Friday, May 08, 2015

Book Review: THE KING'S CONCUBINE by Anne O'Brien

Dumped off at the doorstep of a convent as an infant, Alice Perrers belonged to no one. As she grew it became obvious that a nun’s life was not meant for Alice. Her first taste of another life came when the Fair Maid Joan of Kent came for an extended visit to the nunnery. Hand picked for her ugliness because Joan could not stand anyone competing with her beauty, Alice waited on the royal guests every request. Alice was quick to discover not only was Joan a vain woman she was also cruel and much later in life she would also know the depth of her true malicious character. When Joan departed the nunnery Alice begged to be taken with her. It was her only chance at escaping taking her holy vows to become a nun. Cruelly refused Alice took Joan’s advice and pushed herself to excel at her studies until one day she was unexpectedly hauled off to the city to become a merchant’s servant.

The life of a servant at least was an escape from the convent and her vows. Fate had always been overly cruel to her but her new master decided to elevate to the status of wife. A sham of a marriage gave Alice her new name Perrer’s and the first gift she ever received, a bride’s gift in the form of a big fat purse of silver. Never owning anything of her own in her whole life Alice took a chance and turned her new wealth into an investment in property. She had a bit of help from one of her husband’s advisors that was a savvy businessman. Her good fortune had turned to ill fortune when her husband suddenly became ill and died. When he died she lost everything except her secret investment. With no other choice Alice returned to the convent.

Miserable to the core Alice waited for her opportunity to escape. Graced by an unexpected royal visit to the convent. Alice expected another woman like the cruel Joan of Kent instead it was the ailing queen Philippa.  Alice was once again chosen to serve the queen. She was kind where no one else had ever been and when she left Alice again begged to be taken with her but she was refused. Alice fell into a deep despair until a man suddenly appeared to fetch her and take her to the beloved Queen.

The Queen in her kindness had elevated Alice to a new position as companion to the queen. Alice from the beginning had questioned her good fortune but as time passed on it was apparent that the Queen’s motives in bringing her to court were not entirely as innocent as it seemed. King Edward III was regal and handsome in his mid years he was adored by everyone. He was the war hero that had many heirs and was especially loved by his wife. Alice though had caught the king’s eye and since his ailing wife was further more unable to do her bedroom duties the king sought a lover with his wife’s blessing. Alice was Philippa’s pick for position of the king’s liaison. It was a dangerous path to take. Full well knowing the dangers she could face. Alice realized from that moment on her only ambition was to live a better life and if that happened to be by being the king’s whore than so be it.

4/5 Enjoyed this one but I felt in some areas it dragged. This was a tumultuous novel on Alice Perrer’s life that was full of court intrigue and I have to admit O’Brien’s Joan of Kent sure was an evil witch to Alice through out the years. I enjoyed seeing Joan through another perspective that was not a lovesick man. I would recommend this novel to historical fiction lovers alike because nothing beats rags to riches historical fiction novel.

FTC ~ this novel is part of my personal collection

R ~ Rating for sexual references and language

S T A Y C O N N E C T E D W I T H M E :
S U B S C R I B E ~ T W I T T E R  ~ F A C E B O O K ~ I N S T A G R A M ~ G O O G L E +
~L I Z Z I E~


  1. Replies
    1. I enjoyed it because it was different...the only thing I did not like was the cover because it did not go with the book.


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