After reading The White Queen I eagerly anticipated the next novel in this Philippa Gregory series. I read this novel as soon as it was released, and none of my high hopes were disappointed. I found it absolutely as satisfying as I had the last novel and more engrossing at times, and that is saying a great deal for this book's status as a pageturner in my estimation.
I found the book more enjoyable because the protagonist was dislikable in so many ways. The first person narration of the novel offered some very amusing and interesting insights into the character's psychology.
This book is good fun.
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FleurDeMar, February 21, 2011 (view all comments by FleurDeMar)
The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory is the second book in her Cousins’ War series. It tells the story of Margaret Beaufort who, love or hate her, is the reason the Tudors regained control of the throne. We have her to thank for Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.
At a young age the only thing Margaret wanted was to be like Joan of Arc. But as often happened during that time in history, she was wedded and bedded and bore a son while she was still a child herself. From almost the moment Henry Tudor was born, she worked as hard as she could to bring him to his rightful place as king of England. It became her life’s work. She believed it was God’s will that her son be on the throne and would stop at nothing to make that happen.
I was often annoyed with Margaret Beaufort while reading the book. And yet, I understood why she did the things she did. What mother won’t move mountains for their child? (And the House of York was a formidable mountain) She is driven by her belief in God, had visions from the time she was just a little girl and it overtakes her entire being. I don’t feel she was too ambitious (her son did have a legitimate claim on the throne) but her cold heartedness and the fact that she was so absorbed with thinking she was doing God’s will and that she herself was Godly, made me dislike her.
As always, Philippa Gregory is a wonderful storyteller and succeeds in bringing history to the pages of a book, making it readable, enjoyable and engaging. It’s always a pleasure to find a book that is impossible to put down and The Red Queen was that for me.
In her second book of the Cousins' War series, #1 "New York Times"-bestselling author Gregory moves to the Lancaster side, and the story of a determined woman who believes she is destined to shape the course of history.
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