Friday, December 26, 2014

Review: The Kingmaker's Daughter

{on Goodreads}
The Kingmaker's Daughter is the fourth book in the Cousin's War series by Philippa Gregory. It tells the story of the family of the Earl of Warwick, who was known as "The Kingmaker." The story focuses on his two daughters, Isabel and Anne, and their lifelong struggle to fulfill their father's wish--to have one of his daughters as Queen of England. Because their father had no male heirs, he used his two daughters as pawns in shaping the political sphere of England. The story is told through the perspective of Anne, who is just a child when the story begins. As her family's power is tested and her future called into question, Anne learns to navigate the dangerous court of the monarchy and begins to extend her own hand in achieving her father's ultimate goal. Though she is initially dazzled by the idea of holding the throne, Anne witnesses tragedy, betrayal, and death and finds herself more and more disenchanted with life at court. At a time when women were secretly wielding the power of their husbands, Anne had more to fear than just her husband's enemies-- she had her own enemies as well.

Philippa Gregory is the writer for historical fiction in this time period, but despite my love for the genre, this is the first book I've read by her. I picked it up on sale at Barnes & Noble, without realizing that it was the fourth in a series. This can be read independently of the series, but I do hope to find the rest of the series for a steal as well, as I think it's fascinating that this time period was so wrought with familial betrayal and opposition. Though women were not considered as powerful as men during this time, the women in this book were wielding the same-- if not more-- power than their husbands, and this is what made their characters the most intriguing throughout the story. I was especially interested in the story because I had recently read a news article about this archeological find, which had me even more interested in Anne's family history. I'd recommend this for any fans of the time period, as well as those who enjoy historical fiction works by similar authors such as Michelle Moran. I will say that although I enjoyed reading the story, it was one of those books where I was interested while reading but not hooked enough to make it a priority. I also wasn't a huge fan of the ending-- I prefer a happily ever after, though I recognize that that wish doesn't line up with the historical truth.

Bottom Line Rating: 4/5

Title: The Kingmaker's Daughter
Author: Philippa Gregory
Publisher: Touchstone, 2012
Price: $18.89 on Amazon (I found for much cheaper in the bargain section at B&N)
ISBN: 978-1451626070
Format: Hardcover
Source: Barnes & Noble
Book # 52 of 2014

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