The King’s Mother

Four mothers fight for their sons as the Wars of the Roses rage

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Pub Date Jul 11 2024 | Archive Date Jul 11 2024

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'Elegant and propulsive . . . I had to fight myself to put it down' A.K. Blakemore
'History at its most powerful: intimate and personal, visceral and devastating' Jennifer Saint
'Family dynamics at their most fierce - timeless and brilliant!' Kate Sawyer


Through blood and battle Edward has gained England’s throne – king by right and conquest – eighteen years old and unstoppable. Cecily has piloted his rise to power and stands at his shoulder now, first to claim the title King’s Mother.

But to win a throne is not to keep it and war is come again. As brother betrays brother, and trusted cousins turn treacherous, other mothers rise up to fight for other sons. Cecily must focus her will to defeat every challenge. Wherever they come from. Whatever the cost.

For there can be only one King, and only one King’s Mother.

From the Wars of the Roses to the dawn of the Tudor age, this is a story of mothers and sons; of maternal ferocity and female ambition - of all they can build and all they can destroy.



'Has the new Hilary Mantel arrived?' Sunday Telegraph
'A startling heroine' Sarah Moss
'Wolf Hall for the 2020s' Manda Scott
'A vividly female perspective on the Wars of the Roses' Imogen Hermes Gowar
'Absorbing' The Times


'Elegant and propulsive . . . I had to fight myself to put it down' A.K. Blakemore
'History at its most powerful: intimate and personal, visceral and...

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ISBN 9780241631270
PRICE £16.99 (GBP)

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Featured Reviews

Cecily was one of my favourite books of 2021, and when I heard this book was coming out I was over the moon. I am so thankful the publisher gave me an arc of this book. As I expected, it was fantastic from start to finish.

The King's Mother picks up right where the first book ended, with Edward on the throne of England, and Cecily by his side as the King's mother. Cunning, hard and strategic, Cecily was as compelling as she was in the first book. Once again, her personality was one of my favourite things of the book. She wasn't always likeable, on the contrary, but I always cheered for her, and admired her strenght of character.

After Cecily herself, the many different relationships she had with other characters were definitely my favourite aspect of the book. First of all, her relationships with her three sons. Obviously, her bond to Edward was one of the main theme of the book, but her relationships with George and Richard were equally well drawn, complex and emotional. Richard was one of my favourite characters in the book, I felt so much for him. Annie Garthwaite practically turned me into a Ricardian. The ending was especially emotional for me.

Cecily's unexpected friendship with Margaret Beaufort was also one of the highlights of the story for me. Margaret was a beautifully drawn, complex character, and I loved the similarities between the two women. I was genuinely saddened by the knowledge of where the story would go.

Another great character was Anne Neville, who, despite being a secondary character, was a perfect match for Richard and had a strategic, practical mind similar to Cecily, which I greatly appreciated. This book was definitely filled with fantastic female characters.

All in all, this sequel to Cecily was everything I was hoping for and more. I can't recommend this series enough, and I can't wait to read more by Annie Garthwaite.

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I absolutely LOVED this book! This is better than Cecily and probably the best book about the Wars of the Roses I've read in 20 years.
Cecily is the She-Wolf of England, she is the master diplomat, survivor, mother and wife. She rules the family from within, the spider in the centre of all the intrigue weaving the web to ultimately keep her family safe. Motherhood and its roles and feelings are done behind closed doors, her private side.
It's a fantastic read and I'll be recommending it to everyone!

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So grateful to have been given the chance to read an arc of this. I absolutely loved Cecily and I didn't even realise there was a sequel coming until I saw this on Netgalley.
The book picks up not far from where Cecily ended, and covers the reminder of Cecily Plantagenet (Nee Neville)'s life and shares her side of what happened once her son Edward IV became king through to her son Richard III's death and the start of the Tudor era.
As with Cecily, this book does not disappoint. I did take longer than usual to read this, but this wasn't due to me not liking it.
Hopefully Annie Garthwaite does anymore historical fiction books like this.

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As a fan of Annie Garthwaite's previous work, "Cecily," I eagerly delved into her latest novel, "The King's Mother." And once again, she didn't disappoint. In fact, she exceeded my expectations, delivering a captivating and moving tale that offers a fabulous female perspective on the tumultuous era of the Wars of the Roses.

From the first page, I was drawn into the world of Cecily and her sons. Garthwaite's portrayal of Cecily is fabulous, presenting her as a woman of ambition, loyalty, and indomitable resilience.

What truly sets "The King's Mother" apart is its exploration of the female experience during a time dominated by men and political intrigue. Garthwaite brings to light the challenges faced by women like Cecily, and Margaret Beaufort, who navigated the treacherous waters of power and ambition with determination. It's a perspective that is both enlightening and empowering, offering readers a fresh understanding of the roles women played in shaping history.

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Possibly the best historical novel I have yet to read! I felt the author was Cecily Neville! I was living her hard fifteenth century life - I was there in the room with her remonstrating with her philandering son ,the King, I felt her every emotion, her frustrations, her anger, her horror of what she was about to do when son was pitied against son! Her deep love for her ‘Son in Splendour’ and the regret she felt for her son whose loyalty bound him to his brother, the King! How could she have given birth to a son such as George! And her nemesis Margaret, their lives running parallel! Oh this book left me breathless, tearful and so very involved! Her conclusion was so plausible though left me emotionally drained! My admiration for this author is boundless - I sincerely hope her next book will be out very soon!

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I have read the first book in this series and enjoyed it. The characters are familiar and I feel that the details are well researched and written with detailed knowledge of the period. I took a while to get into the story, in spite of having read the previous book. When I was into the story I enjoyed it thoroughly. It is great to read about a strong woman having power and influence in the 15th century! I am not sure if Cecily Neville was a good person but she’s certainly seems to have been a strong one!

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The cousin's war is my favorite period of history. This historical novel, told from the perspective of Cecily Neville, strong mother of two kings, helps to make things clearer in what is a very complicated story of betrayals, battles and executions. The characterization is believable; I particularly liked the portrayal of Elizabeth as an emotional wreck, and Richard III as loyal and thoughtful. The author has interesting theories regarding the deaths of Henry VI, George, Duke of Clarence and Edward V and his brother, Richard, A really entertaining and educational read.

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I really enjoyed reading this. It was exactly what I needed it to be. Characterisation was great, pacing was good. There were some beautiful sentences too.

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Having read "Cecily", and raved about it to everyone I know, I was very keen to read this second book about Cecily Neville, now that her son Edward I is king. A fantastic read, and a wonderful dive into the life of this powerful matriarch of the House of York. Annie Garthwaite is a worthy successor to Philippa Gregory in terms of shining a light on strong women from history. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in return for an honest review of the book.

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This is a book I could have done with when doing History at school. It really brought everything to life, giving me a different perspective of King Richard III, who normally comes across as a bitter, twisted person. The times were really hard, death common place, and intrigue and secrets running rife. It really did feel like some of the people were chess players, playing a long game, scheming to get what they wanted, whatever way they could. Even though you knew what was going to happen to many of the individuals, with them having real lives and deaths, it was fascinating to read. I also didn’t realise there was a different view on what happened to the Princes in the Tower. For anyone even vaguely interested in History, or is just looking for a really good read.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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