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The King's Concubine

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  1,965 Ratings  ·  146 Reviews
Mistress to the King. Confidante of the Queen. Whore to the court. Her fate is double edged; loved by the majesties, ostracised by her peers. Alice must balance her future with care as her star begins to rise - the despised Concubine is not untouchable. Politics and pillow talk are dangerous bedfellows. The fading great King wants her in his bed.
Paperback, 619 pages
Published May 4th 2012 by Mira Books (first published 2012)
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Carla Coulston
Jun 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Better than Philippa Gregory" says the bold statement on the cover. Oooh... Big Call.

Gregory is one of the finest architects of what I call the Likeable Villianess: the abrasive, self-serving, yet ultimately sympathetic anti-heroine you love to hate. Finest of *these* times - might I add as a disclaimer - since Margaret Mitchell's wonderfully complex Scarlett O'Hara is arguably the doyenne of them all.

Anne Boylen of The Other Boylen girl is probably Gregory's most famous creation (she puts the
May 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 Queen. 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. Alic ...more
Gayle Pace
May 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Alice Perrers was born in the year of 1348 during the plague. She was raised in a convent. While at the convent Alice was quite a problem at times. She refused to take the veil. She believed that she had a bigger and better future in line for her.She left the horrid beginnings of her life behind her to become mistress to Edward III, but like always she was alone.

Early in her life she met with royalty and that changes her entire life. Very much in love with her husband, Edward, Queen Phili
Andrea Guy
Stories about the mistresses of Kings have always intrigued me. This story was made even more so because I had just read The King Must Die, which was about Edward's mother and his early years on the throne.

Not much is known about Alice Perrers, other than she served as a Lady in Waiting to Queen Phillipa and that she became the King's Mistress. Oh and she was intensely disliked by most people.

I think the why's of that dislike are pretty obvious.

Edward and Phillipa had a very good marriage as far
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 subsequently marries another man, William de Windsor, is banished, then unbanished, then rebanished and finally reinstated in civil society thanks to the great love of Windsor.

As 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 e
Gabrielle Harbowy
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 th
Mar 04, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finish, kupljeno
na knjizi pise Bolja od Philippe Gregory
hmm svaka knjiga koju sam procitala gdje je pisalo bolje od... e tu je slijedilo razocarenje

Knjiga sama po sebi nije losa ali bolja od Gregory ma nema sanse

Dok me Gregory svakom knjigom suptilno uvlacila u dvorce, kraljevstva, zivote aktera knjige, tijekom citanja mogla sam osjetiti atmosferu tog vremena, bila je opipljiva.

Ovo je prva knjiga od Anne O'Brien i naravno procitat cu i druge dvije koje imam ali osim dogadjanja u knjizi nisam osjetila atmosferu
Jo Barton
May 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin UK (Mira) for an early digital edition to read and review.

The King’s Concubine is set during the reign of Edward III, and describes his relationship with his wife, Philippa of Hainault, and his mistress, Alice Perrers. Little is truly known about the life of Alice Perrers, and yet Anne O’Brien has woven a skilful and believable story about how, in the mid 1360’s, young Alice became one of the Queen’s waiting women. The way in which Alice colluded with Queen P
Blodeuedd Finland
I do not really know what happened, it could have been growing all week. I was all come on, 600 pages? Why is that needed? Cos honestly nothing happened in the book.

I started to read, it felt ok, but then I started to skim and skimmed to the end. I could have worked through it and given it a good rating but it was a library book which means...I gave up and skimmed. I have too many books. I need awesome, if the library do not give me awesome I go all eh.

I am also not a fan of the this is me, the
I found Alice Perrers (or Alice de Windsor, as we should really call her), to be an uninspiring heroine. She was greedy and self-serving. Maybe she wasn't really like that but Ms. O'Brien would have you believe she was. She was constantly stealing (calling a spade a spade) and justifying her actions on every other page. Enough already. I get it. She wants money. She wants land. Life for a medieval woman of no rank was rough. She had to look out for herself and her children, I get it. I didn't fe ...more
Re-read for the 3rd or 4th time, Alice is such a strong character and one of my favorites!
Jul 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a novel, the story of a rise of Alice Perrers might seem a bit dry, but as a historical account of a magnificent woman who achieved so much way ahead of her time? It's glorious!

