20 May 2015

Book Review ~ The King's Sister, by Anne O'Brien

Available on Amazon UK and Amazon US

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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About the Author

Anne O'Brien was born in the West Riding of Yorkshire. After gaining a B.A. Honours degree in History at Manchester University and a Masters degree in education at Hull, she lived in the East Riding as a teacher of history. Always a prolific reader, she enjoyed historical fiction and was encouraged to try her hand at writing. Success in short story competitions spurred her on. Leaving teaching, she wrote her first historical romance, a Regency, which was published in 2005. To date nine historical romances and a novella, ranging from medieval, through the Civil War and Restoration and back to Regency, have been published internationally. Anne now lives with her husband in an eighteenth century timber-framed cottage in the depths of the Welsh Marches in Herefordshire, on the borders between England and Wales. Since living there she has become hooked on medieval history. Virgin Widow, published in 2010 was Anne's first novel based on the life of an historical character, Anne Neville, wife of Richard Duke of Gloucester. Her second novel tracks the early life of Eleanor of Aquitaine, through marriage, crusades and divorce, not to mention scandal, as Devil's Consort (In the USA published as Queen Defiant.)  Other novels depict the scandalous life of Alice Perrers, mistress of King Edward III, who broke all the rules as The King's Concubinefollowed by Katherine de Valois as The Forbidden Queen and now Elizabeth of Lancaster as The King's Sister.  Find out more at Anne's website www.anneobrienbooks.com and find her on Facebook and Twitter @anne_obrien.

See Also:

Book Review: The Forbidden Queen by Anne O’Brien

Writing: A pleasurable way to pass the time ~ or a compulsive disorder? Special guest post by Anne O'Brien

Special Guest Post by Anne O'Brien ~ Inspiration to write the dramatic story of Elizabeth of Lancaster

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like one for the TBR list! I really enjoy exploring the more minor characters of history.


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