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The Reluctant Queen: The Story of Anne of York (Queens of England, #8)
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The Reluctant Queen: The Story of Anne of York (Queens of England #8)

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  867 ratings  ·  48 reviews
In 1470, a reluctant Lady Anne Neville is betrothed by her father, the politically ambitious Earl of Warwick, to Edward, Prince of Wales. A gentle yet fiercely intelligent woman, Anne has already given her heart to the prince's younger brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Unable to oppose her father's will, she finds herself in line for the throne of England--an obligatio...more
Paperback, 450 pages
Published August 28th 2007 by Three Rivers Press (CA) (first published August 28th 1990)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,072)
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Barb
I wish I had known that Plaidy was going to leave out huge parts of Anne Neville's life in this fictionalization.

I just couldn't bring myself to read this, it seemed a little silly to me that Plaidy would omit Anne's first marriage.

And I didn't care for the style, too much information communicated to the reader in dialogue, I didn't care for her characterization of Richard. I loved Sharon Kay Penman's version of the story and I couldn't reconcile the two versions, I'll have to try again some d...more
Marissa
I had somewhat low expectations when I began listening to the audiobook production for this novel. I have never been particularly interested in Anne Neville or her husband Richard III but I thought I’d give the novel a try.

I am glad I did because it was one of the more enjoyable novels by Plaidy that I’ve read. Anne is gentle and sweet and unassuming. Her husband, Richard III, is less loveable but the love between then seemed so natural nonetheless.

I was very interested to see how Plaidy would...more
Ashley W
I've been disillusioned by the last few Jean Plaidy books I have read, but this one reminded me why I love her writing. Anne of York, the daughter of the "Kingmaker" Richard Neville and the wife of the infamous Richard III, comes to life within this book, and she felt like a real person instead of someone merely there to tell a story. She actually has a personality, good traits, and flaws. I love Anne's story because she had so many ups and downs in her life and all she wanted was to marry for l...more
Ikonopeiston
Dec 17, 2008 Ikonopeiston rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: immature devourers of romance novels
Shelves: ricardian, kindle
This is a most unpleasant book. It is badly written with no insight into the psyches of the persons with whom it deals. I gave up on it when the author referred to Richard of Gloucester as "the Little Duke". It is true he was no giant like his brother Edward nor so tall as his other brother George, but I doubt anyone during his time had the temerity to refer to him as 'little'.

This is the sort of book which appeals chiefly to the devotees of soppy, illiterate romance fiction. It is not a biogra...more
Ana T.
I went searching for a blurb of the story at Random House's site and this what I found is what is written above- I must say that I am a bit puzzled, Anne was not bethrothed to the older brother of her childhood love and Plaidy certainly never made that mistake...

The Reluctant Queen is part of a series Plaidy wrote about the Queens of England and it’s the story of Anne Neville, Richard III’s queen. The story is told in the first person and reads like a memoir, as she lays sick and feeling death...more
Yvette
Interesting that the accusation of poison by Richard is not put to rest. Anne even has her own doubts. I like the Richard of this book. Faithful, loving...the princes seem to still be alive. And this book knocked Elizabeth Woodville a notch or two off the pedestal she has been placed on in my mind.
Stacy Brunner
I loved, loved Jean Plaidy books when I was in the YA age range. I wish these books were geared toward young adults because I could rate it higher. The historical information is not covered in much detail. You get the chronology, but you don't get to really chew on the missing bits and mysteries that history leaves for us. The characters are not developed with much substance and in fact, I think they are portrayed as being "nicer" or "friendlier" than they actually were.

But I think for young pe...more
Susan
Wars of the Roses
Zoe
Interesting in its entirely pro-Richardian tone, though the point of recent historical fiction has arguably been to reexamine those about whom little is known or only one side given. Plaidy was at the forefront of this wave or trend. It's believable that a woman in love with Richard from such a young age could easily be an apologist for his ambitions and subsequent actions, but Anne of York portrays his every action as entirely due to Richard's sense of duty to his brother (Edward IV) and the cr...more
Angie
This is between a 3.5 and 4 star book...

