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VINE VOICEon 19 February 2007
Hmm. Well, I stuck with it till the end, but, as I was unaware that there were sequels, was left a bit up in the air. This was a book of two halves, I felt. The first bit was all about the girl Anne, and her introduction into the merchant's house, where she was involved in a terrible double tragedy, which seemed to have no bearing whatsoever on the rest of the story. Then off she trots to the palace, where the King takes a big fancy to her, despite the allure of his hot-looking wife. Then she finds out her true birthright, which puts the cat amongst the pigeons, and it's all a bit confused from then on. There are some lovely descriptive passages, and a true feel of life in a royal household at that time. There are also a few gratuitous sex scenes which seem to be chucked in to make it 'steamy', but somehow they don't quite work....

It's a bit odd, because it's clear from the start that Anne can't end up with the King, so there can't be a happy ending....
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on 20 March 2006
The potential was there for this to be a good book but the whole thing just didn't come together and the plot got more and more unbelievable. The author is a competant writer who had done her historical research but the characters were 2-dimensional, and Anne, the supposed heroine, had no presence at all. It probably also suffered from the inevitable comparison with both Philippa Gregory and Sharon Penman, the latter of whom 'did' the Edward IV story so much better in her 'The Sun in Slendour' (highly recommended). Ok, so Graeme-Evans was never going to involve herself in the complex political machinations following the war of the roses (and there's no reason why she should) but the plot developments just got laughable i.e. Edward goes from being a sexual predator to discovering Anne is the love of his life in about 2 minutes flat, and she goes from being a servant to being the illegitimate daughter of Henry VI and therefore his potential rival to the throne without a blink of the eye... yeah, right!
There were all kinds of plot strands that got started and then went nowhere i.e. Anne as healer-wise woman.
Altogether not a bad read, but not a satisfying one either but it'll pass a tube journey quite pleasantly.
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This is a work of romantic historical fiction that takes place in fifteenth century England. A young, barely conscious, and very pregnant gentlewoman is fleeing through the forest with another gentle woman. It all proves too much for the pregnant woman and she dies in the forest, but not before giving birth to a baby girl. The child is left with Deborah, a wise woman and healer who lives in the forest. Named Anne, the child is taught to read and write Latin and do sums by a local priest, while Deborah teaches her domestic skills.

When Anne is nearly fifteen, she is placed into service in the household of a wealth London merchant, Matthew Cuttifer, to attend his wife, the Lady Margaret. It is the Cuttifer household that Anne's fame as a skillful herbalist and healer take hold. When The King, himself, Edward IV, hears of Anne's skills, she is summoned to his castle to assist the Queen through the rigors of childbirth. It is through her service in his household that the King takes note of Anne's charms.

Before Anne knows it, she finds herself permanently ensconced in the palace. It is there that she awakens to love, as Edward IV has more than a platonic interest in her. It is also there that she discovers her true origins. This knowledge changes her life and conflicts her, as events occur that take on new meaning in the context of her new found knowledge. Fleeing her old life with all of its intrigues and dangers, she hopes to start a new one.

This is an interesting, fairly well-written work of romantic historical fiction that is steeped in period detail. It is the first in a trilogy of books. I enjoyed it and expect that I will be reading the remainder of the trilogy.
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on 15 January 2006
I was hugely diappointed in this book. I had read all these xcellent reviews and was looking forward to a good historical romance and novel and I ended up feeling slightly cheated. The story of Anne who goes from a servant to a powerful woman during the reign of Edward IV is poor to say the least. The character development is non-existant; things happen all of the sudden with no lead up to developments at all. Suddenly everyone sees how beautiful Anne is, suddenly she is a confident grown woman, suddenly everyone believes her back story etc... etc... The action is also quite poor; nothing really happens until the last twenty pages of book and it is those which have earned the book the stars that I did give it. The last meeting between Anne and the king as well as the scene at the tournament is written very well and shows wonderful insight into human nature; if only the same had been true of the rest of the book. I rarely throw books away but this one is not taking up space on my bookshelf.
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on 7 December 2005
Anne's subtle development from a naive girl dazzled by her king to a mature woman in love with a powerful man is well crafted and quite unputdownable. I was a little cautious at first, thinking it might be rather lightweight, but the novel matures along with its main character and the reader is totally absorbed into the court of King Edward. Very visual, very well written and I look forward to reading the next in the series.
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on 13 November 2006
I picked this book completely by random, having never before read any fiction set in a medieval period. I was not disappointed at all. Graeme-Evans draws you in very quickly to Anne's story and then moves you forward through a series of life-changing events for the heroine. When the innocent Anne falls for Edward, you find part of yourself saying 'no, stay away from him!' and another part wanting her to explore her desire for the unattainable king of England.

This is passionate and sexy and you won't want to put the book down. What's really satisfying about this book is that you know it's the first of a trilogy. You will want to know more... and you won't be disappointed!
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on 20 August 2014
I bought this on the recommendation of a friend, but, having read a fair amount of historical fiction from the era, I was thought that it might not be quite as good as those written by other favourite authors such as Philippa Gregory. This book however took a new perspective and gripped me from the start. I like my novels to make me empathise with the main characters from the start. This book not only had that effect on me, it even caused me to challenge previously held emotional connections to historical figures from other fictionalised history. I loved it! As soon as I read the last word, I downloaded her next two books in the saga, The Exile and The Beloved. Keep them coming Posie!
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on 24 September 2005
We follow the life of Ann during the reign of King Edward IV and his Queen. Right from the very first page the story and intrigue captures the reader. So incredibly well written, and supremely superior to any of the Phillipa Gregory novels, I couldn't put this one down, and am impatient to get my hands on the next book.
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on 21 July 2010
Being an avid Historical fiction reader I was very surprised that I had never heard of this author. Posie Graeme- Evans' trilogy of books follow the epic story of a young woman by the name of Anne de Bohan and her unatainable love for King Edward IV. She rises from a lowly servant girl and is propelled into a life full of adventure, love, loss, danger and passion as the mistress of one of the most powerful Kings England has seen. Posie Graeme-Evans' novels are compelling and beautifully written, they are a joy to read and I would recommend them to anyone!
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on 16 August 2005
This book mixes adventure and romance and just a touch of magic in the aftermath of the Wars of the Roses. The book is set during the reign of Edward IV the brother of Richard III and follows the rise to fame of Anne, a girl from the country. The decadence of Edward's court is brilliantly described giving an insight into the scheming and backstabbing of court life. The characters are likeable and well drawn and it was refreshing to read a novel set during this period, as most historical novels tend to concentrate on the reign of Richard III. I couldn't put this book down and would recommend it to anyone.
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