Passion. Danger. Witchcraft....
The Lady of the Rivers is number-one New York Times best-selling author Philippa Gregory’s remarkable story of Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford, a woman who navigated a treacherous path through the battle lines in the Wars of the Roses.
Descended from Melusina, the river goddess, Jacquetta always has had the gift of second sight. As a child visiting her uncle, she met his prisoner, Joan of Arc, and saw her own power reflected in the young woman accused of witchcraft. They share the mystery of the tarot card of the wheel of fortune before Joan is taken to a horrific death at the hands of the English rulers of France. Jacquetta understands the danger for a woman who dares to dream.
Jacquetta is married to the Duke of Bedford, English regent of France, and he introduces her to a mysterious world of learning and alchemy. Her only friend in the great household is the duke’s squire, Richard Woodville, who is at her side when the duke’s death leaves her a wealthy young widow. The two become lovers and marry in secret, returning to England to serve at the court of the young King Henry VI, where Jacquetta becomes a close and loyal friend to his new queen.
The Woodvilles soon achieve a place at the very heart of the Lancaster court, though Jacquetta can sense the growing threat from the people of England and the danger of royal rivals. Not even their courage and loyalty can keep the House of Lancaster on the throne. Henry the king slides into a mysterious sleep; Margaret the queen turns to untrustworthy favorites for help; and Richard, Duke of York, threatens to overturn the whole kingdom for his rival dynasty.
Jacquetta fights for her king, her queen, and for her daughter, Elizabeth, for whom Jacquetta can sense an extraordinary and unexpected future: a change of fortune, the throne of England, and the white rose of York.
A sweeping, powerful story rich in passion and legend and drawing on years of research, The Lady of the Rivers tells the story of the real-life mother of the white queen.
©2011 Philippa Gregory (P)2011 Simon and Schuster Audio
“Sexy… scandalous… smart.” (Redbook)
“Gregory is a consummate historical author.” (Historical Novels Review)
“Confident, colorful, convincing, and full of conflict, betrayal, and political maneuvering.” (Publishers Weekly)
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I enjoy this author, but I'm not a Gregory junkie. i buy her work based on simple things. This book intrigued me because I didn't know Lady Rivers (Duchess) story and I like the less known stories of people around the famous ones.
Plus, she tells a good tale and doesn't get bogged down in the history. After reading (listening) what I found fun to do was to read the reviews. So many people seem to rate this tale based on how the author treated the raters favorite women in history.
If you are a Margaret fan, you'll probably not enjoy this read. And the last quarter of the book dragged because of the repeatitiveness, i.e. off to battle, think loved ones will die, but surprisingly they don't.
But it was nice to see a loving couple do well. And Lady Rivers had 12 children! Oh my!
I think some may like it. It was tooooooo long! There was not enough happening to warrant the length. I love historical books and this time period, however this was grueling to get through.
The historical part, but even that was lacking. The characters were not that engaging. By the end I thought the two main characters were idiots. Why, because if someone you love turns into a monster serial killer you don't repeatedly back them and say it is my duty.
She was okay. I found her voice a little annoying and sleepy. She didn't do her men well or differentiate her characters enough.
Relief when it was over. In the last five minutes the end angered me, really?
I gave three stars for the story because of the effort.
This is a prequel to "The White Queen," (Elizabeth Woodville), and follows the story of her mother, Jaquetta, duchess of Bedford. Jaquetta's family is descended from Melusina, a water goddess, and the women in her family have inherited the ability to "scry," or foresee the future--a talent that Jaquetta possesses. This little bit of fantasy is woven into the historical story, and in fact, Jaquetta was accused of witchcraft by King Richard III, although he never pursued the charges and it happens after this story comes to a close. Gregory takes us through the court intrigue and politics of the time, which led to the War of Roses and eventually to the Tudor Dynasty, with consummate skill. Once of the things I love about Gregory's work is that she is an "herstorical" writer; she relates history from the point of view of the people who had the least power over their circumstances--women--and shows how women have turned the tide of history again and again. A very enjoyable read.
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