Aussie Book Review: The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory

kingmaker The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory


Review copy provided by publisher

Simon & Schuster, August 2013

 Synopsis- The Kingmaker’s Daughter is the gripping story of the daughters of the man known as the “Kingmaker,” Richard, Earl of Warwick: the most powerful magnate in fifteenth-century England. Without a son and heir, Richard uses his two daughters as pawns in political games, and they grow up to be influential players in their own right. In this novel, her first sister story since The Other Boleyn Girl, Philippa Gregory explores the lives of these two fascinating young women.

At the court of Edward IV and his queen, Elizabeth Woodville, Anne grows from a delightful child to become ever more fearful and desperate when her father makes war on his former friends. Only a girl she is married and then left widowed and fatherless, with her mother in sanctuary and her sister married to the enemy. She escapes by marrying Richard, Duke of Gloucester, but her choice will set her on a collision course with the power of the royal family, sacrificing the lives of those she loves most in the world, including her only son, Prince Edward. Ultimately, the kingmaker’s daughter will achieve her father’s greatest ambition.

Review- I’ve quickly fallen in love with the ‘Cousins War’ series by Philippa Gregory set in the 1400’s, after being swept away by The White Queen, I had high expectations of The Kingmaker’s Daughter- and they were well and truly met!

While The White Queen’s protagonist was King Edward IV’s wife Elizabeth Woodville, The Kingmaker’s Daughter is about Anne Neville who grows up to marry the King’s younger brother Richard and eventually rules England as King and Queen.

The story was a little slow to start, but I soon adapted to the first person viewpoint of young Anne who is the naïve younger sister of Isabel, daughters of Richard, Earl of Warwick, the man known as the “Kingmaker.” He is portrayed as quite a manipulative character in the White Queen and his vendetta against the King continues to play out in this story as he does everything within his power to make one-any- of his daughters Queen, and in turn have influence over the King.

While Isabel is married off to George, the middle brother who betrays Edward at her father’s encouragement, to secure her place as the next queen when Edward is fought off the throne. Only, their plan doesn’t work and George does not become King, nor Isabel become Queen. So, their father tries another tactic, marrying his youngest daughter Anne at just 14 to a man he hopes can overpower the King and take control. But Anne’s husband dies at war just months after they are wed, as does her father, leaving her a widow and an orphan (while her mother is in sanctuary) without protection. While Isabel is married into royalty, she accepts responsibility for her sister, but Anne experiences life under their roof as if she is a prisoner. When her childhood friend Richard, the younger brother of the King takes a special interest in her, Anne begins to feel hopeful of her future. They secretly wed, causing ripples of tension throughout the King’s family, but she is soon accepted (a.k.a tolerated) as Richard’s wife. It soon becomes apparent that Anne may have her chance at becoming the Queen of England, as her father had hoped, after all.

The Kingmaker’s Daughter is full of conflict, conspiracies, betrayal, passion and ambition and no one can be certain of their place on or near the throne. Another page-turning addition to the series and I’m looking forward to reading more.

I’m also thrilled that this series has been turned into a TV series, due to air in Australia on Soho on September 5th, 2013. Check out the teaser below:

Overall Rating


“I loved this book!”

The Kingmaker’s Daughter can be purchased from Fishpond and other leading book retailers


  • I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I’m really looking forward to this TV series – thanks for including the trailer. I have reviewed The White Queen and The White Princess is on my TBR shelf, but I think I’ll look out for this book as well – love the series.

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