The King's Sister
The King’s Sister by Anne O’Brien
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Elizabeth of Lancaster is cousin to the King. It is her place to marry well and to make the right connections for her father, John of Gaunt. But Elizabeth is headstrong and spoilt and wants to make her own future so she marries the King’s half brother, John Holland, instead. But when her brother Henry comes to claim the throne, Elizabeth must make a terrible choice. Which side of her family should she choose?

I have lived in Lancashire for the past 12 years so I felt an affinity with the Plantaganets and thought I would really enjoy a novel about their exploits. I might still do that, but I am afraid I didn’t enjoy this one at all. ELizabeth, the character around whom the whole story revolves is a distinctly unpleasant and tedious character. She isn’t a villain, with all the intrigue and interest which a character of that ilk can generate, she’s just a thoughly self-centred and unpleasant individual.

Even more sadly, it’s not as if any of the other characters in the novel are more pleasant or endearing. It might actually be that we don’t get the chance to know them intimately enough since the book races through scenes with minute and pointless detail without fleshing out the characters in any way. I don’t feel I know any of them any better than when I started it and sadly, I just don’t want to. This was not a novel for me and I would be very surprised to find the audience it did appeal to. An idea of great promise, very poorly executed; I would not recommend this book at all.

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