The Red Queen
- Simon & Schuster Ltd
- Publication Date:
- 01 April 2011
- Historical Fiction
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I have to be honest, I love Philippa Gregory. I loved the Henry the VIII series and am loving the new Cousin's War series. This books covers the same time period (15th century) as The White Queen, but from the other side. Read them closely together and you will get a real feel for the period. Highly recommended.
Probably Miss Gregory's best. Extremely fast paced and well put together.
I listened to the AUDIO version of Philippa Gregory’s latest, The Red Queen, and I can’t remember the last time I brought discs from the car into the house, so that I didn’t have to tear myself away from a story. Young Margaret Beaufort knows that she has been born for a great destiny, and she believes she has the ear of God following in the tradition of Joan of Ark. Later when confronted with the limitations of women of the time, she realizes her destiny is to have a son, the next King of England. With unwavering conviction, she pursues this ambition beyond conscience and reason. Gregory makes no excuses for Margaret. She doesn’t try to explain her motivations, and she actually writes her unsympathetic to the point of villainy. And it not only works, but makes Margaret fascinating. Her rivalry with Elizabeth Woodville is a delight. “This damned woman, this witch, has been in my light ever since I was a girl, and now, at this very moment when I am using her, using her own adoring family and loyal supporters to wrench the throne from her, to destroy her sons, she may yet win, she may have done something to spoil everything for me. How does she always do it?” Further Gregory allows the dialogue between her martial and political allies speak for reason, especially when her second husband calls the entire Lancastrian branch “insane” before riding out to fight for York. Any historical fiction devotee will devour these passages. The Red Queen is easily the most political novel I’ve read of Gregory’s, and I am surprised to how her novels continue to captivate despite the limited subjects and time periods she works within. For me, she keeps getting better. This novel is Part 2 of the Cousin War Series (apparently Gregory has planned six), and is a good companion novel to The White Queen providing surprising depth to Gregory’s version of the time. The characters in that novel manage to tell a new story through Margaret’s perspective. I will definitely grab the next one, and in no small part hoping for some more glimpses of Margaret.Bianca Amato reads with the necessary fervor to compliment the text.
Margaret was not a likable character, but she was determined. In the end, she accomplished what she wanted to do, put her son on the throne of England. All that praying was a bit tedious.
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