I’ve long been a fan of Philippa Gregory’s fiction based on the Royal families of England, and this latest instalment in her Cousins’ War series didn’t disappoint.

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The Kingmaker’s Daughter tells the story of Anne Neville, a real life historical figure who played a vital role in various conflicting plots during the War of the Roses, rising from a dead traitor’s daughter to Queen Consort of England.

The thing I love about Gregory’s books is that she can take several parallel stories, such as those from her previous books The White Queen and The Red Queen, and make them each interesting.  She can take a character who is described as boring by her contemporaries and make her exciting.  She can take someone who was viewed as a villain and turn her into a hero.  And she can take her beautiful, sympathetic heroine from her first book, Elizabeth Woodville, and turn her into a villain herself through Anne’s eyes.

Gregory kept me riveted through every moment of Anne’s story, which was quite a feat, since I already knew the outcomes from studying history as well as reading the concurrent novels.  Even though anyone with wikipedia can find out the book’s ending, still the Kingmaker’s Daughter manages to pull the reader along, weaving a subtle suspense and an intimate picture of life in the midst of this tumultuous period.  Well done!  I’m very much looking forward to the next book in this series, the recently released The White Princess.

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