The thrilling climax to the Anne trilogy: the world of Philippa Gregory's White Queen is seen from the point of view of her greatest rival.
As England tears itself apart in the War of the Roses, Anne de Bohun lives far from the intrigues of cities and courts.
Once King Edward IV's mistress, Anne has found safety with their son in far-away Flanders.
But now Edward himself is a hunted fugitive, and Anne's real father, King Henry VI rules again from Westminster.
Summoned by an enigmatic message from her lover, Anne is drawn once more to the passion, the excitement and the deadly danger that Edward brings into her life.
But now, the girl who was once a penniless servant has a child to protect and an inheritance to defend.
Can she let her love for Edward threaten everything she has? Or will she need his help to protect her from the powerful enemy who means to destroy her?
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 464 pages
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
- Publication Date: 07/09/2006
- Category: Historical fiction
- ISBN: 9780340836521
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Review by anniebucknall
'The Beloved' (also published as 'The Uncrowned Queen' in the US) is the third and strongest book in the Ann trilogy. It opens to an England in turmoil. Kind Edward has been usurped and is now in exile in Burgundy while the old Queen, Margaret of Anjou wreaks havoc and death upon his people. Lady Anne soon finds herself assisting the King with both his financial and well, sexual, needs. That's when things start to get delicious. The dethroned Queen Elizabeth gives birth to a son, a new love interest is introduced to Anne, King Louis of France makes a play for war with Burgundy and Anne is nearly killed...again.Plot wise, this novel was well crafted as it built the romantic tension in Anne and Edward's relationship successfully and the scenes with King Louis of France slated my political interest. In criticism, I found that it resorted to cheap tricks like paganism and psychic visions at times when the plot wasn't strong enough. Again, I found myself knowing with the protagonist, what would happen ahead of time. Although there is less of it than in 'The Exiled', I still found myself a little disappointed and shaking my head every time she mentioned the 'Sword Mother'.Characterisation was vastly improved in this novel with the factual secondary characters providing a colourful backdrop to set Ann against. I was absolutely in love with Leif and found myself really rooting for him. Ann too, finally made some mistakes in this book. She didn't seem so perfect and that was refreshing. Even if I didn't like the choices she made in the end of the book, I could still see how it happened.Although this book has a few flaws, the writing is really easy to read and quite beautiful. It's good but I think it could have been great. It wasn't a Philippa Gregory but it unfortunately wasn't a Sara Donati either. It just never really made the leap from history to fiction.Read these books if: You're not looking for a history lesson or strong characterisation. Probably a good place to start if you don't have a keen interest in history as Posie Graeme-Evans has a style that is very easy to read.Don't read these books if: You're a fan of Philippa Gregory. It will just kill you.