Review: The Kingmaker’s Daughter

September 2, 2012 § 2 Comments

The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Kingmaker’s Daughter is probably my favorite of the Cousin’s War series to date. It is written from the perspective of Anne Neville and gives yet another interesting point of view from this volatile period of history. One of the things I enjoy so much about Philippa Gregory’s novels is that she somehow manages to turn what could have been tedious political maneuvering into exciting intrigue that keeps me riveted from the first moment. I am not a historian so I have no idea how historically accurate this series is, but I can say that they certainly paint a vivid picture of what living in that time period might have been like. From the court customs, to the fashions, the scandals, the betrayals, and executions, each aspect was brought to life in such a way that I almost felt myself a part of the story.

Each character was shown from Anne’s point of view so was colored by her own biases and was a bit different from how these same characters were presented in the previous books. The story was focused so much on Anne, and to a lesser extent Isabelle, that many of the other characters, at times, felt a bit flat. Anne’s relationship with her sister Isabelle was reminiscent of the rivalry between Mary and Anne Boleyn in Gregory’s popular novel, The Other Boleyn Girl. While there was always that undercurrent of love, each sister didn’t hesitate to betray the other in order to further their own cause or that of their husband. I didn’t find either sister to be particularly likable, and sometimes thought that their personalities were a bit contradictory. For example, Anne seems to have grown from a bright, practical, inquisitive child into a fearful woman ruled by her superstitions and unwilling to even consider any point of view than that which painted her family in a positive light. I guess that the struggles she was faced with could account for such a drastic change in character but it was still a bit odd.

One of the things about this series, including The Kingmaker’s Daughter that I was not a fan of was the witchery and spells and magic that were included. However, after discussing this with a friend who is also reading the series, I can see how it may have been presented this way because of how the players so wholeheartedly believed that witchcraft was responsible for many things such as storms, sicknesses, and death. Curses were taken very seriously in 1400’s England and so reading from Anne’s perspective, I can see why an unexpected storm would be believed to have been whistled up by the witch who hated her. I guess this was a realistic danger in this time period, that any misfortune could be laid at the feet of someone believed to be a witch. This would have been a very effective way to discredit a powerful woman, as it seems to have done in the case of Elizabeth Woodville.

While The Kingmaker’s Daughter can be read on it’s own as a stand-alone novel, I would definitely recommend reading the entire series in order simply because it is a beautifully written thrilling story. Despite the fact that I found many of the characters to be a bit flat, the fast paced plot was such that I found the book hard to put down. I know many people, after reading Philippa Gregory’s historical fiction have been inspired to find out more about this violent era and these fascinating people. I would absolutely recommend this and any and every other book written by this author to any fans of this genre.

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Midwinters Eve Giveaway Hop & My Have/Have not Giveaway

December 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

Thanks for stopping by my blog for the Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am a Reader Not A Writer
Christmas is such a busy time here at my house that I haven’t been spending half as much time reading as I would like. My TBR stack seems to keep growing and growing though, there are so many wonderful books to choose from in the fantasy genre. I wasn’t sure which ones to choose for the lucky followers that win, some of the books I’ve read and loved, or some of the books I want to read? So I decided to do a little of both, hence my “Have/Have not” giveaway. 
One lucky follower will win four of my favorites that I HAVE read this year. Not all of these were released in 2010, but books that I read and loved this year. 

And one lucky follower will win 4 of the books I HAVE NOT read yet but am looking forward to. Wintercraft, Kneebone Boy, and The Familiars are books that I plan to read with my son Damian as we kick off our new blog, where he and I will read and review Middle Grade fantasy books together, called Read With Me, Mom. Andrea from Loud Words and Sounds is designing our layout now and we should be up and running and posting reviews as of Jan 1st!! I’m so excited to be sharing these two things that I love so much with my son, reading and blogging. 

Wintercraft by Jenna Burtenshaw

How to enter? Simply fill out the form below. I love your comments but they do not count as entries for this giveaway. Giveaway ends at 11:59PM on Wednesday 12/22. Winners will be chosen by Books will be shipped to the winners from The Book Depository.  Please make sure before entering that The Book Depository ships to your country. Extra entries for following my blog via GFC, Networked Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, or subscribing by email or in a reader.

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