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The Queen’s Rival

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The forgotten story of Cecily Neville, Duchess of York. A strong woman who claimed the throne for her family in a time of war…

‘A compelling story of divided loyalties and family betrayals. Dramatic and highly evocative’ Woman & Home

One family united by blood. Torn apart by war…

England, 1459: Cecily Neville, Duchess of York, is embroiled in a plot to topple the weak-minded King Henry VI from the throne. But when the Yorkists are defeated at the Battle of Ludford Bridge, Cecily’s family flee and abandon her to face a marauding Lancastrian army on her own.

Cecily can only watch as her lands are torn apart and divided up by the ruthless Queen Marguerite. From the towers of her prison in Tonbridge Castle, the Duchess begins to spin a web of deceit – one that will eventually lead to treason, to the fall of King Henry VI, and to her eldest son being crowned King Edward IV.

This is a story of heartbreak, ambition and treachery, of one woman’s quest to claim the throne during the violence and tragedy of the Wars of the Roses.

Shipping Starts: 3rd Week of April 2021

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The Queen’s Rival:


‘A compelling story of divided loyalties and family betrayals. Dramatic and highly evocative’ Woman & Home

‘O’Brien manages to reinvent historical fiction by thrusting an untold story into the spotlight’ My Weekly

‘Dramatic and highly evocative’ Woman’s Weekly

‘This thrilling historical novel has it all – high politics, drama, emotion, excellent writing … It’s a rollercoaster of a read’ Carol McGrath

‘Anne O’Brien leads us on a deftly woven journey through the endlessly fascinating life of Cecily Neville, Duchess of York. Impeccable research shines through in the depth of detail to pull the reader into the highs and lows of the House of York’s journeys around Fortune’s Wheel’ Matt Lewis

About the Author

Anne O’Brien was born in the West Riding of Yorkshire. After gaining a BA Honours degree in History at Manchester University and a Master’s in Education at Hull, she lived in the East Riding for many years as a teacher of history.

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.

Author can be found online at
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Additional information

Weight400 g
Dimensions24 × 18 × 5 cm
Binding Style



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