Thank you for the review. I liked this book too and did a review for Amazon Vine; it's here:
I enjoyed this one, especially because of its unusual protagonist; having Alice Perrers, the king's mistress, as the voice of the novel gave it an added spice. Alice is often much maligned in history; after all, she was a commoner who rose to extraordinary power and amassed a fortune, acquiring numerous manors and estates. Even worse, she is sometimes thought to have manipulated a senile old king and to have used him to line her own pockets. Perhaps, she did indeed do this; it is unlikely that we will ever know for certain. However, having a novel from her perspective gives us another view of this women, and we understand some of the motivations behind her behaviour. This is not to say that Alice is a perfect angel in the novel; she certainly has her rough edges and, like most humans, is a mix of good and bad characteristics. I like this as it makes her more believable and realistic.
I enjoy O'Brien's historical novels (if you have not read it yet, give 'Devil's Consort' a go) - her writing style makes it all come alive and draws the reader easily into the story. I am sure she probably takes some liberties with the characters and the history; obviously any author who puts dialogue into her historical character's mouths is taking liberties as we cannot know what they actually said However, the essence of the tale is correct and more importantly, O'Brien creates the atmosphere and feel of the period, and this is what makes the novel engrossing. If you like Phillipa Gregory, you will probably enjoy this novel too, although Gregory pays more attention to the historical details. However, the overall effect is the same and if you like the one, you will probably enjoy the other.
Kahlan My swaps Had an accident?
Currently Reading: "The Year of the Flood - Margaret Atwood