Author: Philippa Gregory
Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction
Released: August 18th 2009
Review Source: Touchstone
Brother turns on brother to win the ultimate prize, the throne, in this dazzling account of the wars of the Plantagenets. They ruled before the Tudors, and now Philippa Gregory brings them to life through the dramatic and intimate stories of the secret players: the indomitable women.
The White Queen tells the story of Elizabeth Woodville, a women of extraordinary beauty and ambition, who secretly marries the newly crowned boy king. Wile Elizabeth rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for the success of her family, her two sons becomes the central figures in a famous unsolved mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the lost princes in the Tower of London. Philippa Gregory brings the artistry and intellect of a master writer and story teller to a new era of history and begins what is sure to be another best selling classic series from this beloved author.
This is one of the hardest reviews I’ve had to consider how to go about writing. I bought this book so long ago, around the time The Other Boleyn Girl was turned into a movie, and I bought both that book (Boleyn Girl) and The White Queen. I will say that Gregory really does have a way with words and her writing is exceptional, that it was easy to read. The beginning was enjoyable, it drew me in quite quickly, however I was turned off by the amount of Fiction and magic that became the main part of the story, not so much of the historical accounts that actually took place. I get it, Historical fiction, however her use of mermaids and magical feelings and symbolism went a little far for me. As did a few other themes that were so reoccurring I had a hard time to turn off my brain to stop it from bothering me, and I did put it back on the shelf unfinished for maybe a year or more before returning to it. After all, who leaves a book truly unfinished? I certainly couldn’t.
I also wanted to read this book for the still unresolved murder of the two sons of Edward the forth, who were possibly killed or mysteriously disappeared in the tower of London when their uncle Richard York usurped the throne after their father’s death. I understand this novel is fictional, but Gregory barely does anything with that story and doesn’t really give anything more or any further understanding of that situation to the reader. Which is a shame because I always felt there could have been more to that story, even if it was made up, that was the time to embellish. Worse is this is such a small part to this story I was expecting it to be of much more significance that it was a letdown.
If you enjoyed it, kudos! I enjoyed it to some extent but the mid-section of the book ruined it for me, and the ending barely made up for it. Have you read it? Let me know what you thought of it, I always welcome feedback!