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The Kingmaker's Daughter (The Cousins' War) Hardcover – August 14, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 784 customer reviews
Book 4 of 6 in the Cousins War Series

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Editorial Reviews


“Gregory returns with another sister act. The result: her best novel in years.” (USAToday.com)

The Kingmaker’s Daughter is Gregory in fine form. . . . The Cousins' War . . . provides a rich setting for drama with its endless plots and conniving courtiers.” (Associated Press)

“Gregory ... always delivers the goods. Her latest novel wraps up her ‘cousins' war’ series of royal witches, philanderers and kingslayers with the story of King Richard III's wife, Anne Neville, who went from the marital bed of one royal prince to that of another king-to-be during this long family feud.” (New York Post)

“From the queen of royal fiction comes a gripping 15th-century tale of the daughters of the man known as the ‘Kingmaker.'" (San Antonio Express-News)

"Gorgeous fun." (New York Daily News)

“Conspiracy and a fight to the death for love and power.” (Los Angeles Times)

“Gregory is one of historical fiction’s superstars, and The Kingmaker’s Daughter shows why. . . . providing intelligent escape, a trip through time to a dangerous past.” (Historical Novels Review (Editor's Choice Review))

“The bonds of sisterhood infuse Gregory’s latest. . . . The stakes are high as Anne and Isabel Neville, daughters of the earl of Warwick (‘The Kingmaker’), vie for their father’s favor and a chance at the throne. . . . . In addition to Gregory handling a complicated history, she convincingly details women’s lives in the 1400s and the competitive love between sisters.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Gregory delivers another vivid and satisfying novel of court intrigue, revenge, and superstition. Gregory’s many fans as well as readers who enjoy lush, evocative writing, vividly drawn characters, and fascinating history told from a woman’s point of view will love her latest work.” (Library Journal)

“It’s every man and woman for themselves in Gregory’s latest, which offers reliable royal entertainment." (Booklist)

“Gregory creates suspense by raising intriguing questions about whether her characters will transcend their historical reputations.” (Kirkus Reviews)

About the Author

Philippa Gregory is the author of several bestselling novels, including The Other Boleyn Girl, and is a recognized authority on women’s history. Her Cousins’ War novels are the basis for the critically acclaimed Starz miniseries The White Queen. She graduated from the University of Sussex and received a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, where she is a Regent. She holds an honorary degree from Teesside University, and is a fellow of the Universities of Sussex and Cardiff. She welcomes visitors to her website, PhilippaGregory.com.

Product Details

  • Series: The Cousins' War
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; First Edition edition (August 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145162607X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451626070
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (784 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Kenya in 1954, Philippa Gregory moved to England with her family and was educated in Bristol and at the National Council for the Training of Journalists course in Cardiff. She worked as a senior reporter on the Portsmouth News, and as a journalist and producer for BBC Radio.

Philippa obtained a BA degree in History at the University of Sussex in Brighton and a PhD at Edinburgh University in 18th-century literature. Her first novel, Wideacre, was written as she completed her PhD and became an instant worldwide bestseller. On its publication, she became a full-time writer.

Wideacre was followed by a haunting sequel, The Favoured Child, and the delightful happy ending of the trilogy: Meridon. This novel was listed in Feminist Book Fortnight and for the Romantic Novel of the Year at the same time.

Her next book was The Wise Woman, a dazzling, disturbing novel of dark powers and desires set against the rich tapestry of the Reformation. Then came Fallen Skies, an evocative realistic story set after the First World War. Her novel A Respectable Trade took her back to the 18th century where her knowledge of the slave trade and her home town of Bristol explored the human cost of slavery. Gregory adapted her book for a highly acclaimed BBC television production which won the prize for drama from the Commission for Racial Equality and was shortlisted for a BAFTA for the screenplay.

Next came Earthly Joys and Virgin Earth, based on the true-life story of father and son both named John Tradescant working in the upheaval of the English Civil War. In these works Gregory pioneered the genre which has become her own: fictional biography, the true story of a real person brought to life with research and verve.

The jewel in the crown of this new style was undoubtedly The Other Boleyn Girl, a runaway bestseller which stormed the US market and then went worldwide telling the story of the little-known sister to Anne Boleyn. Now published globally, this classic historical novel won the Parker Pen Novel of the Year award 2002 and the Romantic Times fictional biography award. The Other Boleyn Girl was adapted for the BBC as a single television drama and by Sony as a major motion picture starring Scarlett Johansson as Mary Boleyn, Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn and Eric Bana as Henry VIII.

After adding five more novels to her Tudor Court series including The Constant Princess and The Queen's Fool, two of her best-loved works, Philippa moved back in time to write about the family that preceded the Tudors, the Plantagenets. Her bestselling six-book Cousins' War series tells the story of the bloody struggle for the throne in the Wars of the Roses from the perspective of the women behind the scenes. The White Queen, The Red Queen and The Kingmaker's Daughter were adapted by the BBC and Starz in 2013 as the hugely popular TV miniseries The White Queen.

Having completed The Cousins' War series with The King's Curse, Philippa has come full circle back to the Tudor court. Her latest novel is about Kateryn Parr, the sixth wife of Henry VIII: The Taming of the Queen. Her other work in progress is the young adult series The Order of Darkness, set in medieval Italy after the fall of Constantinople, feared at the time to be a sign of the end of the world.

A regular contributor to newspapers and magazines, with short stories, features and reviews, Philippa is also a frequent broadcaster, a regular contestant on Round Britain Quiz for BBC Radio 4 and the Tudor expert for Channel 4's Time Team. As well as her extensive array of historical novels she has written modern novels, children's books, a collection of short stories, and a non-fiction book with David Baldwin and Michael Jones: The Women of the Cousins' War.

