The King’s Concubine-Anne O’Brien

The King’s Concubine

Anne O’Brien

NAL, Jun 5 2012, $15.00

ISBN: 9780451236807

 

In1362, ailing Queen Philippa selects a fifteen years old orphaned virgin at a convent to serve as the Royal Mistress to her beloved husband King Edward III as her deteriorating health will no longer allow her to take care of the needs of her soulmate.  The Queen expects Alice Perrers to be loyal to her regal sponsors while also providing sexual release to the monarch.  Ambitious beyond her years as she sees an opportunity for a good life, Alice relishes being the King’s Concubine while also honoring her “guardian” by her and Edward keeping their mouths shut about their affair as long as Philippa lived.  However, though intelligent and prepared for the end of her financial arrangement with the king, an uncompromising Alice fails to recognize the full scope of what will happen to her after Edward dies even as she observes his decline in health in his later years.  Sir William Windsor comes to her aid when others want her exiled or dead; as he and Alice forge a lasting loving relationship. 

 

To the victors go the history books, which treat Alice as a dolt who used her body to gain riches.  Instead this superb medieval biographical fiction paints a different complete picture of an ambitious smart young lady who understood the importance of loyalty though envious others at court disdained her.  Anne O’Brien brings to life the successful reign of King Edward III and the beginning of the successor rivalry that led to his rule’s outcome, the War of the Roses, as seen by his mistress. 

 

Harriet Klausner

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