Friday, September 18, 2009

Review: The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

Recommended for: fans of historical fiction

Teaser quote:
I feel worse than I have ever done before, because now I know that it is easier to take a country into war then to bring it to live at peace. A country at war is a bitter place to live, a risky place to have daughters, and a dangerous place to hope for a son. (pg 99, ISBN 978-1-4165-6368-6)

My rating: 4/5

My thoughts:
The first book in a new series on The War of the Roses, The White Queen is told from the point of view of Elizabeth Woodville. A young widow and supporter of the House of Lancaster, Elizabeth, stands by the roadside waiting for Edward of York, King of England to pass. She is determined to get her land back for her boys and plans on using her beauty to her advantage. Little did she know that she would want more from him than that, the man she herself describes as "a usurper and a tyrant, my enemy". (pg 4)

King Edward & Elizabeth marry in a secret ceremony to the surprise of the court. But there is no 'happily ever after' or 'knight in shining armour saves the day' here. Throughout her reign as Queen, there is a constant battle for the throne. With the sudden death of the King, protection of the heirs is key & Elizabeth's sons are taken away from her. Without spoiling the ending, I enjoyed Philippa Gregory's take on what happens to the boys.

Although it was fact that Elizabeth's mom was executed for being a witch, I'm not sure if the addition of Melusina's story was necessary. Melusina is a goddess of water and throughout the book there are events in which her mystic powers are used by both Elizabeth and her mother. I found this more of a distraction in the book.

The book is full of contrasts, love/hate, friend/foe, war/peace, loyalty/betrayal, life/death. It really was a time of every man for himself. All in all, I enjoyed this fast paced book & look forward to reading more in this series.


  1. Great review. You have me considering it now.

  2. Though I didn't love this book as much as I had hoped I would, I, too, am looking forward to the next installment.


  3. Juju ~ you should, it was a great read!

    Lezlie ~ I think I need to head over to my BFF's 'library' and check out The Other Boleyn Girl... or do you have another fav I should consider?

  4. I really liked The Other Boleyn Girl, but my favorite was The Boleyn Inheritance. I'd say go for both so you get the whole story! :-)


  5. I love Philippa Gregory! Great review. =) Now my copy of this is really calling to me from my shelves.

  6. This one wasn't my favorite of hers but she does make reading history fun and easy.

    My favorite was the Wideacre trilogy.

  7. Thanks for letting me know that this is the first book in a series. I am one who has to read them in order. I have not read any Philippa's books yet, (I know!).