‘The gripping tale of Elizabeth of Lancaster, sibling of Henry IV. Packed with love, loss and intrigue’ - Sunday Express Magazine
I’m prepared to bet you know little more than I did about the life of Elizabeth of Lancaster, so Anne O’Brien’s new novel The King’s Sister is a great example of why we need historical fiction. I discovered a whole new perspective on the rise of her brother to become King Henry IV – and began to see King Richard II in an entirely different light.
Elizabeth is a strong, independent woman, with a very modern outlook – trapped in a privileged world of medieval nobility. Resigned to obey her father (a surprisingly understanding John of Gaunt) and accept his unfortunate choice of husband, she falls in love with the handsome knight Sir John Holland, Duke of Exeter. Holland is an adventurer and womaniser yet Anne finds his sensitive side and he becomes a hugely likeable character, staunchly loyal to his half-brother King Richard.
Henry’s seizing of the throne puts them all in an impossible position, with Elizabeth torn between the man she loves and loyalty to the House of Lancaster. I particularly liked Anne’s portrayal of Katherine Swynford, (who reminded me of Diana Rigg’s portrayal of Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones) so now I have to read her book about Katherine - The Scandalous Duchess.
Anne has included a short postscript about what became of Elizabeth of York, although I really wanted to know more about Sir John Cornewaille, who fought alongside Henry V at Agincourt. I was disappointed when The King’s Sister ended leaving me with so many questions - but when historical fiction sparks your interest in a period of time you know it has really succeeded. Highly recommended.
Tony Riches# # #
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Special Guest Post by Anne O'Brien ~ Inspiration to write the dramatic story of Elizabeth of Lancaster