The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
The White Queen is the story of Elizabeth Woodville–a woman not of royal descent–who married the King of England in secret. She married Edward IV as a widow with two sons.
Elizabeth’s new husband, the king, must fight his whole life to keep the throne he fought to get. He leaves two male heirs in a court wrought with jealousy and malice.
This is the story of a woman who fights for the rights of her family. She fought so hard to achieve her position, and she will not give up now. In the War of the Roses, known to the players in it as the Cousins’ War, you can trust no one, and war is always imminent.
I loved this book. I could not put it down. I really liked The Lady of the Rivers (the third of the Cousins’ War series, but first chronologically), but The White Queen was even better! There was a lot of action and intrigue, keeping me completely engaged the whole time.
What intrigued me most was the mystery of the Princes in the Tower and Richard III. It didn’t disappoint. It did surprise, but did not disappoint. At first, the narration distracted me. It is written in the present tense, and that usually bothers me. However, as the story went along, I found I actually liked it. It made me feel as if I was a part of the action, and not having someone recount a story to me. I also appreciated how the more unseemly aspects of the story are not ignored, but are not focused on either. For example, it clear that Edward IV was a womanizer and slept with hundreds of women outside of his marriage. This is given the weight it is due, but there are no graphic sex scenes or anything like that. Tasteful, but honest.
This was my second Philippa Gregory novel, and I am eager for more! I recommend this to everyone!
Beth is the founder and editor of Fuelled by Fiction. She is a twenty-something east coast Canadian girl who loves writing about books and feminism.