Friday, March 8, 2013

The Kingmaker's Daughter by Philippa Gregory, 695 pages

Most people know King Richard as the hunchback who killed the little princes. But, Shakespeare's version is probably far from the truth. Philippa Gregory approaches his story from his first wife's viewpoint, and paint a much more sympathetic version that is more realistic. Anne is the daughter of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, who is known as the Kingmaker, because he helped put Edward IV on the throne. But after Edward marries Elizabeth Woodville and promotes her many relatives over all others, the Kingmaker turns against his former ally and decides to place another on the throne. But after treason and bad luck, Warwick is killed, and Anne must make her own way in the world. After being pushed into one marriage that almost destroyed her life, can she have the strength to make her own decision? She marries Richard, King Edward's younger brother, and is set on a path that will bring her against the royal family.
The author did a wonderful job bringing this time period and these historical figures alive. At times, I was almost heartbroken reading the book, because I knew what happened to the people. I became invested in this story, and felt anguish at every tragedy that befell Anne, and sorrow for her happiness because I knew it wouldn't last. It takes a wonderful author to bring history alive like this. Yet Philippa Gregory manages to do so with each and every book.

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