Much of what is discussed in this review is known history, but if you are unfamiliar with Richard III and Anne Neville and wish to remain spoiler free I suggest you skip this review. This is also one of those historical periods where if you know the history you don’t need an entire rehash, and if you don’t you don’t, then you don’t then Wik can do it much better than I can.
This book starts in 1468 as a young Richard of Gloucester is torn between his loyalty to his brother, Edward IV, and the man who fostered him, Warwick (The Kingmaker) as the two allies slowly become disenchanted with each other. The story continues through brother George’s betrayal and defection to Warwick’s camp continuing on through Anne’s stint as a kitchen maid and her eventual betrothal to Richard when he wins her trust, so you actually get something resembling a happy ending. Until the next book, The Broken Sword that is.
Despite the short length of this book (I do prefer the chunksters), this was a very well-done, well-rounded look at the period and R3 in particular. No one is pure as the driven snow, nor are there any mean and nasty villains. The author gives them all a fair shake and they act appropriately to the period and their political alliances which I find particularly refreshing compared to the sugar coated Richard some of today’s authors seem to be so fond of. Fans of this period should enjoy this a great deal, and I would recommend this to newbies looking to get their feet wet. This might also appeal to younger readers, any sex in this book is very tame and only lightly touched upon. 4/5 stars.