Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Review of The Kingmaker's Daughter by Philippa Gregory

Title/Author: The Kingmaker's Daughter (The Cousin's War #4) by Philippa Gregory
Publisher/Date published: Touchstone, August 14th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: "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."

Guys, if you've been following this blog for a while, you might have heard me mention my anglophilic tendencies. I'm immensely fascinated by all the historical figures of English royalty and the wars and basically just EVERYTHING.
I also happen to have a love for Philippa Gregory's writing, because usually she writes about English historical figures in a way that makes me feel ALL THE THINGS. I really loved the third book in the series, The Lady of the Rivers, so of course I jumped at the chance to read The Kingmaker's Daughter!

Ever since I learned after reading the Lady of the Rivers that Elizabeth Woodville was the mother of the princes in the Tower (the mystery of which I find endlessly sad and fascinating), I've been dying to know more about her. And this novel showed me a whole different side of things than what I came to know in The Lady of the Rivers! I love that Philippa Gregory manages to make me LOVE characters in one novel and then really dislike them in another because they're from a different view point!

If I'd investigated more before going in, I would have probably already learned what happened to one of the characters I'd come to love so much in The Lady of the Rivers, Elizabeth Woodville's father, but I didn't and when it happened in The Kingmaker's Daughter I was so incredibly sad and heartbroken!

I liked Anne, though she was not a very strong girl/woman in my opinion. She's constantly being led around by men and doesn't seem to have strong beliefs herself for a large part of the novel. I never really connected to her or to Richard III, who I really got to be annoyed with toward the end of the novel.

All the implied plots and mentioning of poison and witchcraft makes me wonder what exactly was true of all this, the novel doesn't give a definite answer and I kinda like that. There was a lot of repitition in the novel and one particular event that also contained a dying horse is played again and agin. I sort of get it, but it was hard for me to read this, cause I HATE when animals die.

I guess I'm slightly disappointed that I didn't love The Kingmaker's Daughter as much as I would have expected to. Philippa Gregory's writing is still really engaging and I did enjoy reading it very much, but that little extra something that makes me over the moon excited to continue was missing. But a not-so-thrilling book by Philippa Gregory is still a good read!~

My rating: 3,5 stars


  1. This series looks super good. I haven't read ANY Philippa Gregory yet, but I have heard great things about her writing style. I will definitely be checking her out!! :)

    Thanks for sharing, Daisy!

  2. First thought was: "That crown is so pretty!"
    Anyway, it sounds like the book wasn't all you expected but it was still good. The story does sound a little on the sad side. Also, I confess I have never read Philippa Gregory either *hangs head* but I keep hearing I should.