Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

The White Queen (Cousins' War, #1)The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was ready for this one to be tedious, because it is set during a tedious era, in my opinion, the Wars of the Roses when the houses of York and Lancaster keep snatching the throne of England back and forth from each other. Gregory keeps true to the history, so yes, there is some tedium, but she picked a fantastic main character, Elizabeth Grey, who becomes Queen of England against the odds. At the time, people suspected her and her mother of witchcraft because she was an older woman, a widow, and had little to offer the King in terms of political advantage.

Philippa Gregory researched this woman's background and discovered that she may have considered herself an enchantress, thus giving fodder to the rumor mill. Elizabeth is a fascinating viewpoint character, a woman from another time and a mysterious, occult culture.

There are a lot of loose ends in this period of history, though. Key players go missing and it isn't known if they were killed, hidden away or if they fled. Gregory has done impressive research and put together some very plausible theories that kept me interested. But do be ready, as you read this, to watch England get torn apart by war over, and over, and over again.

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