Review 78. Philippa Gregory – The white queen.

De rozenkoninginTitle:The white queen.
Author: Philippa Gregory.
Pages: 408.
: August 18th 2009.
Publisher: Touchstone.
Sort: Part one of 'The cousins war.'
Brother turns on brother to win the ultimate prize, the throne of England, in this dazzling account of the wars of the Plantagenets. They are the claimants and kings who ruled England before the Tudors. The White Queen tells the story of a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition who, catching the eye of the newly crowned boy king, marries him in secret and ascends to royalty. While Elizabeth Woodville rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for the success of her family, her two sons become central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the missing princes in the Tower of London whose fate is still unknown.

I loved her books about The Tudors (I read: The other Boleyn Girl, The Boleyn Inheritance and The queen’s fool), but I had a hard time with this one.

Elizabeth is a young widow who traps King Edward, from the house of York, into marriage. Some say with witch craft and that is also implied in this book.
Their marriage is the start of political intrigues and treachery. King Edward must fight to get and hold his crown. He and Elizabeth are happy with each other, but it’s also a hard life. She gives him a lot of children; three sons (unfortunately, one dies young) and some daughters. His oldest son, Prince Edward, will become king one day. At least, that’s what he wants.

When King Edward dies after a short sickness, the betrayal begins. He appointed his brother as caretaker of Prince Edward, but his brother takes the crown into his own hands. Elizabeth will do anything to return that crown to her son, but how far is she willing to go?

I liked it, but I didn’t love it. There were things about Elizabeth I really liked. Her love for Edward and the way she cared for her children was wonderful, but her constant battle to return the power costs so many lives; and I’m not sure if it’s worth it.
She also felt a little flat sometimes. I never got the feeling I really knew her - or any of the other characters actually. That made it hard to care for them, even when I was fascinated by their lifestyle. Life at court isn't easy.
Their love is also very instant. From the moment he lays his eyes on her, he is in love. It has to do with the magic from her mother, but I couldn't buy it.

In short: it's good, but I know that Gregory can do better. This one is more for the die-hard fans, so I'm definitely going to continue.


  1. This sounds like a cute read for historical fans. I usually have a hard time getting into them myself but I have read the rare few that I really liked.

  2. I have to love or hate characters. To feel something for them so I care about the story. So I know what you mean.

  3. Love that Dutch cover! I have never read anything by this author, but heard so much about her. I think I'll have to pick up one of her books soon - perhaps 'Changeling'? Great short, to the point review!

    Steph @ SOOTP

  4. I have only read one book by her but I have The Other Boleyn Girl and have been meaning to read it for YEARS. I think the size is too overwhelming. It's too bad this one wasn't as good, I'll have to keep that in mind so I don't accidentally pick it up instead of one of her others. Thanks for the fab review!

  5. Ooh, I do quite like the Dutch edition cover! I wasn't a fan of her YA debut, but I've been meaning to check out one of her adult books. Probably one of the Tudor ones you mentioned!

  6. Vivian the Spirit says: Lovely short review, Mel! I LOVE historical fiction (I think we've got that genre in common ^_^) but haven't read Gregory yet... will probably skip this one and read the ones on The Tudors.. love the sound of the premise, though! POOF!


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