Friday, October 30, 2009

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

Brother turns on brother to win the ultimate prize, the throne of England, in this dazzling account of the wars of the Plantagenets. They are the claimants and kings who ruled England before the Tudors, and now Philippa Gregory brings them to life through the dramatic and intimate stories of the secret players: the indomitable women, starting with Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen.

The White Queen tells the story of a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition who, catching the eye of the newly crowned boy king, marries him in secret and ascends to royalty. While Elizabeth rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for the success of her family, her two sons become central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the missing princes in the Tower of London whose fate is still unknown. From her uniquely qualified perspective, Philippa Gregory explores this most famous unsolved mystery of English history, informed by impeccable research and framed by her inimitable storytelling skills.

On a recommendation from a friend I picked up my very first Philippa Gregory book and I was pleasantly surprised! I don't usually read historically accurate romance/fiction just because it seems to often be depressing. Yes, I know, history had its ups and downs, thus 'duh!' books that are accurate cannot always have a happy ending - I know! Either way, I just don't read a lot of them. But this one is definitely something I'd recommend to others. The story of Elizabeth Woodville and King Edward IV, it has an intriguing mix of romance, mystery, and the supernatural. Elizabeth is a strong woman determined to do the most to forward the lot of her children and her family, even if her methods don't always result the outcome she desires. Ms. Greggory has a nice writing style, engaging the reader and making them fell committed to the lives that are playing out before them. The only negative thing I would say is there is kind of an obvious foreshadowing of doom right from the beginning, but I don't know if that was really something Ms. Greggory could change, with her writing about a period of history where really horrible things happened and peoples fortunes could change with a snap.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up. An interesting read, though not necessarily a fast one with an ending that definitely leaves you wanting to know what comes next.

Series - 1) The White Queen