She lives in the North of England with her family and in addition to interests that include riding, walking, skiing and gardening (an interest born from research into the Tradescant family for her novel Virgin Earth) she also runs a small charity building wells in school gardens in The Gambia.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Philippa Gregory has long been associated with the highest quality in historical fiction. After reinventing the genre with her highly popular The Other Boleyn Girl, Gregory has consistently turned out quality period novels, taking on Henry VIII's other and somewhat lesser known wives, Queen Elizabeth I and the many ladies of the War of the Roses. In her latest entry into her Cousins' War series, Gregory tells the story of Anne Neville, the daughter of the famous kingmaker, Richard Neville, who put Edward of York on the throne.

It may seem simple on the surface, but there is much more to Anne's story. After Edward's highly unpopular marriage to Elizabeth Woodville, the subject of The White Queen, Anne's father felt betrayed and in order to secure his own connections to the throne, he marries Anne's older sister Isabel to Edward' brother George. When a series of failed revolts forces the Nevilles out of England, Anne is married to the exiled Edward of Lancaster in one last desperate attempt to put a Neville on the throne. But when the last Lancaster push for the throne fails, Anne is left adrift with an uncertain future.

Dare I say that Kingmaker's Daughter is one of the best books in the Cousins' War so far? While I enjoyed the others, especially The White Queen, Kingmaker's Daughter followed an incredibly fascinating young woman and her struggle as a political pawn during one of the most turbulent periods in British history. Through Anne starts off as a somewhat meek and weak young woman, she draws strength from her life experiences and grows into a stronger, more intelligent and motivated woman.
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Format: Hardcover
Phillipa Gregory has handled a muddled history with unexpected orgiginality. When The Kingmaker's Daughter came out, I was excited but equally hesitant to read it. From reading Philippa's other books, I felt she would handle the story of Anne and Isabel in one of two ways. The first was to make Anne and Isabel anachronistically independent, and the second was to make them absolute pushovers. While Philippa did make use of that worn-out anaology of medieval women acting like pawns in a chessgame, she also made Anne and Isabel seem realistic, with a few exceptions. I was also impressed by the way Philippa treated such characters as George of Clarence and Richard III because her characterization of them was, if not totally new, at least different from the majority of Wars of the Roses novels on the market these days. Overall, my chief complaint in regards to this novel was, in my opinion, the poor writing and a certain lack of consistency which hindered an otherwise enjoyable story.

In Kingmaker's Daughter, Gregory's writing seems almost like a parody of itself. The simple, slightly ominous and foreboding style that served her so well before became heavy-handed. In one sentence, she describes Edward IV as "glorious" twice, and this is only one example of her constant repition of overblown adjectives and phrases. Despite all these adjectives, I felt the writing did not serve to set an atmosphere or setting for the novel. It was clunky and amateurish, and since I know Philippa can do better from her other novels, I can't help but feel that the writing in Kingmaker's Daughter is simply the product of laziness, either on Philippa's part or her editor's. In general, the caliber of writing seems to decrease with each of her releases, specifically the books in the Cousin's War series.
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Format: Hardcover
I kept checking the publication date to make sure it was new. Still, I recognized every conversation, every emotion of Anne's, every twist, every turn, every bit of paranoia, all of the fear and loathing of the Woodvilles, the love of Richard turning to distrust. Then I realized I HAD, in fact, read this book before. Only it was called "The Reluctant Queen" and was written by Jean Plaidy.

How utterly disappointing. I'm not saying Plaidy's book was great, but this read like someone had just cleaned up her prose.
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Format: Hardcover
Philippa Gregory delivers a gripping story of the daughters of the Kingmaker, a powerful man in England, who uses his daughters in his political games. The author, a Master storyteller, reveals the lives of two fascinating women in their journey from childhood to adult. Two women filled with courage and strength as they grew up overnight, learning quickly the harsh reality of power and its ill-effects on their lives. Two women who learned the true meaning of politics, conspiracy, and revenge at a young age. The story is compelling and entertaining, the drama becomes intense, and the historic setting is stunning. The characters are colorful, and the story grabs your attention in the very beginning. Enjoyable, and Highly Recommended!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When you buy a book by Philippa Gregory, you know a few things: the narrative will be a version of history; that version will focus on one or two key female figures, telling the tale from this unique perspective (which may be counter to what you've learned elsewhere -- even in other books by Philippa Gregory, as she does a great job of balancing differing viewpoints); and finally, the tale will be rich with detail, and will help you feel as if you are witnessing or experiencing the events first-hand -- for better of worse, in some cases.

I was entirely prepared to enjoy The Kingmaker's Daughter; I've read all of the books in the Cousins' War series thus far, and have found them to provide a very interesting perspective on a fascinating historical period. Of course, I am prepared to accept a certain amount of speculation when I read historical fiction -- that's part of the agreement between writer and reader. That's not my problem with this book. One of my objections is that some of the scenes and one of the primary plot premises (that Anne, as a late adolescent, is somehow "too young" for this or that) are just *too* anachronistic for me to accept. Reading the exchanges between the sisters in which they endlessly addressed each other as "Annie" and "Iz" or "Izzy" became so grating; I felt as if I were reading a script for "Grey's Anatomy," not a novel set in the 15th century. I highly, highly doubt that Isabella and Anne Neville referred to each other as Annie and Izzy. It's a small detail, I know, but sometimes small things really wear on a reader. For me, that was one such thing. The Woodvilles are descendants of Melusina, a river spirit? Great! I love it. Late medieval sisters call each other Annie and Izzy? Like, gag me.
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