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May 26, 2013


A Novel of Alice Perrers                                                 

by Anne O'Brien


‘There was ... in England a shameless woman and wanton harlot called Ales Peres, of base kindred ... being neither beautiful or fair, she knew how to cover these defects with her flattering tongue ...’

This is Alice Perrers, the King’s Concubine, a vicious royal mistress accused by her contemporaries of rapacious and self-serving greed, wheeling and dealing to achieve a fortune in land and jewels.  Of manipulating an aging monarch until her avaricious hands replaced his on the reins of power.  If even half of this was true, she was a remarkable woman.

So how did Alice achieve her pre-eminence?  How did she attract the attention of Queen Philippa to be appointed as one of her damsels, or take the eye of King Edward to become his mistress?  How did she come to the royal court at all if she was, as rumour had it, the illegitimate abandoned child of a common labourer and a tavern whore?

The spell-binding pages of The King’s Concubine invite you to enter the world of Edward III, one of England’s most powerful and charismatic monarchs.  Join Alice Perrers in her astonishing journey, from a child of obscure birth to the most powerful woman in the land.  Making bold choices in her life, finding enemies on all sides, risking infamy and banishment for her relationship with King Edward, Alice survived and flourished.  But when Edward died, his protection gone, her enemies began to sharpen their knives …

Who would stand up for Alice Perrers then?

Alice’s story in The King’s Concubine opens a window for us into a fourteenth century world of power and passion where a woman of ambition but low birth must fight to achieve her goal.  Alice’s battle makes for a gripping story, allowing us to see the woman behind the infamous facade.

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 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., but all along she is making enemies.  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 would give this book 10 Stars if I could but since I can't   5 STARS and that doesn't do it justice.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Manic Readers on behalf of the author,  Anne O'Brien, for this unbiased review.[field]=title

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