THE KINGMAKER'S DAUGHTER – Philippa Gregory
A Perfect 10
England – 1465 to 1485
Anne Neville was the youngest daughter of the Kingmaker, Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick. From her birth to her early death at 29 years old, Anne was at the mercy of either her father or her husbands. Warwick was the powerful earl of the north of England, and he maintained a massive, well trained army that he used mostly to his advantage. When he placed Edward Plantagenet on the throne, Warwick began his manipulation of the crown…until the young Edward secretly married Elizabeth Woodville. Afterwards, Warwick played both sides, alternately supporting Edward IV, and then turning his allegiance to Edward, the son of Margaret of Anjou and the deposed King Henry VI. That's when Anne becomes important, for she is forced into marriage with Edward, therefore placed in the position of being an enemy to the crown. Warwick is killed in battle, however, leaving behind a grieving family and huge problems for all of them.
Anne is thrown into war when her husband and his mother's forces invade England to try to regain the throne. Her father's treachery to the present king has put his entire family into danger, especially when Anne's husband is killed and his mother taken captive. Queen Elizabeth (Woodville) makes it clear that since Warwick was responsible for the deaths of her father and brother, that even though he is dead, his family will always be her enemy.
After the death of Anne's husband, Anne and her mother are effectively prisoners of the king. Only when Edward's youngest brother, Richard, rescues her from captivity and marries her, does Anne's life become better, although the enmity of the queen and her family is a constant threat. Anne's older sister is married to Richard's other older brother, George, who plays both sides of the coin like Warwick did. George wants the throne, hates the Woodvilles, and soon rumors of the queen's wish for revenge on George and Warwick's family spring to life.
THE KINGMAKER'S DAUGHTER is written in the first person, with Anne telling readers of her fears, the love she has for Richard and their son, and the haunting images of her youth as a pawn of her father's ambitions. The intricate descriptions of life in England during Edward's reign, from the glorious court to life in Anne's beloved home in the north are brilliantly brought to life. Well drawn characters make the story realistic, poignant, and play on readers' emotions.
Another excellent novel from the pen of Philippa Gregory that deserves a Perfect 10.