Dec 17, 2014

The King's Sister by Anne O'Brien

The gripping tale of Elizabeth of Lancaster, sibling of Henry IV. Packed with love, loss and intrigue’ - Sunday Express S Magazine
One betrayal is all it takes to change history
1382. 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.
1399. Elizabeth’s brother Henry has seized the throne. Her husband, confidant 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.


Elizabeth of Lancaster is a passionate woman. She doesn't just do what's required of her, she has her own will and goals. Elizabeth is the daughter of a powerful man. Her bloodline is noble and she has close ties to the highest powers. Her father wants her to marry a boy who's nine years younger when she's seventeen. This strategic marriage ensures the ties he wants to make with the family of the boy. Elizabeth can't do much to prevent the marriage. When she's falling more and more in love with John Holland, who's the Duke of Exeter and half brother to the king, she can't remain faithful to her child husband any longer. She and John receive her fathers permission to marry eventually, but there's a price. Marrying an ambitious, charming and ruthless man means an exiting life and their first years are mostly happy. Then problems in the kingdom arise and Elizabeth's brother Henry seizes the the throne. Unfortunately brotherly love goes very deep and all of a sudden Elizabeth and John find themselves at opposite sides of a very important conflict. John can't accept Henry as his new king and is plotting against him. Elizabeth doesn't want to lose either of them, but she has to make a choice that, no matter what she decides, will have grave consequences. Who will she betray, her husband or her brother? 

The King's Sister is a beautiful, romantic and tragic story. This is not a fast and easy read, but it is certainly amazing. Elizabeth is a headstrong woman who doesn't want to bend to the will of others if it won't do her any good. People call her selfish, and in a way she is as she doesn't do anything that isn't in her own best interest. She has some tough choices to make and because of her admirable, strong character she doesn't always make it easy for herself. She's fighting for her own happiness and I loved that about her. Elizabeth doesn't live a happy life, but because of her bold actions it's certainly adventurous. She has to learn about politics, whether she likes it or not, as she's right in the middle of a turbulent situation. Choosing between her husband and her brother must have been the most horrible decision she'd ever have to make and I think it's astonishing that she managed to do something instead of sitting around to wait and see how things would develop. Anne O'Brien's brilliant sentences make the story even more special. The King's Sister is a formidable novel that will always have a special place in my heart.


  1. Sounds like another good read x

  2. This sounds like a book I would adore. I love strong female characters :3


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