Top critical review
33 people found this helpful
less romance please, more oomph!
on 22 July 2011
I have mixed feelings about this book to be fair. Although Anne O'Brien does a good job in telling the story of Anne Neville, and quickly elicits the reader's sympathy for the young woman who is just another pawn in the Wars of the Roses, the story irritated me for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, is the use of first person, which means the POV is limited. Although we are very (perhaps overly) aware of Anne's feelings, our view of Richard, Duke of Gloucester and soon to be King, is occluded by romanticism. Secondly, the book ends rather abruptly, and the fact that Anne and her child did not live long is glossed over, which is odd, considering that Richard was accused by his contemporaries of being complicit in her death. So the story of Anne Neville is not fully told, which is rather a shame. To balance this, we have the reasons that AN was a 'virgin widow' handled extremely well, as was the legend of her disguised as a kitchen maid, and the glimpse we do get of Richard shows him in a more kindly light than history has allowed. However, none of the characters apart from Anne are fully developed, Margaret of Anjou being two dimensional, though the hint of incest with her son was an interesting idea, perhaps a little more attention there might have rounded both those characters out. Having also read the authors book on Eleanor of Acquitaine, I would respectfully suggest that her next book leave first person alone!