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Posted May 23, 2012
I truly enjoyed Anne O’Brien’s interpretation of Alice Perrer’s life. It was written with a non-judgmental tone, providing an unbiased and fascinating description of her life.
The King's Concubine is an engaging novel, written in first person narrative and an easy-to-read style that allows the reader to completely immerse themselves in the story. The author skilfully portrayed the main characters so that they were believable.
As with all good tales, there must always be a fascinating antagonist, and in this novel, there were several, but most enjoyable were Princess Joan and Princess Isabella. Understandably, both women were highly resentful of Alice’s influence over their father and the author did a fabulous job demonstrating their animosity. Through their actions and bitter words, I could understand how strongly family and friends reacted to Alice’s presence in the king’s life.
Despite the fact that history has portrayed Alice Perrers in the most unflattering light – ugly, ambitious, ruthless, power-hungry, and greedy, the author was able to demonstrate Alice’s softer side – her loyalty to the king and queen, her need to protect and fend for herself, her need to support her children and house herself should the king discard her. It is also fair to keep in mind that Alice was surrounded by strong, duplicitous men as eager for wealth and power than she was. Women in that era were easily attacked and Alice's success in accumulating wealth provided ample fodder.
Anne O’Brien did an exceptional job of balancing fact with fiction as attested in the explanation at the end. This is biographical fiction at its best. A fascinating and intriguing story, highly recommended.
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Posted November 7, 2012
Excellent read! I couldnt put it down
Well written book about the miraculous journey of a common born Alice that rises in ranks through trials and tribulations to become the favorite of Queen Phillippa and the known mistress of King Edward.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.