I am a big Jean Plaidy fan, but I was a bit disappointed in this book. I can't really blame her, though. It is all Philippa Gregory's fault! I loved her book The White Queen and loved how Elizabeth Woodville was portrayed. I had never at that point had read anything about her. This book about Anne Neville was much the same story, but from the "enemies" eyes. Anne paints an awful picture of Elizabeth and her family. You get all the bad and none of the good....more
Mrs. C.
Definitely pro-Ricardian, this novel tells Richard's story from the point of view of his childhood friend/cousin/wife, Anne Neville. Told in the first person, it basically begins with the Readeption of Henry VI, which her father (Warwick the Kingmaker) engineered, and presents her as intended for Henry's son but never married. It handles the story of Richard's two illegitimate children, Clarence's death (it's an accident here), Edward's death, the arrests and executions of the Woodvilles and Has...more
Andrea
I greatly enjoyed this novel! It allowed me to see the events of the War of the Roses from Richard III's perspective, a view so often ignored by historians. It was refreshing to see his romantic and more human side, expressed in his encounters with Anne.
However, the author was biased towards this side. First, Richard is portrayed in significant detail as being a loyal brother, in awe of Edward, ready to serve him, etc. Then, when he dies, he disinherits his son Edward and takes the crown. His ex...more
Elizabeth
I found Jean Plaidy's fictionalization of Anne Neville unimaginative given the many extraordinary events of Anne's life that she could have drawn on. The way the story is told, from Anne's perspective looking back from her deathbed, makes it woefully passive.
Historically it was relatively accurate with the exception of one significant departure. While the idea that the Duke of Clarence had Anne kidnapped and forced into a situation as a kitchen maid is laughable, it did make me think a little b...more
Sheree
3.5 stars for this one.
I did enjoy the story of Lady Anne Neville (Anne of York) told in first person narrative. In 15th Century England the War of the Roses has ended, the war between the houses of Lancaster and York for the throne of England. With the support of the Earl of Warwick (the Kingmaker), King Henry VI of the house of Lancaster is deposed by the charismatic King Edward IV, former Duke of York.
Anne the daughter of the Earl of Warwick goes on to become Queen of England as the wife of...more
Crystal
Many history lovers are familiar with the general story of Richard III, but less so with his queen consort, Anne Neville. As their lives are quite intertwined from the beginning, this story really follows the two of them from early childhood through their adulthood, marriage, and beyond.

The book talks a lot about the political climate during this time in British history – we cover threats from the Lancastrians, to the York reign, back to plots against the Yorkists from a variety of individuals....more
Robin
This is written from Anne Neville's point of view, future wife of King Richard III. It paints Richard in a much different light than what we've been given in most literature that deals with this king. Everyone generally pictures a hunchbacked or slightly deformed, evil man who had his nephews killed so he could be king when they think of Richard III. This book really takes all that away. It really makes it seem like he had good intentions, even though it does leave it open to the possibility tha...more
Amanda
I started this book some time ago and just never got into it enough to finish. So a couple of weeks ago I saw the book and decided to start over from the beginning and then couldn't put it down. I think it helps that I had read the White Queen by Phillipa Gregory because the story is of the same conflicts but from another character so I loved getting the perspective from the other side. By the way, I have read several of Jean Plaidy books on the various queens of England that I don't have review...more
H. A. Mims
This was the first book I've read by Jean Plaidy, and it was an absolute pleasure from beginning to end. I'm a huge fan of historical fiction, particularly related to European royalty, and it's lovely to read about a favorite like Anne Neville without a bunch of speculation/shock value that doesn't need to be there.

