The King's Concubine PDF/EPUB ó The King's MOBI

The King's Concubine 335 starsAt 17 years old Alice Perrers became the mistress of King Edward III as his wife ailed with a debilitating illness In The King's Concubine Anne O'Brien brings to life the mystery of Alice and the real woman behind the rumours and the false accusations made against herI really enjoyed Anne O'Brien's way of bringing to life Alice a woman I never knew about before But she was someone who I immediately was intrigued by when I began to learn how she accumulated wealth and what a smart business woman she must have been At a time when it was really hardvirtually impossible for a woman to own her own wealth she basically became a property tycoon And you have to respect that It makes you think what she could have accomplished if she had been born in a different time as she obviously had a great mind and a business savvy to bootThis book would never be described as action packed it's uite long and for people who might be new to historical fiction it could be a little bit boring especially as for the majority of Alice's time as Mistress times were peaceful and when they weren't she wasn't privy to muchIt's always interesting and infuriating to see how men vying for power will try and bring down a woman when she takes a step too far up the ladder of power herself and this is exactly what happened to Alice She also had a strong sense of pride in this book and this characterization of her which meant that often she said the wrong things and she would often let people think things about her rather than show any kind of weaknessI also felt in this book the real absence of a group of female companions for Alice she was an extremely lonely and solitary character and the only people who she seemed to truly be friends with were her lover and her lover's wife Even in her marriage she seemed to keep him at arm's lengthI still enjoyed this book and as always love to hear about a woman's place and time in history This book is a great read; a very entertaining account of the life of Alice Perrers The story is told from Alice's point of view and the author draws you into the story Anne O'Brien does a great job capturing the mood of the period it transports you to the court of Edward III with all their intrigue beauty and danger I highly recommend it for any lover of historical fiction or history Alice Perrers the name painted by history is of an unattracive and manipulative woman who took advantage of King Edward III generosity for her own lust for power This book though goes along way to rewriting the past to show Alice as a brave and loyal woman who paid a heavy price for her time with King and ueen The story is of Alice growing up in 14th century England with her parents unknown called a bastard child and doomed to live her life as a nun a life she does not wish on her self Alice is given a brief bit of freedom when she is taken to be a servant at a house and ends up in a loveless marriage to Janyn Perrers before the plague took in the household and she returned to the nunnery That would be were she would meet ueen Philippa a meeting that would change her life foreverAlice would be brought to the ueen who no longer the young virtious woman she once was and unable to to please the king with bedly needs sees Alice to fill the role Alice becomes the Kings mistress a role she initially takes on reluctantly but over time she becomes loyal to Edward This partnership sees her become despised by many including daughters Isabella and Joan despite neither of them spending much time with there parents When the ueen dies the only things saving Alice from losing everthing is first a fast fading King and her husband William De Windsor When the King dies the vultures pounce as Alice faces the wrath of Parliament who is now in control of the country and has the ability to destroy her and everything she achievedThe Kings Concubine for me was a highly entertaining read and one that historical fiction buffs should consider While not a great deal is known about Alice Anne OBrien uses historical imagination to fill in the gaps The book shows convincingly a blueprint of the time that to be a woman of any infulence you needed to be in wealthy or priveliged circles To do what Alice did and end up accused of everything from withcract to manipulating people to achieve land and jewels would for me make her a remarkable woman and one ahead of her time For anyone who likes historical fiction or is just interested in English history this is worth a read REVIEWAlice Perrers was born in the year of 1348 during the plague She was raised in a convent While at the convent Alice was uite a problem at times She refused to take the veil She believed that she had a bigger and better future in line for herShe left the horrid beginnings of her life behind her to become mistress to Edward III but like always she was aloneEarly in her life she met with royalty and that changes her entire life Very much in love with her husband Edward ueen Philippa picks Alice as a lady in waiting The ueen was extremely sick Alice speaks her mind although sometimes she regrets it She