Monday, January 3, 2011

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

Book: The White Queen

Author: Philippa Gregory

Grade: B +

Recommended To: Phil Greggs and Historical Fiction Fans.

Phil Greggs is one of my favorite authors. She writes the super popular Other Boleyn Girl series and The White Queen is her first novel in the new series that follows the Plantagenet family who ruled England before the Tudors. In this book, Gregory retells the story of the two boys, heirs to the throne, who were lost in the Tower of London and were never seen again.

This by far one of Gregory's best first novels in a series. I read nearly all of her books and this one beats most of them in inventiveness, attention to detail, and solving a historical mystery. This story follows Elizabeth Woodville, the daughter of a nobody who marries the king and has two sons and many other children (she spends the majority of the novel pregnant) with him. When there is a grab for power, Warwick has Elizabeth's sons sent to the Tower "for safe keeping." Right, as though the Earl of Warwick has ever looked out for any interests but his own. So, the boys disappear and Gregory does her best to explain this mystery of history. (rhyming book reviews? What, What!)

Some parts of this book were strange. For example, Elizabeth comes from a long line of strong women who practice magic and can commune with nature and the elements. This could get weird, but this magic vein allows Gregory to explain the unexplainable and added an element of intrigue to the story that would otherwise have been missing.

I recommend this book for people who love a good historical fiction read. Gregory is well known for the accuracy of her novels and even though in this book she was forced to take certain liberties to explain a little known historical event, she still wrote an excellent and entertaining novel. I got the second Plantagenet book The Red Queen for Christmas and will be reviewing that in the coming months.

Happy Reading!

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