❰Read❯ ➵ The King's Sister Author Anne O'Brien – Dolove.info

The King's Sister When I started this book my knowledge of Elizabeth of Lancaster was close to non existent I knew that she was the daughter of John of Gaunt, one of the most powerful figures in Plantagenet England, and that was about it The King s Sister therefore filled in most of the blanks surrounding her life for me and I found the novel to be an interesting and informative read As a young woman, Elizabeth was betrothed to John Hastings, a mere child, but she longed to wed Sir John Holland, a handsome and charismatic courtier whom she passionately adored The love story between them forms the bulk of the book and Anne O Brien has done a great job in bringing them so vividly to life Other events in the historical record sometimes felt a little glossed over but that could ve been because information on them is scanty or Elizabeth s role uncertain Either way the flow of the book was not much affected. Elizabeth of Lancaster is Henry of Lancaster later Henry IV sister.Married to a child when she was only 17, she falls for Richard II s half brother Sir John Holland So far, so soap opera.The marriage to the child Earl of Pembroke is annulled and Elizabeth marries Sir John.Those of you who know your medieval history knows what happens next Richard banishes Henry, first for a period of years and later for life, and Henry returns to claim his rights.This novel deals with his sister and how she copes with things, caught, as she is, between her brother and her husband, a man whose naturally inclination is to support his own brother.Well written and researched, The King s Sister is an excellent read.Highly recommended. 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 sadly, it s not as if any of the other characters in the novel are 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. Elizabeth of Lancaster, John of Gaunt s younger daughter, was quite a woman Anne O Brien s The King s Sister relates the life of this strong woman Elizabeth, a Plantagenet princess married three times, and she had six children with her second husband and two with her third, but the time period within she lived was a time of great political turmoil Elizabeth finds herself placed inhe middle between her husband and her king who happens to be her younger brother, Henry Bolingbroke Henry IV in the year 1399 The reason for this is until 1399 her cousin, Richard II, is her husband s half brother, is king, a very young king, who appears to resent guidance from his royal uncles other advisors As he reaches his majority, Richard II begins to make poor political decisions which seem to be emotional rather than thoughtful He alienates his cousin, Henry Bolingbroke, and even exiles him for life Henry returns to England to fight for what is rightfully his, Richard is captured, flees, and resigns all of his authority Then Henry is proclaimed king, and Elizabeth s husband stands by his half brother, Richard, which is a threat to Henry IV All that takes place the pain, sorrow, and death come alive with Ms O Brien s dynamic writing I felt as though I was at court and not reading about it 4.5 5 stars The King s Sister is the third book of Anne O Brien s that I have read with the other two being the King s Concubine and the Scandalous Duchess This is the story of Elizabeth of Lancaster, the daughter of John of Gaunt, third son of King Edward III, and his first wife Blanche of Lancaster Her full siblings include the future Lancastrian King Henry IV and Philippa, Queen of Portugal Her half siblings the Beauforts, the children of John s mistress and eventual third wife Katherine Sywnford and Catalina, the daughter of John s second wife Constance of Castile make no appearance and are rarely even mentioned in passing This struck me as odd, did her other siblings make no impression on Elizabeth s life Also, no explanation was given for their absence despite the prominence of Katherine and Constance The King s Sister is the story of Elizabeth, primarily her tumultuous romance with the dashing John Holland, Duke of Exeter and maternal half brother to King Richard II Elizabeth is introduced as a flighty, indulged and rather spoilt young woman whose reaction to being married to the eight year old John Hastings, Earl of Pembroke is melodramatic and highly childish From the beginning, Elizabeth is a self absorbed and selfish noblewoman, who descends into frequent bouts of woe is me tirades and rallies against her supposedly unjust marriage to Pembroke Therein lies the crux of the King s Sister Anne O Brien s are historical romances rather then historical fiction Her heroines are focused on their love lives, not on the politics and social upheaval that characterises their era of history The King s Sister is no exception to this and romance is what makes Elizabeth s world go round Romance consumes Elizabeth s