Brother turns on brother. The throne of England is at stake. The deadly Wars of the Roses have begun....
They ruled England before the Tudors, and now internationally best-selling author Philippa Gregory brings the Plantagenets to life through the dramatic and intimate stories of the secret players: the indomitable women.
Elizabeth Woodville, a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition, secretly marries the newly crowned boy king of England. While she rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for the success of her family, her two sons become the central figures in a famous unsolved mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the lost princes in the Tower of London.
Philippa Gregory brings the artistry and intellect of a master writer and storyteller to a new era in history and begins what is sure to be another best-selling classic series.
©2009 Philippa Gregory (P)2011 Simon & Schuster
"It would be hard to make history more entertaining, lively or engaging." (Sunday Express)
"Queen of the historical novel." (Mail on Sunday)
"Gregory brings to life the sights, smells and textures of 16th-century England." (Financial Times)
After seeing the Starz series I'd hoped the book would make Elizabeth seem more appealing, but it does just the opposite. She is the epitome of a greedy hypocrite once she had a taste of power.
A busy lady, just tryin' to fit her reading in where she can!
No, I had a really hard time finishing. I really enjoy medieval history and stories but not listening to this story. I should have just read the book.
The story was interesting, a bit long and hard to follow all the family tree, but still interesting.
Susan Lyons sounded like her nose was plugged up. I understand she was trying to keep the dialect of the area and time, but i found her very irriating and it made me not want to finish the story.
no, i heard the show based on these books are good, I would consider watching those versus reading any further books by Phillipa Gregory.
The lack of life in the story. It is more like reading a history rather than presenting a historical story.
It does not add color, warmth or feeling to the characters. It's like reading a diary filled with only facts not feelings.
I decided to get this book because I saw it on a list of recommendations for people who enjoyed George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series. I was very disappointed to discover a main character with zero personality, accompanied by a handful of other completely flat characters, in a story that sounds promising for the first couple of chapters but quickly becomes boring and repetitive. I couldn't get through the entire thing and I wish I could get my credit back. The narrator is good, but the book is a snoozefest.
If you're looking for something similar to ASOIAF, this is NOT it. If you just want to learn the history, there are probably less painful ways of doing that.
I've been doing a lot of nonfiction reading: English/Norman history, John Julius Norwich books on the popes, etc. This book combines very interesting aspects of history with great narrative.
my first of Susan Lyons' performances and i think she does a great job.
I've enjoyed her books in the past, but this one was just horrible. We listened to it on a recent road trip--it was like a bad Harlequin romance (an oxymoron, I know) from the start. We knew every stupid move the narrator was going to make before she did it. The abrupt ending was hours too late. There wasn't a thing I enjoyed about this book. If my spouse hadn't insisted that we listen to the entire thing, I would've quit after the first few chapters.
Read from May 20 to June 06, 2013
I could not bring myself to finish listening to this book---and that's the first time that has happened to me with one of Philippa Gregory's books.
Philippa Gregory didn't do her usual good job of making me care about the characters in this story. I figured it would be easier for me to grow to care for characters I didn't know anything about (unlike in the Boleyn books)---I had no preconceived ideas or feelings about them one way or another. However, there's no depth given to any of the characters in this story to make me care what happens to them beyond the basic historical knowledge I have of what did happen in reality. Perhaps the first-person narrator doesn't work as well in a book like this which tries to cover 20 or so years of history, especially given that most of that history is about the war in which the first-person narrator is not personally involved. But even when the scene does switch over to Edward and the battlefield, there's no emotion in it. It's all just dry prose telling what's happening and a strange emotional detachment from all of the characters.
Compared to the other books of Gregory's that I’ve read (also on audio, The Boleyn Inheritance---a favorite---and The Other Boleyn Girl), it seems like she sacrificed a lot in the way of character development for inclusion of historical events. And, for me, that didn't compel me to keep reading/listening.
However, I will say that I did enjoy the Starz miniseries based on this book (and the other books in this series) much, much more. I might eventually go back and try this one again.
"Stick with it!"
At first I found the style of this book irritating but then became hooked on it. It is more lyrical than your average historical novel. Initially I felt the repetition of details, of who people were etc was annoying - as though I couldn't remember for myself - but then got into the way of it and realised it was a style of writing - perhaps mimicking the oral narrative of the times. The intrigues and plotting become compelling as the story unfolds and your sympathies are tested as the main character fights for power when you feel she should really run. A great insight into the times. The mesmeric voice of the narrator becomes addictive. A very different experience!
This is not the best Philippa Gregory story but not the worst either. I'm a fan of historical novels & enjoyed listening to it, and I'm interested to learn more about the War of the Roses. The thing that spoilt the story for me was the narration. I found the reader's voice languid & expressionless - at times to the point of monotony. It may appeal to others so I would definitely suggest listening to the whole of the sample.
Both a good story and well narrated. My first Philippa Gregory book and I can't wait to get tucked into the next one.
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