Saturday, August 10, 2013

The White Queen: A Book Review

I absolutely LOVED this book!  As you can see, it has been added to my favorite book list!  Philippa Gregory is definitely one of my favorite authors, if not my MOST favorite!  The stories that she tells combine with her writing style are always amazing, and this book definitely was as well.

Title: The White Queen
Author: Philippa Gregory
Series: The Cousins' War #1
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Touchstone
Publication Date: August 18, 2009
Pages: 445
Out in Paperback?: Yes; April 6, 2010
My Rating: 5/5


Goodreads Summary:

Philippa Gregory presents the first of a new series set amid the deadly feuds of England known as the Wars of the Roses.
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.
With The White Queen, Philippa Gregory brings the artistry and intellect of a master writer and storyteller to a new era in history and begins what is sure to be another bestselling classic series from this beloved author.


As with my previous review of a Philippa Gregory novel, The Other Boleyn Girl, the character section is a little difficult as this novel revolves around historical figures.  Let me just say though … that I absolutely fell IN LOVE with Elizabeth Woodville!  Known as the White Queen and the mother of the Princes in the Tower, this story focuses on Elizabeth Woodville and her determination during this time period.  As women are not valued for their opinions during this time, it was fascinating to see the power and strength that come from her.  Despite the hard times that she faces with her second husband, King Edward IV, and without him, she creates allies, raises an army, and most importantly, does her best to protect and teach her children.  Aside from Elizabeth, I truly enjoyed reading about Edward IV; Gregory created an amazing character, as Edward is strong in his fight for the throne, loyal in his love for Elizabeth, and protective and loving with his children (they have 10 total!), even to his many girls.  Aside from the two main characters, Elizabeth’s mother, Jacquetta, plays a large role in supporting her daughter regardless of the woman stereotypes from this time period.  Her brother, Anthony, also supports his sister, although he is skeptical in the beginning, his support grows throughout the novel.  Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about all the characters in the novel (aside from Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick and George, Duke of Clarence, who are Edward IV’s brothers that continuously changed sides, from York to Lancaster and back again and then back again!).  Most of the characters were extremely likable and interesting to read about!


As with many of Philippa Gregory’s novels, I am so interested in and so enjoyed the plot!  The White Queen begins in 1464 and covers the events leading into 1485.  Beginning with the meeting of Elizabeth Woodville and King Edward IV, the plot covers their relationship, their children, the Princes in the Tower, and the ever-changing rule of the throne from the House of York to the hands of Lancaster and back again.  The scenes leading up to the battles were filled with tension and were a nice contrast to the romantic storyline of the king and queen.  The battle scenes were described excellently, creating an exciting visual for the reader.  Overall, any reader would be easily entertained with the ups and downs, the loves and battles of the story.

Writing Style:

I think it is pretty obvious that I love this book and Gregory’s writing style overall.  The setup of the story is laid out nicely, as each chapter is titled with the season and year (often the actual date!).  I love how her writing flows smoothly between each chapter of the book, and large jumps in the date are covered seamlessly.  Her writing is absolutely beautiful, creating tension and action in the battle scenes as well as describing the love story between the king and queen.  Overall, I loved this book, mostly because the writing was perfect!  It was a sophisticated style and made reading so enjoyable.  I definitely felt like I was in this time period while reading!

Have you heard of the new show, The White Queen, coming to Starz?  It is to premiere on August 10, 2013!  I am definitely looking forward to this, especially after reading the book!

FTC Disclaimer:
All items mentioned were purchased by me.  This is not a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own.  No affiliate links were used.

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