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.
The Kingmaker's Daughter is written from the protagonist's perspective of Anne Neville before becoming Queen Consort of England and then during her reign. She had a sad life full of death and war before finding a husband in Richard III of England.
I found myself growing quite fond of Anne Neville for her innocence, youth and inner strength. She was written as a girl who, though knew her place, spoke her mind even when it was wise to keep her mouth shut and her opinions to herself.
I found her relationship with her father Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, quite touching. I liked him as well. He seemed to be a man of integrity and strength. He had his expectations of his daughters but treated them with love and respect. Anne's mother was written to be physically strong but emotionally weak. A woman who faced many tragedies of her own yet chose sanctuary for most of her years; according to the author.
Philippa Gregory is such a strong writer with such descriptive capabilities, enthralling readers with gripping content such as the 'birth' scene early on of Isabelle, Anne's sister. I can't go into details as not to give things away but reading it on my sofa I was almost in a fetal position...fantastic scene!!!
I fell in love with the romance between Anne and Richard III; written heartwarmingly and realistically in demeanor as the couple aged attempting to deal with their marriage during battles, wars, deaths, births etc. I applaud Philippa Gregory for not making them too sappy or predictable.