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)
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons
No line in any Phillipa Gregory novel rang more true to the very idea of what any of her books have been about than this one: "Your ambition will be your curse..." This was a line that comes later in the book and is uttered by one Elizabeth of York. I must say I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I do believe that any fan of Phillipa Gregory would enjoy it.
This book did take a number of liberties in the storyline if you ask me with the inclusion of a fair amount of mysticism and superstition. In fact at the end of the book Phillipa Gregory warns us herself that due to the very time in which the novel took place and the scarcity of some facts she did assume quite a bit where some things were concerned. With all that being said though and with me being a bit of a fan of fantasy literature as well, the addition was welcomed. It also was done in such a good way that even though it is noticeable it is not an overpowering aspect in the story.
Typical fans of Phillipa Gregory can expect the same combination of treachery, back dealing, plotting, romanticism, historical facts and above all else excellent writing. The best thing and the most appreciative thing about Phillipa Gregory works is the strong writing which makes the novel flow. You follow Elizabeth Woodville's rise to power, subsequent fall from grace and her constant plotting throughout the book. The book is set in a time where everyone and their uncle with a speck of royal blood (literally) are plotting a way to ascend the throne of England. The battle between the Yorkist brothers and also the introduction of the Tudors comes apparent in this book as well.
Excellent book and it leaves you wanting to continue to the next one. If you are into no so historical, tipped with some but not overbearing romance, a little bit of mysticism topped off with really awesome narrative and writing in general.... you'll love this book.
Apologies in advance for spelling errors in this review. Ms. Gregory dips her toes into the Plantagenant waters as she explores the Wars of the Roses through the eyes of Elizabeth Woodville, wife of the York King Edward of England. This book is an easy listen with the narrator's voice drawing one into the story and making the listener like Queen Elizabeth as a person and view her as a mother to her many children. Elizabeth is probably best known as the mother to the two princes who were killed in the Tower by their uncle, Richard, Duke of York, King of England, who would (eventually) lose his throne to Henry Tudor. But as is the case with most of Ms. Gregory's stories, this novel is told through the day-to-day happenings of the women in the story.
I found myself unable to turn off my iPod while listening to this book. The story was well-written, the action of the story (which takes place through Elizabeth's eyes) was well-researched and the characters were likable. It's a good "summer read" or, in my case, nice to snuggle up and listen to while knitting. The novel is not complex, but it was well worth listening to.
The history and characters were interesting.
The pacing could be better and the characters more rounded.
I don't think I would have finished the paper edition because of the pacing.
Maybe but I would rather see a documentary.
I listened to The White Queen to fill a void in my understanding of the War of the Roses and because the audio version was on sale for $5 at Audible. To that end, the novel did a decent job although I still would like to find a good history of the era. While Philippa Gregory did a better job of rounding out characters than I remember she did in The Other Boleyn Girl, the novel is very much one-sided. I don't recall any racy scenes which for some is an improvement but may disappoint others. The story mostly held my interest but after about the first third or half, I checked out the historical time line because the action was dragging. The ending was not all that satisfactory because it felt too abrupt. I am not a historian so I am on the fence regarding Elizabeth Woodville being too modern.The circumstances she faced may well have made her appear ahistorical because she needed to be. There is a scene involving a solar eclipse to which she added the detail of the horses lumbering up and down because they could not figure out if it was night or day. Most horses sleep standing up, so that just seemed wrong. I have not made up my mind about reading the other books in The Cousins War Series. I can say I am better disposed of her writing than after reading The Other Boleyn Girl. The narrator did fine job.
I offer a qualified recommendation for people with an interest in the War of the Roses and historical women. Not a bad book but I am more interested in reading an actual history or something by Sharon Kay Penman. In the meantime, I have started Daughter of Time again and purchased Thomas Penn's The Winter King.
(Note - I wish I had a pointer to the review but one other reason I listened to this book was because I read a review by someone working on a masters or PhD who didn't appear all offend about historical gaffs).
The story was great as was the narration. It had me looking up names and characters.
Yes but i would warn them that there are times that the naration goes on and on and on. Not adding anytihng to the story
She is always excellent
The young princes. to find out what really happened in the tower.
I picked this book on a lark, as I am interested in historical fction and the performance was highly rated. I was not disappointed. Susan Lyon's deft narration was perfectly suited. Anyone other may not have been able to pull off the emotional range and nuances, as well as mystical Mellusina interwoven throughout the story. I notice several of the reviews are critical of Gregory's treatment of history and incorporation of mysticism, which I believe is nonsense. This is work of historical fiction, not any attempt to illuminate or expound on the War of the Roses. Naturally one knows how the story plays out ... in this regard it is Gregory's abililty to give life to the main characters relative to what is known, and present plausible storylines around what is not known, which makes for an interesting, engaging story.
Of course. The performance and story.
The wonderfull blending of historical facts and an informed story line to fill in the balance.
Everything. She made me feel as though I was standing next to the characters as the story unfolded.
Queen Elizabeth Woodville. For her beauty and bravery.
Melusina. Just because.
I have read three others of Ms. Philippa Gregory and all are excellent.
Oh, I have just purchased two others.
Phillippa Gregory did extensive research for her biography of the White Queen, Elizabeth Woodville, a commoner who married a king. She was the granddaughter of the mythical water goddess Mellucinna, and daughter of Jacquetta, lady in waiting to the great Margaret Beaufort. This was a wonderful book, an extensive telling of an obscure but pivotal chapter in English history.
I am easily amused!
This is a beautiful book to listen to. The narration was even better than the story. A history buff will adore this series, I liked it. I love the perspective of powerful women shaping history behind the scenes. This one in particular has a special "unnatural ability" that was a unique twist.
This book kept me on the edge of my seat. I could not put it down.... I work out when I listen to my audio books, I did not find my mind wandering at all..
Elizabeth, she was a strong character... Even though I wondered about her vision for her future..
When she met her husband..
I would not...
Beginning of the book starts out very intriguing.....middle gets a little redundant but end leaves you wanting more...
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