Thursday, August 4

Book Review: The Red Queen

Author: Philipa Gregory
Title: The Red Queen (Cousin's War #2)
Genre: Historical Fiction, War,
Pages: 382
First Published: 2010
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Krogers)

"The second book in Philippa's stunning new trilogy, The Cousins War, brings to life the story of Margaret Beaufort, a shadowy and mysterious character in the first book of the series - The White Queen - but who now takes centre stage in the bitter struggle of The War of the Roses. The Red Queen tells the story of the child-bride of Edmund Tudor, who, although widowed in her early teens, uses her determination of character and wily plotting to infiltrate the house of York under the guise of loyal friend and servant, undermine the support for Richard III and ultimately ensure that her only son, Henry Tudor, triumphs as King of England. Through collaboration with the dowager Queen Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret agrees a betrothal between Henry and Elizabeth's daughter, thereby uniting the families and resolving the Cousins War once and for all by founding of the Tudor dynasty"

This is the second installment of the Cousin's War series by Philippa Gregory. However, it can stand alone perfectly fine. Each book has a different heroine, so reading out of order is okay. I'm glad for this, because I have NOT read 'The White Queen' yet. I plan too, but this cover drew me to it and I couldn't resist it. Also, it was on sale at Krogers. Oh well. Even though I'm not a huge fan of Ms. Gregory's viewpoint of Anne Boleyn or Elizabeth I, I'll give her a chance in other areas of history; just like I did for this one. However, when I picked up this novel, I was a little worried I would be confused, because I'm not that knowledgeable about the War of the Roses (aka Cousin's war).  

Firstly, I give a nod to Philippa Gregory because she didn't assume that every reader is a historian on that war. Secondly, she wrote this series, so you could read all the novels out of order and NOT get confused. I love when series are like that. ^.^ Just these points made me like the novel! 

I loved how Philippa Gregory presents each character. She presents them with real human flaws and she even shows their positive points too. Even the main characters show their flaws AND this "heroine" of novel is very, very flawed! I couldn't stand the woman! If I had known her, I would have probably smacked her in the face. She was so annoying BUT I give Ms. Gregory major creds for presenting this lady as she was. She showed her as selfish, arrogant, self-conceded, independent, cold-heart, destiny-driven, holy, and proud. She would have given ANYTHING for her son the throne of England. 

I have not read one review that stated that they "loved" this character. No one likes her, but many love the book. How is that possible? Well, because the book was fantastic! I couldn't get enough of it either! It took a little bit to get into though, but after a certain point I could barely put it down. 

The only thing I didn't like about this book, was Lady Beaufort. That woman got on my nerves. In my head I called her "The Bitch". She did have some positive points, but she kept comparing herself to Joan of Arch and she thought that she was God's "chosen" and everyone should bow down and kiss her feet (well, she never really stated that, but she probably secretly wanted that). I think I would have preferred the story to narrated by someone else, but it was interesting to hear Henry VII's mother's view point.   

All-in-all, I really liked this book. It makes me want to check out the rest of the series. Maybe I'll even read more books set during the War of the Roses time period. This has become my second favorite of Philippa Gregory's novels, even though I hated the main character. Out of five stars I grant this one 5 stars. Yayy!

Favorite Character(s): Jasper Tudor and Lord Stanley (why? I don't know, but I loved that guy for some odd reason.)
Not-so Favorite Character(s): LADY MARGARET and Richard III



Blodeuedd said...

I really liked this one too and the only reason I gave a 3 is cos Margaret was just such a bitch ;)

Joanne @ Books, Belles, and Beaux said...

Great review! You know, as much as I read historical fiction, I have not read one book by Phillippa Gregory, and she is one of the most famous authors to bring historical fiction to the masses. I need to change that!

Carole Rae said...

Blodeuedd, yeah I was originally going to give it a 3 or 4, but then the ending made me have to give it a five. I loved the ending, it made all her bitchyness worth it at the end. haha.

Joanne, thanks! You should give her books a try. You should try 'Queen's Fool'. That's my favorite. ^.^ If you at all like Anne Boleyn stay away from 'The Other Boleyn Girl'. I don't think Gregory likes Anne. Haha. =)