maintains that she be taken seriously She puts the make on an even older king She intended no betrayal but she captures the Kings heart When in the privacy of the King's chambers Alice finds the pleasures and satisfaction of her position She is torn between being the ueen's confidante and being the King's mistress She has herself and only herselfShe promises herself she will act this double role until the bitter end Edward lavished her and she amassed wealth and influence for herself but all along she is making enemies Who is going to stand side by side with Alice when the walls come tumbling down on herThe story was told from Alice's point of view in first person and this is how you begin understanding some of the things she does Was Alice a gold digging concubine or was she protecting herself for the future by taking what she could when she had the chance Did she not leave the King's side because she truly cared for him or was it because if she was not there she wouldn't get anythingThese are just a few of the uestions you will be asking yourself while reading The answers are there Alice lived a life as no other I would recommend this book to anyone You won't want to uit reading There is no boredom in this book This is a page turner don't put down keeper This is one magnificent book I truly fell in love with the story and charactersI would give this book 10 Stars if I could but since I can't 5 STARS and that doesn't do it justiceI received a complimentary copy of this book from Manic Readers on behalf of the author Anne O'Brien for this unbiased review A child born in the plague year of 1348 abandoned and raised within the oppressive walls of a convent Alice Perrers refused to take the veil convinced that a greater destiny awaited her Ambitious and uick witted she rose above her obscure beginnings to become the infamous mistress of Edward III But always essentially she was alone Early in Alice’s life a chance meeting with royalty changes everything Kindly ueen Philippa deeply in love with her husband but gravely ill chooses Alice as a lady in waiting Under the ueen’s watchful eye Alice dares to speak her mind She demands to be taken seriously She even flirts with the dynamic much older king But she is torn when her vibrant spirit captures his interestand leads her to a betrayal she never intended In Edward’s private chambers Alice discovers the pleasures and paradoxes of her position She is the ueen’s confidante and the king’s lover yet she can rely only on herself It is a divided role she was destined to play and she vows to play it until the bitter end Even as she is swept up in Edward’s lavish and magnificent court amassing wealth and influence for herself becoming an enemy of his power hungry son John of Gaunt and a sparring partner to resourceful diplomat William de Windsor she anticipates the day when the political winds will turn against her For when her detractors voice their hatredand accusations of treason swirl around herthreatening to destroy everything she has achieved who will stand by Alice then Includes a readers guide Alice Perrers is a 14th century orphan sheltered and used by nuns who on a long and winding path becomes the mistress to King Edward III She subseuently marries another man William de Windsor is banished then unbanished then rebanished and finally reinstated in civil society thanks to the great love of WindsorAs historical fiction the book is loosely based on facts and tells Alice's side of the story The author appears to be Alice's apologist and justifies her actions especially when explaining the relationship with the two people she betrayed the most 1 ueen Phillippa to whom she owes everything as she brought her to the court in hopes that the King would select Alice as his mistress and 2 the King who gave her a license to find another man Alice has been painted as a manipulative conniving vulture in history but we didn't understand her soft loyal side When you get to know her you can see that her actions were justified It is hard to believe until you realize that this book is a romance novel not historical fictionIf you look at the book as a romance novel you can enjoy it as a kind of mind candy A book club friend with a hard copy of the book saw the Harleuin mark on the back cover I had an e reader which does not have the Harleuin reference That disclosure gave the right context to the book Alice's story is a romance novel Alice shares her bed with three men who respect her and show kindness and gentleness in three different ways Love is a challenge and true love can overcome all Classic romance novel themesThere are two flaws that make The King's Concubine less satisfying First the interview with the author and uestions for Discussion give the book an air of sophistication that is unearned This is a romance novel It's not Shakespeare and doesn't deserve the scrutiny of discussion uestions Secondly Alice needs an editor There were 200 pages of material in a 448 book over half the book was meandering and repetitive Edit the book and represent it for what it is and you have a pleasant Saturday read Stories about the mistresses of Kings have