Friday, June 5, 2015

The Kingmaker's Daughter by Phillipa Gregory

Like most of PG's books, this one was found at the Baltimore book fair. I wasn't really interested in The Kingmaker's Daughter, but I got it because it was a PG book, it was probably 5 dollars and I figured why not?

Eventually, I stumbled upon The Red Queen book in Ohio and it dawned on me that The Kingmaker's Daughter was another installment in the Cousins' War series. When I chose to watch The White Queen show on Starz for my second and third installment on "Which is Better?" it was advertised that those three books were adapted for the show. I could see the influences of The White Queen and The Red Queen books in the show, so I was curious to see which parts of The Kingmaker's Daughter they used as well. After She-Hulk, this book was next in line!

It's interesting to read about how much other characters perceive Elizabeth's actions as witchcraft. Since it has been so long ago since I read the book that for the entire time I read this one, all I could do was wished I reread The White Queen before reading this book. It's funny, I don't remember much of Anne and Isabel's characters in The White Queen, but maybe it was supposed to be like that? That Elizabeth Woodville paid no mind to girls who based their entire lives on her? However, I do remember parts where Anne was to take the throne, and, I'm not sure if Elizabeth who said it or if another character close to her said it, but that Anne was so thin that the dresses had to be cut down to her size.

It was also interesting to read about The Kingmaker, Warwick and the conflict between him and Edward through Anne's eyes. He was a man desperate for power, and hurt that he was betrayed by Edward. It's also interesting how the entire aristocracy is absolutely against a commoner like Elizabeth and her family to gain power and how much they are willing to scheme, back stab and die in order to get her and her family out of there.

I enjoyed the dynamics between Anne and Richard after Edward dies and their fight for the throne. It starts as Richard's genuine concern for his nephew, then it's a struggle for power between Elizabeth's clan and Richard's clan, then finally their fight for control and power. Richard is seen as the loyal brother for all those years, and then he declares his brother's children as bastards.

I was particularly interested to read about when Richard III started making moves on his niece, Princess Elizabeth. In The Red Queen, Margaret Beaufort talks at length about how disgusted she is with Richard III and Princess Elizabeth and how much they flirt and how the court gossips about their relationship. In this book, Anne is absolutely convinced that Richard is the love of her life and he saved her from desitution, the tower, the abbey and possibly even death. Anne hypes him up for the entire book, and I waited for the other foot to drop.

However, it was far sadder than the other books revealed. Richard and Anne's child, Edward, dies, and Anne is so distraught there are no other children and their heir is gone. She mourns the loss of her son, and Richard tells her that his plan is to ruin his niece to reduce Prince Henry's claim to her and the throne.

Finally, however, for me, the least interesting part of the book, were the princes in the tower. I like that it is never really solved, though several clues were given to what could possibly have happened to them. Anne is guilt ridden to think that she could have possibly given the command to harm them, and then second guesses Richard's claim that he didn't harm them.

I think I will keep an eye for The White Princess, another book in the Cousins' War. I read some harsh things about it, especially the relationship between Henry Tudor and Elizabeth York.. so we'll see.

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