The second daughter of the man called the Kingmaker battles court intrigue, betrayal and magic to become the queen of England. Anne Neville is the oft ignored younger daughter of the Earl of Warwick who grows from a pawn to a dynamic player in the battle for the throne during the War of Roses. Anne's father is a powerful man who has brought King Edward IV of the House of York to his throne, but because he has no sons of his own he must marry off his daughters Isabel and Anne to achieve more power. His plan to marry his daughters to King Edward's younger brothers goes awry when King Edward falls in love and secretly marries the beguiling Elizabeth Woodville, who is little more than a commoner and is said to be a witch. Frustrated that the King now only listens to his bride, Warwick changes sides, pledging his youngest daughter to his once enemy in the House of Lancaster, Margaret of Anjou and her son, the contested Prince Edward.
Anne and her sister are put at risk in the midst of battle, nearly drowning at sea under the weight of their father's ambition. Anne is married against her will into the family she once feared to the cold, cruel Lancaster Prince Edward who wants nothing to do with her. Once a joyous child, Anne learns to be suspicious and calculating from her mother-in-law the notoriously vicious former queen, Margaret of Anjou. However the Lancaster claim is destroyed when Anne's father and husband are both killed in battle.
Once again a pawn, Anne becomes imprisoned by her sister and the victorious King Edward's younger brother, the ever-scheming George. With their mother in sanctuary and declared dead, Isabel and George hatch a scheme to keep Anne and to gain her half of the inheritance. Anne is desperate for rescue and she finds it in the King's youngest brother, Richard. Her girlhood crush for him turns to love when he helps her escape her sister's grasp. Though Anne is unsure if Richard truly loves her or if he too is after her inheritance, she decides to trust him and make her own destiny by accepting his offer of marriage. The two share a honeymoon romance and Anne give birth to one sickly son.
Meanwhile George and Isabel begin to plot against the power of Queen Elizabeth and they accuse her of witchcraft. Anne must choose between believing her sister's fears and being loyal to her husband and to her King. However when Isabel and her newborn baby die, seemingly of poison, Anne begins to fear the witch's power and for the safety of her own child. After his wife's death George becomes even more suspicious and outwardly defies his brother King Edward. The King and Queen have George executed for treason and Anne and Richard believe this is proof that the Queen wishes to isolate her King from his family.
When King Edward dies of a fever, his last act is to declare his brother Richard in charge of the realm until his young sons become old enough to rule. Queen Elizabeth and her family try to rule in his place and Richard in a bid for power kidnaps the young princes and locks them away.
Anne wishes the princes dead so that her husband can come fully to the throne. When the princes do in fact disappear, Anne fears that her wish has come true and that Elizabeth will put a witch's curse on her in turn. Richard becomes king and Anne finally realizes her father's ambition for her to become Queen of England but the cost is too great. Anne's only son dies of a sudden fever and she is devastated. Heartbroken, she no longer cares about intrigue or plots and she does nothing when it appears that her husband is falling in love with his niece, Elizabeth named after her mother the former queen. Anne dies, unsure if it is of poisoning or of grief, but relieved that she may finally rest.
Best part of story, including ending:
The story is full of suspense and dangerous plot twists--you never know which character to trust
Best scene in story:
During a journey at sea Anne is left all alone to deliver her sister Isabel's baby in the middle of a deadly storm.
Opinion about the main character:
As Anne grows she goes from being powerless to being just as cunning as the most fearsome women at court.