The Kingmaker's Daughter (Cousins' War) - Philippa Gregory Poor Anne Neville. It was not fun to be the daughter of the Kingmaker, the man who changed sides so easily in the hope of being the power behind the throne. She followed her father in his loyalties--what else could she do?--until he died and she was finally free to make her own choice.

Or was she? I enjoyed the courtship of Anne and Richard as portrayed in this book. It was delightfully romantic, but underneath that, some part of Anne understood that she was never truly free to make her own choices, that she was always a piece in someone else's game. She clung to Richard as her savior, but he was the only option she had. I like to think that they loved each other, but it seems realistic that there must have always been doubt in her mind, given all the scheming and dealing that went on during the Cousins' War.

Maybe it's just that I read [b:The White Queen|5971165|The White Queen (The Cousins' War, #1)|Philippa Gregory||13560666] first, but I can't see Elizabeth Woodville as the villainous witch* she's portrayed as here. I realize that this is how Anne might have seen her, but I still don't understand the enmity towards her and her family that everyone (except Edward) seems to have felt. So she had a big family and she wanted to use her position as queen to give them advantageous places in society. Wouldn't you? She had power, and she used it, and in my mind, she won. I know she lost her first husband in battle and her second husband to illness (or possibly poison), and her sons, father, and brothers to the wars, but she died in her bed, at a respectable age for the time, having seen her daughter crowned queen. And her blood still runs in the royal family today. I'd say she did pretty well.

*(The magic stuff annoys me in this book way more than it did in The White Queen, because in TWQ we actually see the magic being done, while in this book I just want to shake everyone and scream MAGIC DOESN'T EXIST at them. Your sickly son suddenly dies? GEE MAYBE IT'S BECAUSE HE WAS SICKLY. Your sword arm hurts? MAYBE IT'S BECAUSE YOU HAVE SCOLIOSIS, RICHARD. I know, I know, they had no idea about medicine and shit. STILL.)

The story takes us up to the very end of Anne Neville's life, which I like, since many of the books in this series seem oddly unfinished. Since we know Anne didn't live to see her husband defeated by Henry Tudor, it doesn't seem unfinished to end the book before that happens. I think I'd rank this somewhere between The White Queen and [b:The Lady of the Rivers|9542439|The Lady of the Rivers (The Cousins' War, #3)|Philippa Gregory||14428801] in quality.