Book Feature: The Kingmaker’s Daughter
Set against the bloodthirsty backdrop of The War of the Roses, The Kingmaker’s Daughter is a page-turner filled with conspiracy, treachery, spies, and black magic.
In her latest installment in the Cousins’ War series, bestselling novelist Philippa Gregory tells the tale of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, a powerful magnate known as the ‘Kingmaker’.
After plotting to help the house of York ascend to the throne, he changes his allegiance and turns against King Edward IV and his queen Elizabeth Woodville – only to befriend his former (Lancaster) enemies. Without a son and heir, the Earl of Warwick uses his daughters, Anne and Isabel, as pawns in his political schemes.
The story is told from the point of view of Anne, his youngest daughter, who at her father’s bidding, marries Edward, Prince of Wales – son of Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou. Anne’s new husband soon makes a claim for the crown, and in the battle that follows, she is left widowed and fatherless, her mother in sanctuary and her sister Isabel married to the King’s brother, who is secretly conspiring against the King to make his own move for the crown.
All seems lost, but in yet another dizzying turn of events, Anne is saved by her marriage to Richard, Duke of Gloucester (the future notorious King Richard III). It is this marriage, however, that sets her on a deadly collision course with the royal family –and places her own life and the lives of the people she loves most at risk.
Along with the fast-paced drama and seemingly endless twists and turns of fate, the book gives a glimpse of how women, even those highly placed, lived in 1400s England. Anne, who is strong, intelligent, and attractive, not to mention immensely wealthy, is still utterly dependent on the men in her life for her social and financial standing, and often, her physical safety.
Other titles in the Cousins’ War series include The White Queen, The Red Queen, and The Lady of the Rivers. Reportedly, Gregory will follow The Kingmaker’s Daughter with a final installment in the series, The White Princess, about the mother of King Henry VIII, Elizabeth of York (whose marriage to Henry VII ended the War of the Roses by uniting the houses of York and Lancaster).
Watch the Phillipa Gregory read from her latest novel:
(Want to see more? Watch Part 2.)
50PLUS.com is giving away 5 hardcover copies of Philippa Gregory’s The Kingmaker’s Daughter! Check out our contest page for details.
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