The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory
Isabel and Anne Neville are the daughters of the Earl of Warwick, the supreme noble in England. He is the kingmaker who put Edward IV on the throne but Edward IV turns away from Warwick when he marries the vengeful commoner and rumoured witch Elizabeth Woodville. Anne learns the closer you are to power, the harder it is to survive and sees it as her destiny to be Queen of England. It is a belief that sees her through being widowed, orphaned, her great inheritance stolen from her and the enmity of her sister and the proud arrogant Elizabeth. Anne makes the choice to marry Edward IV’s youngest brother Richard. Her marriage to the loyal, enigmatic Richard will see her achieve her greatest wish and her husband become the most notorious monarch in English history.
This is a wonderfully entertaining tale of a confident woman, sure of her royal destiny. She achieves her great ambition and regrets it bitterly. Elizabeth Woodville and her daughter Elizabeth of York are treacherous and deadly. Richard has his wife’s ambition and from exile, Henry Tudor is a threatening figure. This was good unlike its prequels ‘The White Queen’ and ‘The Red Queen’. Those two novels along with this one are the basis for the ‘The White Queen’ series.
“Why does He not rain down pestilence on her and blow her and her baby to hell?”
“They have a baby almost every year. Surely one of them will kill her in child-birth?”
“Is she to be buried and a new wife in her place within weeks?”
“She knows what it is to curtsey to the queen, uncertain if she is your enemy.”
“She has gone on using the dark arts while the crown of England is on her head.”
“I observe the King’s own loyal brother fearful of speaking in his own house.”
“I wake every morning and try to puzzle out what new hell she is devising.”
“The crown sits heavily on him, and he can trust no-one.”
“There is a price you pay if you venture near the throne.”
“What a hollow crown it is.”
The Silver Bough by Lisa Tuttle
This is a fantasy tale of a forsaken, backwater town named Appleton. Located in a remote area of Scotland, it is a place of myth and legend. But the ancient lovers’ rituals are too long forgotten and Appleton is in seemingly terminal decline. Now as Appleton is mysteriously sealed off from the outside world, various residents discover they have a part to play as old legends return.
“She no longer thought she had been suffering from heatstroke on her walk through that mysterious wasteland, or that the golden apple in her orchard was descended from anything that had ever been sold in a supermarket.”