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Another triumph, fantastic story, evocative characters, best book I've read in ages
on 4 May 2014
This is the latest in a long line of novels based around the end of the Plantagenets and the start of the Tudors. Elizabeth of York marries Henry VII after he defeats her lover (and Uncle) Richard III in battle. This is her story of the turbulent years of his reign, having his children (including Henry VIII) and living in a divided country. The Cousin's War is over (Yorks against Lancasters) but now it's Yorks against Tudors.
Philippa Gregory is my favourite author at the moment. I've read all her books based around this period of history, starting with 'The Other Boleyn Girl' working forwards to 'The Other Queen' (Mary Queen of Scots) and then backwards to 'The Lady of The Rivers' (Jacquetta, grandmother to 'The White Princess'). I'm utterly obsessed with Tudor times so I was bound to enjoy this book which links up with 'The Constant Princess' (Catherine of Aragon).
Gregory has a way with words, her books are effortless to read, the characters are gripping and the action is always dramatic and fascinating. I love the other side of history which she gives, in 'The Kingmakers Daughter' we see the softer side of Richard III, how he was devoted to his brother Edward IV and torn apart with his other brother, George's deceptions. The best part of this novel is how it answers and yet doesn't answer the mystery of the Princes in the tower, who killed them, were they actually Edward IV's sons or imposters?
These novels are based on huge amount of research and a pinch of artistic license, history told from the women's point of view is always going to be slightly different (and more interesting) to what we've been taught in schools. Gregory manages to bring history alive and I can actually picture myself there, in the thick of it and loving every minute. I highly recommend all the books mentioned above, they are all superbly rich and evocative, you won't even realise you're learning things until it's too late.