Saturday, August 3, 2013

#Review: THE WHITE QUEEN by Philippa Gregory

  4 of 5 stars

This is the story of Elizabeth Woodville who beguiles a young man Edward of York and marries him in secret before he goes off to war. Edward eventually defeats his enemies and becomes King Edward IV. Now queen, Elizabeth with the help of her mother, wastes no time in matching her siblings and relatives in powerful and strategic marriages that strengthen the York family. Edward's reign was never peaceful and he must defend his crown on numerous occasions, often referred as The War of the Roses. While Edward is on the battlefield, Elizabeth is waging her own war against their enemies.

This book is told from Elizabeth's viewpoint and she doesn't always come across as a benevolent queen. Her main focus seems to be mostly about power and gaining more wealth. I understand that in the 1400s, wealth and power solidified their hold on the crown, but she used her children as pawns to achieve that end and it makes her an unlikeable character. That did not dampen my enjoyment of the book though. And, of course, there was the mystery of what happened to her sons "the princes in the tower." Ms. Gregory puts forth her own explanation for that and it's certainly plausible, but that mystery has never been solved. I enjoyed the history she wove into the story although it can get confusing keeping everyone straight because so many of the characters had the same names. I love historical stories so I'll be reading the next volume in this series, The Red Queen.

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