“This book is narrated from the point of view of Elizabeth Woodville, a member of the ambitious Rivers family. The family was said to be descendants of Melusina, a water goddess, who passed her gift of Sight down through her female ancestors. Elizabeth, widowed by her first husband as he fought with the Lancasters against the house of York during Edward IV's rise to power. Elizabeth, ambitious, with two sons to support, gains Edward's affections and later, his hand in marriage, making her Queen of England. The story profiles Edward's rise in power and popularity, following numerous attempts by his brother, George, to lead uprisings and rebellions to take the throne. After the death of Edward, Elizabeth, still ambitious, must protect the heirs to the throne and secure advantageous marriages for her daughters, all from their confinement in sanctuary, where they stayed for several months to protect themselves from Edward's other brother, Richard, who stole the throne from Elizabeth's young son.
I enjoyed the book. I love the intertwining of fact and fiction, which is Philippa Gregory's trademark. I don't know of anyone more skilled than she is in that regard. However, I did not enjoy this book as much as some of her others. I don't think that is due to the book itself, but may be because I am less familiar with the families and characters from this time period. I think that more detailed family tree in the front of the book may have helped. At times, I found myself confused about who a particular character was, or who was related to whom. I am looking forward to the release of the rest of the books in this series.”
Amanda L wrote this review Saturday, January 23, 2010.