The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
Philippa Gregory has once again brought to life the corrupt world of the fifteenth-century English monarchs in her latest novel, The White Queen. This is the first book in her Cousins’ War series that historically leads right into her books about the Tudor Court. In The White Queen, Gregory takes us inside the War of the Roses, where England was battling against itself in order to find the “true king”. It is the story of a commoner, Elizabeth, marrying the York king of England. The wedding ceremony was done in secret, and many believe Elizabeth has placed a spell on the king; it was widely known that Elizabeth’s River ancestors were witches. The rest of the story is about the York house’s efforts to keep control of the country and out of the hands of the house of Lancaster.
To me it was refreshing to see a happy royal couple in Gregory’s novel; there was no corruption between the king and queen. There was, however, enough plotting and scheming within the house of York to keep me eagerly turning the page. I also enjoyed the hints of magic that surround the queen due to her water goddess ancestor. Gregory adds a bit of folklore to her story when talking about Elizabeth’s ancestor Melusina, which as a reader I found to be a nice side story. All and all, it was another great piece by Gregory.
Look for the second book in the series, The Red Queen, coming out August 3rd of 2010.