I loved Alice Perrers because no matter what she faced she kept her integrity. I'm actually really fascinated with that time period and Plantagenets are my favorite royal branch of British monarchy.

The narration is led by Alice Perrers largely from her memories. She talks about her common upbringing in the Abbey on th
"Today you will be my Lady of the Sun," King Edward says as he approaches to settle me into my chariot.

Alice Perrers begins life as an orphan living in a convent and destined to be a nun. Her ambition is to be someone powerful and independent. Catching the eye of Queen Philippa, she finds herself caught up in the world of court politics and intrigue. When the King begins expressing an interest in Alice as well, will Alice betray the queen who brought her to court for her own ambition?

Have I ev
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alice Perrers was mistress to Edward III. I'd heard of her but that's it. She was an innocent with no friends who had to learn to survive in a politicized world where one wrong move could mean your downfall, and could literally mean death when she was accused of witchcraft.

I enjoy learning about new people and always find it intriguing to read about a person from different points-of-view. Alice was a minor character in a book I just finished reading about Katherine Swynford. In it, she was port
Jul 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great story of Alice Perrers, showing her to be a strong and determined medieval woman. She had a mind for business and was able to invest in property so that on the death of Edward III she was decidedly land-rich. However with the loss of her royal lover she was left vulnerable to the rest of the court and to Parliament. This novel really showed me just how difficult it was to have been a 'woman of means' at that time; women were ultimately dependant on men for their livelihood. Luckily Alice ...more
Apr 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Amanda by: Im a fan of the Author
This is the first historical I have read about King Edward III and Queen Phillipa of Hainault and its really good. Most of what I read is usually set in the Tudor age or during the Wars of the Roses. The King's Concubine was refreshing, and from the first page it immersed me in the medieval era. Alice at first was naive, but then as I followed her story, and her ups and downs at court, you realise how two faced life was then. One minute she was the favourite and a very powerful woman. The next b ...more
N. Sasson
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This has become one of my top ten historical reads of all time. Anne O'Brien has created a heroine who is wholly unique, unusually strong and an equal match for any man. Alice Perrers (who has not been treated kindly by history) is neither beautiful nor well born, but she dreams of a grander life than taking a nun's habit and eventually finds herself in the court of Edward III and Philippa. The author manages to make the reasons for her being there and becoming Edward's paramour very believable. ...more
Carol Palmer
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started this book with more than a little trepidation. Other books I've read from this time period both fiction and non-fiction did not paint a flattering picture of Alice Perrers. Anne O'Brien has painted a wonderful and engaging portrait of a woman who started with nothing and at one point was a very wealthy woman. She knew her royal patronage would not last forever and planned accordingly. I liked that she was shrewd and conniving but was also very loyal to Edward III. I also think that tel ...more
Miss Melly
I thoroughly enjoyed this account of Alice Perrers, notorious mistress of Edward III. I had always suspected that Alice got the rough end of history's stick and that she could not possibly have been as evil as she was portrayed to be. In this novel she emerges as a strong and compassionate woman who had a high regard for both Edward and Phillipa. Yes, she was an opportunist and yes, she took whatever gifts and baubles came her way - but what savvy woman wouldn't try to secure a future for hersel ...more
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a big fan of Phillippa Gregory and wanted to try other authors with similar plots. I was pleasantly surprised. This book wasn't dumbed down and it was a well-researched and fascinating book on a woman that isn't commonly written about. I enjoyed not being in the Tudor area and instead seeing how the royal family was before being decided into the Lancasters and Yorks.
Didn't hold my interest and gave up before half way.
Amy Clayton
May 10, 2017 rated it liked it
A pretty decent read, although it had its flaws. My copy stands at around 600 pages and there could have easily been 200+ cut from that with all the repetition (usually about her need for land) and angst. The repetition is a pain, it slows down the story each time, we get it, she needs property to feel secure, I don't need to be told 10 times. It is reminiscent of another historical fiction writer who uses a similar tactic *coughs* Philippa Gregory *coughs*. I read O'Brien's book on Katherine Sw ...more
Nov 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lot of folks getting their panties in a wad about Being compared to Phillipa Gregory, but I think that's very accurate here. Both write with a lot of leeway on the side of historical accuracy and if that's an bugbear for then stick to biographies.