life, from the moment she discovers her marriage to a child heir and to her meeting with the future love of her life, John Holland It is her primary thought and her driving motivation Other characters often attempt to remind Elizabeth of the politics and court intrigue that plague King Richard II s reign But all of this potential is squandered when the forbidden romance between Elizabeth and Holland is flares into existence and soon takes over as the main story line And never lets go That isn t to say that there are not other events and occurrences that have influence over Elizabeth and her life The ineptitude of King Richard is emphasised, the power that John of Gaunt wields over England is immense but often challenged by jealous courtiers, the futile war over the Castilian succession in Spain is mentioned, the plot to destroy King Henry IV and reinstate Richard has colossal implications for England and Elizabeth and the threats facing Henry in his early years are duly fleshed upon in some detail But Elizabeth is steadfast in her determination to see her romance with Holland as the pinnacle of her life s achievement Everything else in her life is pushed to the background where John Holland is concerned To her, Holland is the sun and all else must learn to orbit around him or be burnt The relationship between Elizabeth and Holland is passionate yet lacking real chemistry, loyal yet secrets fester between the two and unstable yet loving It is the typical Mills and Boons ware Forbidden courtship, supposed magnetic chemistry, secret trysts, irate fathers, hasty weddings, happy marriages and boisterous children abound in the King s Sister making for a highly romantic yet unrealistic affair Elizabeth is especially difficult to like as a character She is spoilt, wilful and arrogant She has little regard for her actions or the consequences that follow It is only in her later years that she is forced to mature, that she finally becomes shrewd and politically savvy John Holland, oddly, was my second favourite character He was brash, proud, pragmatic, insightful, determined and loyal He never swerved from a painful decision and remained loyal to Richard despite the risks The only thing I disliked was his rampant romantic monologues that were at times completely illogical and ridiculous at the best of times Richard II is portrayed as vain and insecure, a man bent on earning fear and respect but lacking the means and will to achieve it His fall was partly his own fault King Henry IV was my favourite I found him refreshing and honest A proud man, determined to regain his inheritance yet cynical enough to have threats done away with the utmost ruthlessness with no moral qualms Personally, I think if the King s Sister had instead focused the relationship between Elizabeth and Henry it would have been a superior book A missed opportunity IMHO The historical detail, as in the other O Brien books, is light Very light Often there is little shown besides the mention of clothes and tournaments Facts are kept simple and are not elaborated upon Only a very vague portrait of the Middle Ages is given and this only takes away from the book s enjoyment value All in all, I would rate this novel a 6 10 Well written, with mildly engaging characters, superfluous historical detail and riddled with melodramatic romance, the King s Sister will probably appeal to fans of romance while disappointing historical fiction aficionados. Anne O Brien just kills me.I thought that this novel fell into two very distinctive portions The first was the wooing and falling in love stage of the novel There was little action in this half of the novel from a political standpoint, therefore the romance and the development of John and Elizabeth was central Unfortunately I did not warm to Elizabeth, she was selfish and vain and I hoped that she would eventually develop into a woman rather than this spoiled child Retrospectively I wish that this first half would have been Book 1 and written from the viewpoint of John Holland He was passionate about Elizabeth and doggedly pursued her despite all political and personal obstacles I wish we could have felt this from his point of view because it wasn t well translated with Elizabeth as our narrator In fact at times, I felt only a tense anger between John and Elizabeth Their conversations were so often made in anger, frustration and hatred and it ruined the wooing that John was so intent on I found this portion of the novel lacking, and very nearly stopped reading the novel altogether The whole section went on for far too long, as previously mentioned, there was little action and I would much rather have been reading about their relationship post marriage.As it happens, I was vastly pleased that I had forged on Feeling much like a stubborn Plantagenet woman myself, to be honest The second half was really from the point that political action