Sunday, August 10, 2014

The White Princess by Philippa Gregory

"Fortune's wheel takes you very high and then throws you very low, and there is nothing you can do but face the turn of it with courage.

Cousins' War #1 - The Lady of the Rivers
Cousins' War #2 - The White Queen
Cousins' War #3 - The Red Queen
Cousins' War #4 - The Kingmaker's Daughter

This is the fifth book in Philippa Gregory's Cousins' War series.  I enjoyed it a lot, but not quiet as much as some of the others in the series.

After Elizabeth of York's lover (and uncle) Richard III is killed in battle, Henry VII takes the thrown and Elizabeth as his new wife and queen.  This union is meant to reunite the houses of York, Lancaster, and Tutor and put an end at last to the Cousins' War.  King Henry soon learns that his throne is still not save and struggles against those who are faithful to the Yorks.  When a young man claims to Elizabeth's lost brother Richard (one of the princes in the tower), she is forced to chose between her family and her husband.

It was really interesting to see the story go full circle in learning about different perspectives of women involved in the Cousins' War.  Caught in between the old family and the new, Elizabeth struggles to support both her husband and mother's family.  I was surprised at how many times the York's tried to claim the throne and how easily it could be lost.  Woven into the story was Elizabeth's fear that the curse that her and her mother placed on those who murdered her brother's will come back to haunt her own family.  One of my favorite parts of the book was the introduction of Elizabeth and Henry's children who would play an even bigger part in England's history - Arthur, Margaret, Queen of Scots, and the boy who would one day grow up to be Henry VIII.

And now to wait until September 9th when the sixth and final book, The King's Curse, is released!

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