Saturday, October 2, 2010

Book Review: The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory

The Red Queen
By Philippa Gregory
This edition: Hardcover
List Price: $36.00
Simon & Schuster Australia, September 2010
ISBN-10: 1847374573
ISBN-13: 9781847374578

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.


For those of you who don’t know about this series, here’s a quick recap. In the first book - The White Queen, we are introduced to Elizabeth Woodville - a seemingly "common" woman who became queen, bore child after child and lived through so much tragedy.

Enter now The Red Queen and Margaret Beaufort. Everything Elizabeth was, Margaret was not. Kind, compassionate and loving. She was married away for the first time at age 12 despite expressing a desire to join the church. She was forced to bear a child at the tender age of 13 and lived through a horrific birth to do so. Then she was married away again after the death of her first husband, she was forced to leave her son behind. This was the life of a woman in these days and it's no wonder that Margaret turned to a female as her inspiration - specifically Joan of Arc.

Like The White Queen, this book isn't as easy to read as Gregory's other novels, but definetly a great read with the extensive information on battles, on betrayals and on the politics between the two battling families, the Yorks and the Lancasters.
If you enjoy historical romance, then this book will appeal to you, especially if you enjoyed the first book in the series.

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