Monday, August 17, 2009

Review: The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

Book Info:
The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Touchstone (August 18, 2009)
ISBN-13: 9781416563686
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5

Elizabeth Woodville, of the House of Lancaster, is widowed when her husband is killed in battle. Aided and abetted by the raw ambition and witchcraft skills of her mother Jacquetta, Elizabeth seduces and marries, in secret, reigning king Edward IV, of the family of the white rose, the House of York. As long as there are other claimants to Edward’s throne, the profound rivalries between the two families will never be laid to rest. Violent conflict, shocking betrayal and murder dominate Elizabeth’s life as Queen of England, passionate wife of Edward and devoted mother of their children.

I have to admit, The White Queen is my first Philippa Gregory book. Fans seems to love her for her wonderful storytelling, while critics discuss historical inaccuracies in her books. When I started reading The White Queen, I didn't know quite what to expect, but I was immediately pulled in by the story.

Elizabeth is an interesting character. She is ambitious, fiercely protective of her children, and at the end of the book, quite a schemer as well. After the death of Edward IV her position became much more precarious, and I could easily understand her plotting, but she wasn't nearly as likeable as she was earlier.

The White Queen also contains some witchcraft and magic. I found the inclusion of this very interesting. It added another layer to the story without being overpowering.

I honestly don't know much about The War of The Roses. I remember hearing about the mystery of the Princes in the Tower, but can't speak to how historically accurate The White Queen is. Whether historically accurate or not, Gregory tells a wonderful story. I can see why fans rave about her books, and this will be one series that I will continue to follow. 4.5 stars

**Check back tomorrow for my giveaway of a copy of The White Queen**

The White Queen: A Conversation with Philippa Gregory


Ceri said...

I've just won a copy of this and I can't wait to read it. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

I'd definitely recommend reading 'The Other Boleyn Girl' (500 times better than the film) and 'The Queen's Fool' if you like Tudor history. If not, 'The Wise Woman' is a great read too. :-D

Sandy Nawrot said...

I've seen both sides to at it, arguing about Ms. Gregory. I haven't read anything written by her, but would be interested to see if I liked it or not. Personally, I could care less if she gets a date wrong or messes up another historical fact. I want to be entertained!

Jenny said...

Is this in a different series than the one with other boelyn girl? I've been meaning to start that series but we all know how that goes, lol.

Melissa said...

Jenny: This is the first book in a new series about The War of the Roses. It is set earlier than TOBG.

Literary Feline said...

I've been meaning to try something else by Philippa Gregory. I read The Other Boleyn Girl and while I did enjoy it, it didn't make me an immediate fan. I am glad you enjoyed this one, Melissa!

Irene said...

I am very excited about this trilogy and cannot wait the read THE WHITE QUEEN. It would be nice to win it. Thank you!!

cyeates AT nycap DOT rr DOT com

Irene said...

I follow via Google reader.

cyeates AT nycap DOT rr DOT com

zibilee said...

Great review! I love Phillipa Gregory, and have read many of her books. She is my guilty pleasure, and I find her books very fun reads. I'm really glad that you liked this book, and really look forward to reading it!

Shauna Leigh Atkinson said...

HI, I'm a new follower of your blog, but wanted to say I got The Other Boleyn Girl series of books at the used book store! I want to start reading it soon and also started watching Tudors with my hubby. This one looks like it would be good too, she seems like a popular author! Anyway, I saw you on the Story Siren blog and wanted to say hi. I'm Shauna at Read~Write~Review (, if you want to check it out or follow that'd be great. Looks like we might like similar books. Take care & I'll check out the giveaway! ;-) Thanks.