begins to affect the relationship between John and Elizabeth In this portion of the novel their love is tangible, and so emotionally affecting to read The tensions radiating from political turmoil are beginning to affect them and you have a wondrous sense of foreboding as you read, a mounting tension that was so lacking in the first half of the novel I feel that Elizabeth has grown into a mature role as wife and mother and she becomes a much likable narrator Her feelings for John, and his for her, are evident in every conversation, even in angry political disputes I hated John for sacrificing that bond in the name of loyalty to Richard, who had so frequently cast his brother off, and yet I sobbed throughout the entirety of his imprisonment, death and through Elizabeth s subsequent grief because I missed him so much, and mourned his loss as a character Elizabeth became a strong woman in this isolation and fought for her children and husband proudly, even if she did still display these shows of vain selfishness I hated her for supporting her brother over her bond with John but appreciated that it tore her apart to choose anyone but her love Though their love was a deep bond, it was not enough.Every time I thought about Elizabeth and John saying goodbye to each other, and then her knowing that he was dead, my stomach made this awful flop as though I too were grieving When I read his letter of forgiveness, I nearly worked my way through a box of tissues It takes a superb writing talent to be able to affect a reader so emotionally and I absolutely applaud that I don t know whether it is because this is based on real people and real events, that you almost believe that it is fact, which makes it all the tangible.Overall I think that the whole novel needed to be slim lined because there was a lot of waffle in the first half of the book that almost put me off, but I could recommend sticking with it because it was an absolute experience reading the development of Elizabeth and John as a married couple, torn apart by familial loyalty but desperately in love. Elizabeth of Lancaster is the formidable daughter of John of Gaunt, and as such inherits the pride and arrogance of the great Plantagenet dynasty Rejecting a marriage to John Hastings, the juvenile Earl of Pembroke, Elizabeth flouts convention to marry the ruthlessly ambitious, Sir John Holland, Duke of Exeter, who is half brother to the King Richard II The marriage is passionate, volatile and not without danger However, disobedience comes at a price, and the rebellious nature of Elizabeth s husband ensures that the marriage is both dynastically and emotionally flawed from the very start Being close to the crown is to play with fire and as the brothers, sisters and cousins in this deadly game of thrones continue to play out their petty dynastic dramas, Elizabeth of Lancaster must act as a political shield, in order to keep both her husband and brother from committing the ultimate betrayal In history books, Elizabeth of Lancaster, is portrayed as a shadowy figure caught on the periphery of royalty, but her Plantagenet connections to both King Richard II and King Henry IV ensured her a prominent role in the history of England, and it is commendable that her story is told by an author who handles both her character, and the time in which she lived, with remarkable sensitivity There is danger and intrigue in abundance and yet the shadow of loss seems to follow Elizabeth around and I felt immense sympathy for her I was less enamoured of her husband, who I felt let her down, but as is the way with historical fiction, nothing can be done about the eventual outcome.There is no doubt that the author has captured this genre of historical romance, her books are delightfully readable, not just with a good dollop of romance to keep you entertained, but also with a wealth of factual detail which helps to connect the story accurately into time and place Impeccably researched and with a fine eye for historical accuracy, the characters really come to life As the drama of their complex lives start to unfold, it becomes obvious that life at the royal court, in the fourteenth century, was fraught with the threats and menace of a dark and dangerous time The consequences of this deadly manoeuvring for supremacy would, of course, tear the Plantagenet family apart for generations. This is better than The Queen s Choice which I read last week and is recently published I had not intended to read by this author because of that book but had already ordered it from the library, where it arrived tout de suite so I read it.It s a bit of a stretch to call it biographical fiction because, as the author acknowledges, little is known about Elizabeth of Lancaster, daughter of John of Gaunt She is on record as being spirited so I guess depicting her as a feisty woman is, in this case, reasonable.The story depicts