Liked It2 of 2 members found this review helpful
“Too much focus on the witchy stuff for my liking...a lot of major events seem to be attributed to 'Melusina the water-goddess', but it was a good book all the same-an interesting slant on Elizabeth Woodville. But I have to say I much prefer The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon K Penman :)”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It2 of 2 members found this review helpful
“Oh my. Where do I begin? I didn't like this book at all. There were a few things that irritated me. One was the repetition. Over and over we hear the same story about Melusina. Over and over we hear about the locket. She tells us 3 times within 3 pages the same information! Also I...”see full review » see other reviews »
“Yes, #8 of my 38 books to be added to my shelf, but #2 of my Philippa Gregory reread in order series, which I have been enjoying immensely. Loved it, loved the Starz Miniseries, loved every second.”Amy Friedman wrote this review 5 hours ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This was another book club read, but Philippa Gregory is one of my favourite authors so I knew I would enjoy the book anyway. I was not disappointed. It was interesting to hear contrasting responses from my book club friends, but personally I enjoy the author’s style of writing. In The White Queen she writes from the perspective of a woman who was by all accounts hugely ambitious and totally wrapped up in a love for her king that she never expected to feel. The novel brought to life a lot of English history that I was never really interested in during school classes, and so for that I appreciate it. Well written, with a decent amount of dramatic flair to present what is known as historical fact.
“Great story telling ... an interesting blend of fact, fiction and an infusion of fairy tale.”Theresa F wrote this review 2 weeks ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Having read the novel after watching The White Queen on Starz, it’s difficult for me to comment on the book without drawing comparisons between the two. The novel is set during The War of the Roses and tells the story of Elizabeth Woodville, a widow and minor noblewoman, loyal to the House of Lancaster, who falls in love with the young York king Edward IV and improbably becomes queen of England. Her marriage to Edward ignites a bitter conflict with his mentor, the Earl of Warwick (known as the “Kingmaker,” since he put Edward on the throne), who feels betrayed after arranging Edward’s marriage to a French princess.
Edward’s brother George is none too happy about the situation either, and ultimately he joins forces with Warwick against the king. And then there’s Edward’s brother Richard—the famed number III of Shakespeare’s play—who also has a claim to the throne, and together, the three of them comprise the novel’s antagonists. While the events in the book track those of the show, the novel concludes a bit earlier, before the Battle of Bosworth Field between Henry Tudor and Richard III for England’s throne.
The first thing that struck me is that the novel is written in the first person point-of-view. This means that (theoretically) every scene is supposed to be from Elizabeth’s viewpoint. So, unlike the show, there are no scenes from the viewpoint of Warwick’s daughters, Anne and Isabel Neville (though Ms. Gregory did write a separate novel about them called The Kingmaker’s Daughter). Nor are there any scenes from Margaret Beaufort’s point of view. In fact, Margaret is a bit character in the novel, and her most significant interaction is by way of a letter to Elizabeth near the story’s end (although Margaret also has her own book by Ms. Gregory, titled The Red Queen).
Another downside to the use of first-person point-of-view is that most of the battles involving Edward are not scenes. All we get is news of the battle as it’s relayed to Elizabeth. One exception is Edward’s battle against Warwick, where the author jarringly switches to third person point-of-view, since Elizabeth is far away at Westminster Abbey. It’s as if the author realized halfway through that her chosen viewpoint was too limiting, so she tossed out the point-of-view rules and just kept on going. I will say that the first-person viewpoint seriously enhanced the scenes where Elizabeth and her children are living in sanctuary at Westminster Abbey. In those scenes, the reader really feels Elizabeth’s tension and fear, especially as to Richard, who turns out to be a ruthless and threatening antagonist. Indeed, the sanctuary scenes during the time of the Princes in the Tower are so well written that I increased my rating of the novel.
The second thing that struck me is that this novel, beyond any doubt, is a work of historical fantasy. Elizabeth, her mother, and her siblings are Burgundians who supposedly descended from the river goddess Melusina. In fact, in the novel, there are frequent intervals where Melusina’s story is told (she’s a figure of European folklore that seems to have inspired the tale of The Little Mermaid, as best I can tell, since she’s a half woman, half fish who becomes human for a man’s love). By calling upon the goddess’s power, Elizabeth and her mother (and later her daughter) are able to work magic, usually by conjuring violent storms that wreak havoc on their enemies and drive the outcome of major historical events. I adored this aspect of the book because I love historical fantasy that stays true to history, but isn’t afraid to add a bit of magic or mysticism too.
Overall, I found The White Queen to be every bit as good as the show, if not better in some respects. I’m glad I read it, and I’m curious to read more novels in The Cousins’ War series.
“LOVE Hisorical Fiction”Patty R wrote this review Sunday, October 27, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“It took me forever to finish it!”Crystal H wrote this review Thursday, October 24, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Captivating to start with. Then got to boring to continue ”Helen H wrote this review Wednesday, October 9, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Disappointing. The historical facts were interesting and even the "witchcraft" portions were enjoyable, but the book on the whole was tedious, repetitive and boring. This was not easy to get through. The television series is much better (which I usually don't find to be the case).”B S wrote this review Friday, September 20, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I enjoyed reading the book..”Prachi_Apte wrote this review Thursday, September 19, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“With the story this book had to tell and the upcoming tv show based on it, I expected a lot more plot and drama. Instead, I felt like vast swathes of the story were skipped over and accepted for what they were. Still, I loved the feminine perspective and mysticism weaved into this tale and the story was interesting enough to keep me reading.”Jessica R wrote this review Friday, September 6, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No