seduction depicted by Shakespeare, is presented as a genuine love match (aside from some doubt about that tricky prenup). The chief threat to the realm is not Richard but Queen Elizabeth: A reputed witch with a grudge against Warwick’s daughters (Warwick killed her father and brother), she will not be happy until Isabel, Anne and their progeny (and if necessary her brothers-in-law) are dead.  

Although their fates are known, Gregory creates suspense by raising intriguing questions about whether her characters will transcend their historical reputations.

Pub Date: Aug. 14th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4516-2607-0
Page count: 432pp
Publisher: Touchstone/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2012




BEST FICTION OF 2012: HISTORICAL FICTION:

Fiction ACCIDENTS OF PROVIDENCE by Stacia M. Brown
by Stacia M. Brown
Fiction A VIOLET SEASON by Kathy Leonard Czepiel
by Kathy Leonard Czepiel
Fiction CITY OF WOMEN by David R. Gillham
by David R. Gillham
Fiction THE KINGMAKER'S DAUGHTER by Philippa Gregory
by Philippa Gregory

MORE BY PHILIPPA GREGORY

FictionTHE WHITE PRINCESS by Philippa Gregory
by Philippa Gregory
FictionTHE LADY OF THE RIVERS by Philippa Gregory
by Philippa Gregory
FictionTHE RED QUEEN by Philippa Gregory
by Philippa Gregory

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

MysteryTHE MIDSUMMER CROWN by Kate Sedley
by Kate Sedley
NonfictionBLOOD SISTERS by Sarah Gristwood
by Sarah Gristwood
FictionTHE BOLEYN DECEIT by Laura Andersen
by Laura Andersen