her alleged choice between loyalty to husband or family over the taking of the throne by Henry IV, her brother, that dilemma being occasioned by her husband, John Holland, being brother to the deposed Richard II an older brother of Joan of Kent s prior marriage to Thomas Holland she later married Edward, the Black Prince he attempted rebellion on his brother s behalf.More is known about John Holland than about Elizabeth he was a man, dear , thus most of it is frankly made up around details known about him The marriage is presented as a passionate romance leading to the dilemma this is naturally fictional and Elizabeth may never have seen any dilemma but held first loyalty to her own family OR she may never have known about his plot the Epiphany Uprising the story presupposes that he told her.History records that she remarried shortly after his execution and, though the book describes her reluctance to marry at Henry IVs request history suggests that she married at her own choice, causing scandal by doing so without Henry s permission and that her third husband, John Cornwall, was arrested for marrying her This rather suggests that the great romance between Elizabeth and John Holland did not occur as depicted in this novel.All that aside, this was very readable and historically not too annoying as to context of time so I will try a third I am very interested in the period covered and it looks like she has given John of Gaunt some attention Watch this space A little too much historical romance and not enough historical fact, for my liking Daughter Of John Of Gaunt, Sister To The Future King Henry IV, Elizabeth Of Lancaster Has Learned The Shrewd Tricks Of The Court From England S Most Powerful Men In A Time Of Political Turmoil, Allegiance To Family Is Everything A Plantagenet Princess Should Never Defy Her Father S Wishes Yet Headstrong Elizabeth Refuses To Bow To The Fate Of A Strategic Marriage Rejecting Her Duty, Elizabeth Weds The Charming And Ruthlessly Ambitious Sir John Holland Duke Of Exeter, Half Brother To King Richard II And The One Man She Has Always Wanted But Defiance Can Come At A Price Elizabeth S Brother Henry Has Seized The Throne Her Husband, Confident To The Usurped Richard, Masterminds A Secret Plot Against The New King Trapped In A Dangerous Web, Elizabeth Must Make A Choice Defy The King And Betray Her Family Or Condemn Her Husband And Send Him To His Death Sister Wife Traitor She Holds The Fate Of England In Her Hands


About the Author: Anne O'Brien

See this thread for information. My home is in the Welsh Marches, although much of my early life was spent in Yorkshire, most recently in the East Riding.Ann O Brien The Marches is a remote region of England, surrounded by echoes from the past Hereford is close with its famous Mappa Mundi and chained library.So is Shrewsbury, and also Ludlow with its splendid castle and its connections with our Plantagenet and Tudor kings With my husband, I live in an eighteenth century timber framed cottage, which itself must have seen much history over two hundred years.I have always enjoyed the appeal of History.I taught the subject with enthusiasm but it became my ambition to write historical romances My first novel, The Runaway Heiress, was published by Mills and Boon in 2004.This first book was a Regency Romance in the great tradition of Georgette Heyer who has not admired her skill and delicate touch for the period I have drawn on my interest in the Stuart century to write about the English Civil War and Restoration England of Charles II Living in the Marches however I soon discovered the wealth of atmosphere and legend in this isolated part of England from medieval times It was not long before I was encouraged to create a medieval romance inConquering Knight, Captive Lady.When not writing, I have a large rambling garden where George and I grow organic vegetables and soft fruit or perhaps I should admit that he grows them whilst I pick and cook them We have a wild garden, an orchard, a formal pond and herbaceous flower borders We share it all with rabbits and pheasants, frogs and goldfinches, hedgehogs and buzzards It is a beautiful place When we first settled into our cottage I planted a herb garden on a Tudor pattern with stone pathways and clipped box hedges From this I developed my interest in herbs and their uses.Nicholas Culpeper s The Complete Herbal, a fascinating resource to a historical novelist first published in 1649, has become essential bedside reading As a result the use of herbs in medicine and witchcraft, for both good and ill, has appeared in some of my novels.For pure relaxation I enjoy yoga as well as singing with a local Choral Society Watercolour painting allows me to simply sit and appreciate the landscape and the flowers in my garden, when my mind is busy constructing my next plot.


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