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The Lady of the Rivers | [Philippa Gregory]

The Lady of the Rivers

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. 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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

“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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (790 )
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  •  
    Bonnie-Ann Norristown, PA, United States 11-26-11
    Bonnie-Ann Norristown, PA, United States 11-26-11 Member Since 2008

    bakesq

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Philippa back on track"

    I was reluctant to download this book and devote time to it. Ms. Gregory's last book, The Red Queen, was weak both in story and in substance. I felt vested in the author's continuing telling of the War of the Roses characters and I knew I had some listening time so I committed the credit.

    SO glad that I did ! The story of Jacquetta, Dowager Duchess of Bedford and mother to Elizabeth Wydville of "The White Queen," is fascinating in the extreme. This is, naturally, a novelization of her life, but Ms. Gregory fills in period details, politics and sociology in a beautiful blending of fact and fiction. The society's fixation on the unexplained as "witchcraft" is a theme of the novel which travels from Joan of Arc to the rise of King Edward IV (The Duke of York). It is a prequel to The Red and White Queen stories and both characters from the prior novels are re-introduced as children.

    The narrator was outstanding. Her voice was extremely fluid and melodic. As I listened, I felt soothed while still being wholly entrapped in the story. It was like not being able to put a book down; I quite literally had my earbuds in my ears around the clock. Since I usually knit while listening, I got a LOT of work on my Christmas projects done. My sole criticism of the book is that, as with the Red Queen, there are a few too many repetitive passages -- I understood almost immediately that Jacquetta knew she shouldn't be telling fortunes with tarot cards; Ms. Gregory did NOT need to repeat the same passage of writing fifteen or twenty times.

    All in all, a great read of a very good story. Good choice for fans of Philippa and also for those who want to learn about pre-Tudor English history without reading Allison Weir's non-fiction epics (which I also read).

    19 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    leah San Pablo, CA, United States 10-22-11
    leah San Pablo, CA, United States 10-22-11 Member Since 2008
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    "couldn't stop listening.."

    jacquetta is a very strong and likable leading character....the story was full of details without being too wordy....great story...and i love bianca amato's voice so it was a perfect match...i really enjoyed the book....

    16 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    pterion 01-08-12
    pterion 01-08-12
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    "Absorbing tale of a fascinating life"

    I'm not a historian, so I can't vouch for it's accuracy, but I truly enjoyed this story of Jacquetta, princess of Luxembourg, Duchess of Bedford, and Lady Rivers. I'm far more familiar with the history of the Tudors and this novel acquainted me with their predecessors and the run-up to the War of the Roses between the Yorks and the Lancasters. I'm eager to use my next credit on Philippa Gregory's "The White Queen", the story of Jacquetta's daughter, Elizabeth Woodville, grandmother to Henry the VIII.
    Bianca Amato does a fine job as the voice of Jacquetta.
    I'm a fan of Philippa Gregory's works of historical fiction and I believe this novel is one of her best.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Willaims NC 12-05-11
    E. Willaims NC 12-05-11 Member Since 2009

    EW

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    "The End is the Beginning"
    What did you love best about The Lady of the Rivers?

    No, I'm not speaking of Mary Queen of Scot's motto. I am speaking of the setting of Jacquetta of Luxembourg's story. This story begins with the end of Joan d'Arc' crusade and ends with her daughter Elizabeth's meeting of King Edward IV. The bulk of the book chronicles her close relationship with Margaret of Anjou, wife of Henry VI. She is her chief lady in waiting, adviser and confidante; like a wise elder sister; witnessing Margaret's act's of folly concerning the Duke of Somerset and unwise policies, as well as her frustration with Henry's bouts with insanity. Jacquetta has her own close calls, being blessed with 'the sight' and times being what they were was almost condemned as a witch. That, along with marrying her late husband's squire and having a dozen or so children with him and not only witnessing but participating in the beginning of the Wars of the Roses make for a mildly interesting story. I find her a little more interesting than her daughter, Elizabeth Woodville and much more so than Margaret Beaufort.

    As far as the audio, it is done well. Anyone who regular listens to Gregory's works knows that she usually uses Bianca Amato, who does well with them. Though, considering Jacquetta's French roots, Dagmara Dominczyk is another good choice.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Most interesting was Jacquetta's gift and her references to Melusine. Least interesting to me was Joan of Arc's part, which almost turned me off and was boring. I understand her significance in history, and at least she didn't dwell upon her like Margaret did in The Red Queen.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scene where Jacquetta put Edward in his place with her comments on how his mother was treated with dignity, and maintained hers while he and his partisans insulted her, her husband, and her son.


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

    No. Too long, and I like to have something to look forward to when I come home from work or have some time at lunch.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dp 12-18-11
    dp 12-18-11 Member Since 2004
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    "Read this book first"
    Any additional comments?

    Read this before The White Queen or The Red Queen. Makes a great series.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alanna Elora, Ontario, Canada 04-29-12
    Alanna Elora, Ontario, Canada 04-29-12 Member Since 2011

    @banana29 Teacher-librarian, striving for perfection but my artist keeps getting in the way.

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    "Pippa does it again"

    I've read almost everything by Philippa Gregory. In The Lady of the Rivers, she takes another historical character, Jacquetta, and sweeps over the major themes in her life as we travel with her from virgin to crone. Jacquetta dabbles in alchemy, herbalism, and because of this book, I will plant my garden differently this year.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather PALM BAY, FL, United States 01-31-12
    Heather PALM BAY, FL, United States 01-31-12 Member Since 2011

    Audio Books make people better drivers! I’m never in a hurry to get where I need to go because I would rather be in Tudor England, listening to a good historical fictional novel. Or I could be somewhere far away with dragons and magic, listening to fantasy. When that is too much drama, I love keeping up with fashion and girl talk with one of my favorite “chick lit” novels.

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    "One of my favorites from Philippa Gregory!"
    What did you like about this audiobook?

    I loved how it fit perfectly with The White Queen. The story of Melusina is so enchanting, and the constant conflicts Jacquetta faces keeps you intrigued.


    How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Valerie HEATH, OH, United States 10-10-14
    Valerie HEATH, OH, United States 10-10-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Brilliant"

    This was really exciting and I gobbled it up in 2 days! One of my all time favorite audibles.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-31-14

    casey

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    "A Captivating Series"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Have you ever seen the movie "Vantage Point"? To me, this series is the story of the Yorks told in that way. This story tells much about the White Queen's mother giving greater understanding of the period.


    What does Bianca Amato bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I really enjoy listening to her voice and it is perfect for the story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LCNanny 04-28-14
    LCNanny 04-28-14
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    "Wonderful Surprise"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Lady of the Rivers to be better than the print version?

    Yes, Having not read or listened to the first 2 books, I had no expectation and was engaged for the whole story. beautifully written and the audio is Perfect.


    What did you like best about this story?

    History . Historical books don't often hold my attention, and I tend to drift at points. Not so with this book. Highly recommend it


    What does Bianca Amato bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Made it come alive and her voice gave clarity to emotion and events.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I loved to whole story..which is saying a lot for me, and each part told it's own layered story, and the voice gave these complicated layers life


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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