Published by Touchstone
Publication date: August 14th 2012
I’ve already professed my love for the work of Philippa Gregory so I’ll keep this brief. I reviewed The White Princess two weeks ago which chronicles the end of The Cousins’ War and the beginning of the Tudor dynasty. That was book five in the series, which I read knowing I had missed book four, but that I would return. For the last three days I did. The Kingmaker’s Daughter is the story of Isabel and Anne Neville, daughters of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick. Neville was one of the wealthiest men in England in the mid-1400s and was also the power behind the deposing of two kings, earning him the title Warwick the Kingmaker.
Once again, Gregory weaves a spell with her prose and careful research that kept me captivated. She humanizes the tenuous relationship between the sisters, who were played against each other in their efforts to fulfill their father’s greatest dream, getting to the throne of England. In the same way, she relates life at court from all its grandeur and excess to the petty maneuverings of the players to curry favor with the royals. Gregory does an admirable job of reporting the historical events of the day—wars, intrigue, economics, and international relations—in a style that is eminently readable. Her books contain enough of the factual history to make the reader feel as if they’re learning something but within the human element to keep them coming back time and again. She’s now joined the Plantagenet family to the Tudors so I have to wonder—who’s next?
If you’re a fan of historical fiction or just well written series that provide long hours of reading enjoyment, then Gregory’s novels are a must read.