always intrigued me This story was made even so because I had just read The King Must Die which was about Edward's mother and his early years on the throneNot much is known about Alice Perrers other than she served as a Lady in Waiting to ueen Phillipa and that she became the King's Mistress Oh and she was intensely disliked by most peopleI think the why's of that dislike are pretty obviousEdward and Phillipa had a very good marriage as far as royalty is concerned Yes they loved each other That's what makes the way O'Brien brings King and Lady together a little bit hard to take Anne suggests that Alice became Edward's lover because the ueen wanted her too because her illness prevented her from enjoying the marriage bed any longerHmmmI'm not sure if that idea works well with me but somehow Alice who was obviously low born made it to the inner circles of the monarchy Lowborn though she was she was also oddly for that time a very astute businesswomenThis book does a lot to cast a favorable light on Alice mostly in the fact that she harbors some love for Edward but I'm not sure if she deserved the light to be cast on her Let's face it she was greedy and power hungry She managed to accumulate 50 manors during her time as the King's Mistress and she even managed to get them back after a corruption trial She could have lost her life there but she managed too to talk her way out of itI think if one thing can be said for Alice Perrers it is that she was a woman hundreds of years before her time In truth I couldn't like Alice as I read this book I could admire her though because she rose from the ashes and for a time ruled a kingdom Nope I lack the will to keep trying this bloated draggy snoozer The prospect of pushing onward fills me with ambivalence at best sheer dread at worst; it's just SO BORING I don't GAF about anything that's happened or will ever happen to these people Alice keeps banging on about how ugly she is how she wants security how everyone hates herblah blah blah I just DO NOT CARE Bye bye Normally I'd give this a standard 2 star DNF rating but Alice's continual burbling the author's meandering prose pissed me off enough to round down Oops Guess I'm feeling mean today D 4 stars It was great I loved it I have read little historical fiction set in the 1300’s and nothing that I can recall of King Edward III and his royal mistress Alice Perrers Nor had I read anything by this author prior to this book It was wonderful on all fronts engaging and with well fleshed out characters I will be looking for other works by this author Favorite uote I had shown that their hostility meant nothing to me I would make no excuses I would not retaliate I would keep my own counsel They would see that I had no fear of them For the first time I learned the true power of self control First Sentence ‘Today you will be my Lady of the Sun’ King Edward says as he approaches to settle me into my chariot Little is known about the life of Alice Perrers but The King's Concubine strives admirably to fill in the gaps and to paint positive intentions and motivations onto a woman whom history has branded as a villain I'm a sucker for English historical fiction so on many levels I enjoyed the book It was an engaging and thorough look at a fascinating time period and at a fascinating monarch I thought the love between Edward and Philippa was handled with a perfect touch and I found the premise that Philippa arranged for the king to have a mistress completely plausible The complex relationship was well written and evocativeHowever my enjoyment was marred a little by the choices O'Brien made to justify Alice's actions While I applaud her for giving Alice agency as opposed to so many books where the main character is just carried along by fate and makes no choices for herself Alice made such a series of blatantly bad or dangerous choices that I found it increasingly hard to sympathize with her If the book is woven around very few known events then I'm led to infer that the justifications for Alice's choices were O'Brien's addition Doing what you know is wrong or at least sure to backfire for the right reasons doesn't make it right I wanted to see Alice doing what is right for the right reasons sometimes Once in a while Or at least letting the reader hit a few major crossroads without lines like I would come to regret that I wanted some time to relate to and approve of her choices BEFORE learning that they would lead to trouble It would have gone a long way toward making me sympathetic to the character


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 RidingAnn 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 librarySo 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 yearsI have always enjoyed the appeal of HistoryI 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 2004This 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 inConuering Knight Captive LadyWhen 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 usesNicholas 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 novelsFor 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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