Book Review : The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory

Book 4 in The Cousin’s War series

Published; 2012 by Simon and Schuster

Pages: 427

Rating: 5/5

Sypnosis From Goodreads:

Spies, poison, and curses surround her…

Is there anyone she can trust? 

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.

My Thoughts:

What an utterly fantastic read. Philippa Gregory never disappoints. I enjoyed the first three books in her Cousin’s War series, this one however, may just be my favourite thus far. 

It tells the story of Anne and Isabel Neville, daughters of Warwick, the Kingmaker. They were pawns in their father’s quest for power; and were frequently used for their father’s gain. 

This book was so illumating and enjoyable; what sets Philippa Gregory apart from other authors of the historical fiction genre is that long before she wrote novels, she was an avid historian. She researches every novel immaculately; and I always feel like she breathes new life into these women of days gone by.

We’re with Anne and Isabel from 1465 to 1485, and so much happens! This novel was so fast paced and never dull; we see both Neville girls through their younger years, their sisterly banter, their marriages, their childbirths, and the tragedy of both women’s untimely passings, as well as that of Richard Neville and George Plantagenet. 

I have long admired and been interested in both Neville sisters, I feel like they are both under appreciated heroines from history. They are fierce, loyal, loving and were exploited by their family as many other girls were; merely used for the elevation of their father. I can’t wait to read more about them. 

This novel, although historical fiction, has many underlying, gripping themes; paranoia, romance, action and betrayal. It is truly every woman for themselves at Court. 

Gregory’s writing is so lush and majestic, as with other books I’ve read; I pictured myself there along with Izzy and Anne; I shared their feelings throughout and experienced what they were going through.

What else I deeply admire about Gregory is that she flipped history on its head with this book; making Elizabeth Woodville the primary enemy; it made for darker reading what with all the conspiracies that surrounded Lady Isabel and George Plantagenet’s death. 

Favourite Quotes:

“She has a smile that grows slowly and then shines, like an angel’s smile.”

“I would carry myself with much more dignity than her. I wouldn’t whisper with the king and demean myself as she did. I wouldn’t send out dishes and wave to people like she did. I wouldn’t trail all my brothers and sisters into court like she did. I would be much more reserved and cold. I wouldn’t smile at anyone, I wouldn’t bow to anyone. I would be a true queen, a queen of ice, without family or friends.” 

And thus concludes another review, thanks for reading 🙂

Happy reading, Brooklyn 🙂 


3 thoughts on “Book Review : The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory

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