I enjoyed this book; perhaps it could have been edited better; brought up the children (and their fates) more, added more detail regarding the trials but overall it was a nice toe dip into the life of someone who in all probability was painted 1000x mo
Becky Gault
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly, I liked this book. I randomly saw it at Half-Priced Books and the title caught my eye. Historical fiction has not always interested me, but I think a LOT of "notorious" women in history are treated unfairly, mainly because history during that time was written by men - religious, sanctimonious, hypocritical, medieval-minded men. As mistress to King Edward III, Alice Perrers had more influence and money than many lords and politician of that time, so of course they would hate her. Sh ...more
Kally Sheng
On the cover it boasts Anne O'Brien outdoes even Philippa Gregory by The Sun. I don't think that's quite a true statement. This is a good read; a very well written historical novel. O'Brien's writing is less 'dramatic' than Gregory, this is my first book by O'Brien, but that said, the story was very engaging, it kept me turning the pages!

The years are cruel. They rob us of our health and our friends and our hopes, and give nothing back. - Pg. 146

Jealousy is a terrible sine and a vicious companio
Julie White
May 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy this book, actually finished it months ago.
Shan Williams
Easy read
Lauren K
May 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
The King’s Concubine is the story of Alice Perrers the infamous mistress of King Edward III in the 1360’s. I didn’t know anything about this woman in history when I started to read this story, but I found her to be such a fascinating character.

Abandoned as an infant at a convent, Alice was destined to become a nun but she wasn’t too convinced of this. At age 15 she was sent off as a servant to Janyn Perrers and wedded to him in a sham of a marriage but at age 16 years was deemed a widow, homeles
Rating: 3.5 stars

The King’s Concubine is about King Edward III, Queen Philippa, and Alice Perrers, the king’s infamous mistress. The book follows Alice’s life from her time at Barking Abbey, her short, unconsummated marriage to Janyn Perrers, and her renewed time at the convent before Queen Philippa sees something in her and saves her from that life by making her one of her damsels. Alice sympathizes with the queen and becomes loyal to her, showing her various kindnesses because of her sense of
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 04, 2015 10:56AM  
Why do women always get the blame? 1 7 Mar 19, 2013 12:02PM  
Edition 1 5 Apr 28, 2012 05:45PM  
  • The King's Mistress
  • Within the Hollow Crown: A Reluctant King, a Desperate Nation, and the Most Misunderstood Reign in History
  • The Countess and the King: A Novel of the Countess of Dorchester and King James II
  • The September Queen
  • Pale Rose of England: A Novel of the Tudors
  • The Sister Queens
  • The Queen's Pleasure
  • The Queen of Last Hopes: The Story of Margaret of Anjou
  • The Sumerton Women (Tudor Court #3)
  • The Queen's Pawn
  • The Flower Reader
  • Queen of Bedlam (Georgian Queens #1)
  • Four Sisters, All Queens
  • At the Mercy of the Queen
  • Queen By Right
  • Harlot Queen
  • Lady of the English
  • The Queen's Vow: A Novel of Isabella of Castile
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

My home is in the Welsh Marches, although much of my early life was spent in Yorkshire, most recently in the East Riding.Ann 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 libr
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“It is important for a woman to have the duplicity to make good use of whatever gifts she might have, however valueless they might seem... You have to have the inner strength to pursue your goal, and not care how many enemies you make along the road. It is not easy.” 8 likes
“Silence settled around us. He was asleep again, and my heart was full of sorrow that he should mourn the loss of virility so keenly and above all else. We might no longer be lovers, but we were bound together by our past that stretched over well-nigh thirteen years. Even in sleep, his fingers held mine and I knew he was pleased.” 1 likes
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