Review: The Kingmaker’s Daughter (The Cousins’ War #4) by Philippa Gregory

kingmakersdaughterTitle: The Kingmaker’s Daughter
Author: Philippa Gregory
Published: August 14th 2012
Publisher: Touchstone
Pages: 417
ISBN: 145162607X

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.

I am a very big fan of Philippa Gregory’s novel, and this one certainly lived up to its expectations. Anne Neville is someone I knew practically nothing about, and it’s interesting to see how PG chooses to focus on people that have often been neglected during the course of history. There are countless books on Anne Boleyn or Elizabeth I for instance, but there are so many other fascinating women out there whose stories are waiting to be told.

What I love about this Cousins’ War series in general is that it’s teaching me so much about the Wars of the Roses, a topic I was vaguely familiar with, but didn’t know much about. The way PG writes her characters is an interesting one. My view on them has often changed radically from one book to the next. The White Queen for instance, made Elizabeth Woodville an interesting and likeable character that I sympathised with, and this fourth installment made her the epitome of all that is evil in the world (this is slightly exaggerated, but I’m trying to make a point here). The same goes for Jacquetta Rivers and Margaret Beaufort. It’s very nifty to be able to write several books that partially cover the same topic but with a different background story and a different main character, and make each of them as interesting as the previous one. Once again PG has managed to do this very well.

I don’t think I will ever tire of reading her novels, and I’m already counting down the days until her next novel, The White Princess!

My rating: heartheartheartheart


6 thoughts on “Review: The Kingmaker’s Daughter (The Cousins’ War #4) by Philippa Gregory

  1. Hi Philippa, I am also a fan of Philippa Gregory – I hadn’t heard of The Kingmakers Daughter -I have just finished The Boleyn Inheritance – but you have just twisted my arm into reading this one (didn’t really take too much twisting!) Great review 🙂

    1. Hi, and thanks! So great to meet another Philippa Gregory fan 🙂 I’ve read most of her historical novels and so far I love all of them. The Kingmaker’s Daughter is the 4th in a series, but you don’t need to read the other ones first in order to understand this one. I thought it was a very interesting book, even though I hadn’t heard of Anne Neville before I started reading it. I hope you’ll enjoy this one as much as I did 🙂

  2. Hi Philippa,
    I am currently reading The White Queen after reading The Other Boleyn Girl and have become a massive fan of Philippa Gregory. I love how she can bring up people from the past that we have rarely heard of, even though they play a significant role in history! She has definitely sparked my interest in this era, like she done when I read The Other Boleyn Girl. Though some things aren’t exactly correct and many things are purely for our entertainment, she always makes sure we know how hard it was for women to make something of themselves then.
    I had never heard of Isabel and Anne Neville for this series. Anne in particular caught my eye and I am now hunting down my bags for The Kingmaker’s Daughter!
    Brilliant review.

    1. Hi and thanks so much for commenting! Sorry about the late reply. I feel that your discovery of Philippa Gregory’s books is quite similar to mine. The first book of hers that I ever read was The Other Boleyn Girl and from that moment on I was hooked. I’ve learnt so much about history thanks to her books, especially about the lesser known people like you pointed out, such as Anne and Isabelle Neville. The Kingmaker’s Daughter is a great book too, I can recommend it. And also The Lady of the Rivers, about the life of Elizabeth Woodville’s mother. Let me know how you like it once you’ve managed to get a copy of The Kingmaker’s Daughter, I’d love to hear your opinion about it 😀

    1. Hi Megan! I don’t think it’s necessary to read them in the ‘correct’ order, because The White Queen, The Red Queen, and The Kingmaker’s Daughter all deal roughly with the same historic events, only written from a different perspective. So I’d say some general knowledge about the Wars of the Roses is sufficient, but even that isn’t absolutely necessary because you’ll figure out what’s happening soon enough once you start reading any of the books.

      The Lady of the Rivers is an interesting one though because it deals with the period before the other 3 books, and focuses on the young life of Elizabeth Woodville’s mother, Jacquetta, but you don’t need to read that one in order to understand the other books. Hope that helps!

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