“The Kingmaker’s Daughter” Philippa Gregory

ARC (Advance Reading Copy). Published August 14, 2012. Touchstone (Simon & Schuster). 410 pp.

TheKingmaker'sDaughterI am so bad. I got this book at last June’s ALA Conference and, since I believed it to be an adult book, purposely set it on the very bottom of my “to read” pile. A few days ago, and 7 months later, I reached the very end of my ARC pile. I saw it sitting there all alone, and almost decided not to read it since I’d already received my first box of ARC’s from Seattle. I’m glad I gave it a chance.

“The Kingmaker’s Daughter” is a wonderful historical fiction story of the struggles between the Houses of York and Lancaster for the English throne, known as the Wars of the Roses. Apparently, it’s part of a 6 book series, but I read it without knowing this which means it’s one of those series books that can stand on its own merits.

Set between the years 1465 and 1485, Gregory takes readers on a whirlwind tour of behind-the-scenes politicking and back stabbing. Young sisters Isabel and Anne, daughters of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, are pawns in his drive to place the King of his choice on the throne so he could rule through him and ensure a place for his daughters on the throne.

We grow to dislike Elizabeth Woodville, a commoner who King Edward IV secretly marries. She is quite overbearing and icy towards Anne and Isabel, and we find ourselves agreeing with everyone that her witchlike behavior is quite believable as there are strange goings on in the kingdom, and she seems to be behind all of them.

I loved learning about this part of British history, which I had only vaguely read about in the past. I didn’t particularly care for the ending. Since I just learned it’s a series, I wonder if the next book in the series will fill in some of the blanks.

“The Kingmaker’s Daughter” will appeal to adults as well as to older teens seeking an adult book.

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