10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Brilliant historical page turner,
This review is from: Virgin Widow (Paperback)
I usually do not like books being compared to other ones, however little the effort may be to be better than an other author, but if Philippa Gregory stands for a standard in wide selling historical novels, this book is really light years better than The Kingmaker's Daughter and only stands a step behind Penman's The Sunne in Splendour because of the more limited time line described in future Richard III's and above all in his wife Anne's life.
The story starts shortly after Edward is acclaimed King after defeating the Lancastrian armies early in 1461 and his youngest brother Richard is sent to his most powerful ally's (Richard Neville Earl of Warwick, the Kingmaker) Middleham Castle for knighthood training. There he meets the Earl's daughters and a strong affection grows between Anne and Richard later to develop in passion. Yet the bethrotal is called off when the Earl defies the king, flees to France and has Anne wed the Lancastrian heir to the throne to seal his switch of allegiance to the one time archenemy Lancastrian queen Margaret of Anjou. The marriage will not be consummated and after the battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury Anne will find herself a penniless orphaned virgin widow under house arrest in her own sister's household, wife to Richard's brother George of Clarence who tries to prevent Anne from remarrying to anyone, especially to Richard, in order to seize the entire inheritance. Richard eventually rescues Anne, weds her and happy ending sees Anne cradling their newly born son under Richard's loving eyes.
Concentrating on a shorter time span, the author gives detailed description of events and psychological behavioural pattern of the main characters thus making up a 600 pages paperback that you will not want to put down once started. Text is rich and varied, the romance between Richard and Anne is plausibly rendered, given the historical records (see especially Kendall for a thourough and accurate biography of RIII) and you will want to read some passages over and over again.