The bonds of sisterhood infuse Gregory’s latest in the Cousin’s War series (after The Lady of the Rivers). 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. The earl has long mentored the young King Edward and Edward’s brothers George and Richard in hopes of marrying his daughters into royalty. But when Edward weds the commoner Elizabeth Woodville, the Kingmaker arranges a secret marriage between Isabel and George, and launches an uprising that will result in the earl’s death, leaving Isabel entangled in a dangerous political web and Anne—having recently married—already a widow. However, Richard—a tough soldier who honors family obligations while his brothers sell out—soon comes to Anne’s rescue. In addition to Gregory handling a complicated history, she convincingly details women’s lives in the 1400s and the competitive love between sisters. By the book’s end, Anne and Richard have ascended the throne, but the War of the Roses has yet to be won, setting the stage for a sequel showdown.
In the next entry (after The Lady of the Rivers) in Gregory's historical series about the War of the Roses...the Earl of Warwick, who put Edward of York on the throne after battling the Lancasters....uses his daughters as pawns in the fluid political situation [of the royal court].... Verdict: 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. —Kristen Stewart, Pearland Lib., Brazoria Cty. Lib. Syst., TX
The latest of Gregory's Cousins' War series debunks—mostly—the disparaging myths surrounding Richard III and his marriage to Anne Neville. Anne and her sister Isabel are both used without hesitation as political bargaining chips by their father, Richard, Earl of Warwick. True to his sobriquet, "Kingmaker," Warwick engineered the downfall of the Lancastrian King Henry VI...and supplanted him with Edward IV.... The chief threat to the realm is not Richard but Queen Elizabeth: A reputed witch with a grudge against Warwick's daughters (Warwick killed her father and brother), she will not be happy until Isabel, Anne and their progeny (and if necessary her brothers-in-law) are dead. Although their fates are known, Gregory creates suspense by raising intriguing questions about whether her characters will transcend their historical reputations.
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