Characterization is very strong here, the narrative is simple and beautiful, and all in all, this was a fresh and engaging take on a familiar, beloved story. I'm very much looking for...more
Rachel
Holy exposition, Batman.
Jessica
History is written by the victors, which is why I have to give the finger to Mr. Shakespeare and his "Richard III." In reality, Richard III and his beloved Anne were two of the most charming, sweet, and tragic lovers in history. This is a beautiful version of their story, if you aren't familiar with it, start here. Anne of York was the only queen of England to have also been a kitchen maid, a gentle, intelligent lady who saw her happiness ripped away time and again, and her story (and Richard's)...more
Cati
I will just say that it was a nice way to find out some historical stuff. Though, other than that, the book is not remarkable in any way. Predictable dialog, flat characters. Also, somehow I remember Richard IIIrd from English history and his potrayal was..well...unconvincing to say the least, actually I found it a bit offensive as compared to the historical evidence existing outthere. I know this is supposed to be some sort of a historical romance, but I believe it fails to some extent even th...more
Keri
Reading this book makes me want to reread Penman's Sunne in Splendour which is about the same time period. This is the 1st Plaidy I have read and maybe it is ok on the history but not on the reading. It is competent writing but not inspiring to me. I enjoyed it enough that I would read another if it was on a period that I wanted to read about. I felt left hanging at the end. I wasn't convinced about Richard the III either one way or the other. Maybe only he knows.
Stephanie
I enjoyed this book. One must keep in mind some details are going to be left out or glossed over very quickly. Having read The Sunne in Splendour beforehand, I try to keep in my not all books concerning Richard III can be as wonderfully detailed as that masterpiece.

I liked hearing the story, pared down as it is, from Anne's point of view. This is an enjoyable work of historical FICTION. An easy, quick read which I think was worth the time.
Angela Davis
I picked this up after seeing the Shakespeare Richard III and fell in love with the entire time period. While this allowed some insight on what might have really happened (and not the Shakepeare propaganda) at its base it is a romance novel and skips certain events, events that even me who was new to the history, learned through the internet. I was looking for a book that was true to the actual events but gave a more personal insight.
Mary Lou
Since reading Anne Easter Smith's historical novels about the period in English history of the War of the Roses, I've tried to read more novels that lend a greater understanding of the players in this century long drama. Plaidy's novel really fleshed out the relationship between Edward IV, his brothers George & Richard (later Richard III) and his in-laws. Very rewarding and enjoyable read.
Xenia0201
A great read, especially after I finished several books on the Woodville Queen. Although fictionalized, The Reluctlant Queen offers a different perspective of the Duke of Glouscester, later known as Richard III, and his relationship with Anne Neville, daughter of the Duke of Warwick, aka, "the Kingmaker". I adore Jean Plaidy's fresh take on one of the darker reigns in English history.
Sasha Strader
Despite the extraordinarily long read time on this book (3 months) it really wasn't all that bad. The flow is not as good in The Reluctant Queen as it is in some of Plaidy's other books, but I suspect it may have something to do with the lack of information we really have on Anne of York. Hard to write a good historical novel when you're struggling to breach the gaps.
Angela
Richard III is portrayed as a saint (until slight doubt is placed upon him in his king years), which is diametrically opposed the the generally accepted view of him in history. Anne's story is a very sad one. I like Jean Plaidy's historical novels generally, but this one read much more like a convuluted history book at breakneck speed.
Bonnie
Fun historical fiction, makes me want to know the truth. I like her writing style because it's so light and easy, I'm easily distracted these days. However, it also frustrates me because of the unnecessary repetition and overly explained philosophies/motives/emotions. Still, I enjoyed it and plan to read more of her books
Gabrielle Blin
The story of Anne Neville,wife of Richard III and daughter of the Kingmaker Richard Neville,Earl of Warwick.I really like Anne Neville,I always wanted to read more about her
I loved this book and my next read is the kingmaker's daughter by Philippa Gregory
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Eleanor Alice Burford, Mrs. George Percival Hibbert was a British author of about 200 historical novels, most of them under the pen name Jean Plaidy which had sold 14 million copies by the time of her death. She chose to use various names because of the differences in subject matter between her books; the best-known, apart from Plaidy, are Victoria Holt (56 million) and Philippa Carr (3 million)....more
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The Lady in the Tower (Queens of England, #4) Murder Most Royal (Tudor Saga, #5) Katharine of Aragon: The Wives of Henry VIII (Tudor Saga, #2-4) The Rose Without a Thorn (Queens of England, #11) To Hold the Crown: The Story of King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York (Queens of England Series, #11)

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