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Publisher's Summary

One marriage. Three people. Proud king. Loving wife. Infamous mistress.

1362. Philippa of Hainault selects a young orphan from a convent. Alice Perrers, a girl born with nothing but ambition. The Queen has a role waiting for her at court. 'I have lifted you from nothing Alice. Now you repay me.' Led down the corridors of the royal palace, the young virgin is secretly delivered to King Edward III - to perform the wifely duties of which ailing Philippa is no longer capable. 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.

©2012 Anne O'Brien (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Anne O'Brien has joined the exclusive club of excellent historical novelists." (Sunday Express)
"One of the best writers around...she outdoes even Philippa Gregory." (The Sun)
"Her writing is highly evocative of the time period...O'Brien has produced an epic tale." (Historical Novel Society)
"Anne O'Brien's novels give a voice to the 'silent' women of history." (Yorkshire Post)
"Once again O'Brien proves herself a medieval history magician, conjuring up a sizzling, sweeping story." (Lancashire Evening Post)
"An exciting and intriguing story of love and historical politics. If you enjoy Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir you will love Anne O'Brien." (We Love This Book)
"A brilliantly researched and well-told story; you won't be able to put this book down." (Candis)
"A fast-paced historical drama that is full of suspense." (Essentials)

What listeners say about The King's Concubine

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Profile Image for Miguel Rojales
  • Miguel Rojales
  • 03-01-20

History set in marshmallow

Too sugary and anodyne for me. And too many hints of what would happen later in the story, thus depriving the narrative of surprise .

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Sharon Braithwaite
  • Sharon Braithwaite
  • 02-28-20

Good story, several hours too long.

Although the story itself has merit, The central character lacks the ability to decide on anything quickly. Consequently many hours are given over to her thought processes and then she often acts contrary to her conclusions.
I found I had to finish the book to see if she could possibly survive in her world , but it was a dreary listen.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for suds
  • suds
  • 11-11-20

Anne O'Brien

love this book as well as all of Anne O'Brien books the narrator is very clever with her accents for different characters

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Profile Image for Heather Law
  • Heather Law
  • 06-25-20

Fantastic

Sophie Aldred gives a magnificent performance, you'd almost think there was a full cast sometimes, her voices are so vivid!

Anne O'brien succeeds in making a rather unsympathetic protagonist still capture the reader's imagination, and by the end you're willing her on, even though her self sabotage.

I'll admit to a few tears here and there too.

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Profile Image for Jennifer McCarrick
  • Jennifer McCarrick
  • 06-21-20

Good subject, but needed a good editor

Interesting story, but it was far longer than it needed to be, and quite repetitive in places.

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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for milly d
  • milly d
  • 07-14-19

Beautiful 😍 wished I listened with my robes and wine 🍷

Beautiful. audio hopes I enjoyed this I more than enjoyed beautifully read I was there i in the hallss scorning mistress peeres , cursing her enermies willing her and championing for her fourtnues I will be reading her books again and hoping I get this reader

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Profile Image for Di D
  • Di D
  • 05-15-19

Interesting

To hear a story from the point of view of the kings mistress was refreshing but I felt the book was over long and it didn’t hold my interest all the way through. It is set in such a wonderful and colourful period of history and the various figures were portrayed very well.

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Profile Image for S A Eden-Ellis
  • S A Eden-Ellis
  • 03-27-19

Thoroughly enjoyable


A brilliant story telling a rarely heard take - and well read by the narrator.

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Profile Image for jules
  • jules
  • 04-13-18

Fantastic read

Would you consider the audio edition of The King's Concubine to be better than the print version?

The reader was brilliant...her voice really added to the story and the characters came alive.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The King's Concubine?

I loved the way the reader portrayed Alice’s voice. She made their seem so young and vulnerable, yet at the same time you knew that this girl could take control.

Which character – as performed by Sophie Aldred – was your favourite?

Alice,

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, I read it on a beach in the Maldives while sun bathing over a week.

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Profile Image for T P Stephenson
  • T P Stephenson
  • 08-26-17

A great and compelling listen

If you could sum up The King's Concubine in three words, what would they be?

An engaging tale based in the facts of history

What does Sophie Aldred bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

a sympathetic and consistent character represntation by voice

Any additional comments?

Highly entertaining and it enticed me to look up historical facts that came up along the way