Power has a price, and Alice Perrers will pay it. 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. Her enemies want her banished.
One mistake and Alice will face a threat worse than any malicious whispers of the past.
She now lives with her husband in an eighteenth-century timber-framed cottage in depths of the Welsh Marches in Herefordshire on the borders between England and Wales. Rating details. Book ratings by Goodreads. Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem.
Return to Book Page. Ambitious and quick witted, she rose above her obscure beginnings to become the infamous mistress of Edward III. But always, essentially, she was alone 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 interest It is a divided role she was destined to play, and she vows to play it until the bitter end.
For when her detractors voice their hatred,and accusations of treason swirl around her,threatening to destroy everything she has achieved, who will stand by Alice then? Includes a readers guide Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published June 5th by New American Library first published More Details Original Title. London, England , Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The King's Concubine , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details.
More filters. Sort order. Jun 11, Carla Coulston rated it really liked it. 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. Anne Boylen of The Other Boylen girl is probably Gregory's most famous creation she puts the "Better than Philippa Gregory" says the bold statement on the cover.
LOL but I have always had a soft spot for her Beatrice, a lesser known, but beautifully shocking character from her Wildacre series. So does O'Brien, and her Alice Perrers, live up to the hype? It's a "yes". I'm not sure I'd go as far as to say this novel was BETTER than Gregory's work, as a sweeping whole, but it's most certainly on par with it and was thoroughly engrossing and enjoyable.
Alice Perrers takes a firm fourth place as one of my favourite LV's, with a chutzpa to rival any of her courtly contemporaries. The very fact these women have It's also what I would call a good "value" novel - long, and meaty with plenty of plot and some fascinating language and trivia of the times hinting at a polished historian behind the pen. Thoroughly recommend! View all 4 comments. 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 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.
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 Queen Philippa, a meeting that would change her life forever. Alice would be brought to the Queen, 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 Queen 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 achieved. The 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 O,Brien 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. May 26, Gayle Pace rated it it was amazing.
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.
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Very much in love with her husband, Edward, Queen Philippa picks Alice as a lady-in-waiting. The Queen 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 Queen's confidante and being the King's mistress.
She has herself , and only herself. She promises herself she will act this double role until the bitter end. Edward lavished her and she amassed wealth and influence for herself. Who is going to stand side by side with Alice when the walls come tumbling down on her? The 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 anything.? These are just a few of the questions 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 quit 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 characters. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Manic Readers on behalf of the author, Anne O'Brien, for this unbiased review. Sep 01, Natasa rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , plantagenets , alice-perrers , medieval-england , philippa-of-hainault.
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. Jul 04, Andrea Guy rated it really liked it Shelves: reads , netgalley , ebook , historical-fiction , royals.
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. 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 Stories about the mistresses of Kings have always intrigued me. Edward 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 Queen wanted her too, because her illness prevented her from enjoying the marriage bed any longer.
I'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 businesswomen.
This book does a lot to cast a more 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 it I 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. Apr 14, Sarah Mac rated it did not like it Shelves: challenge-leftovers , comatose-plotline , cover-me-violet , , reviewed , read-regifted , dnf-rubbish-flounce-goodbye , grammatical-yodeling , sheep-tsunami , never-again-author.
I lack the will to keep trying this bloated, draggy snoozer. Guess I'm feeling mean today. View 2 comments. Jun 09, Cristine rated it it was ok Shelves: acl-submissions. 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 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. 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 Queen 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 fiction. If you look at the book as a romance novel, you can enjoy it as a kind of "mind-candy. 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 themes. There are two flaws that make The King's Concubine less satisfying. First, the interview with the author and "Questions 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 questions.
Secondly, Alice needs an editor. There were pages of material in a 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. View 1 comment. Aug 01, Gabrielle Harbowy rated it liked it. 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 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 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 evocative. However, 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. It would have gone a long way toward making me sympathetic to the character. Shelves: audiobook , fiction , england , plantagenet , historical-fiction , s.
I must admit, this was a very enjoyable read. I expected not to like to like it. Who would have ever thought I could feel sympathy for let alone like Alice Perrers? Not me certainly but Anne O'Brien did the unthinkable and made a believer out of me. I enjoyed the spin on her character immensely. I also enjoyed William Windsor's character very much. He was a likable gent. I didn't find many dull moments throughout this read.
Although I knew what was going to happen with some historical events, I I must admit, this was a very enjoyable read. Although I knew what was going to happen with some historical events, I was still on the edge of my seat during those moments. Obviously as this is historical fiction so there are some historical inaccuracies as we know it.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed the spin. Narration was goodat times I found it hard to distinguish the characters so 4 stars. I would recommend this book. She not only gives her a voice, but emotional depth, purpose and places her within the context of both the judgemental court and period. The result is, frankly, stunning.
Concubine Definition and Meaning - Bible Dictionary
Not much is known about Alice Perrers, a woman whose humble origins remain shrouded in mystery and yet who nevertheless rose to become one of the most powerful and influential women in the court of King Edward III. History tells us that even though the king adored his wife, he took Alice as his mistress. Warner seeks to explain the rationale for this in an original and believable fashion. Not always likeable, the reader nonetheless grows to understand this pragmatic, strong woman and you cannot help but admire even her poor choices as Alice herself is the first to chide herself for bad decisions and seeks to own them and set them to rights.
Altogether, this was a fabulous book that allowed a defamed woman, denied her voice and rights in history, a chance to shine — not always in a positive light, but with understanding, compassion, toughness and an awareness of the limitations the times she lived in created. It also points to the fact that though women of the era were largely marginalised and oppressed, there were still those who challenged, overturned and even worked within the patriarchal structures and were thus able to advance, survive and even thrive.
The way in which Alice colluded with Queen Philippa in order to begin a sexual relationship with the King, is described in a compassionate and romantic manner. The story quickly evolves into a sympathetic and warm account of an aging king and his love affair, not just with his astute young mistress, but also with his wife, and courtiers.
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The medieval court is beautifully described and is perfectly placed within the context of the story. I do not really know what happened, it could have been growing all week. I was all come on, 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 do not really know what happened, it could have been growing all week. I am also not a fan of the this is me, the narrator, I am old now and telling my story. I want to live in the moment. I do not want the narrator as a old woman there with me at the same time looking back.
The book deserved more, I could just not deliver this time. May 21, Gretchen rated it it was ok Shelves: early-plantagenets.