Friday, 6 April 2012

Review: The Red Queen (The Cousins' War #2) by Philippa Gregory


The Red Queen is the lead up to the Tutor dynasty, it follows Margaret Beaufort the Countess of Richmond, who was the mother of Henry VII. Margaret is a huge believer in god and would pray night and day if her mother would allow it, she even develops "saint knees" [hard scuffed knees from kneeling to pray a lot.] 

Margaret was convinced from since she was a child that she was chosen by God to do great things, like Joan of Arc. When she is forced to marry a man twice her age when she was 14 she bears her only child, Henry Tudor. After the difficult birth that went for three days she was unable to conceive another child. After having her son she became convinced that God had granted her the destiny to put her son on the throne. 

The second book in Philippa's stunning new trilogy, The Cousins War, brings to life the story of Margaret Beaufort, a shadowy and mysterious character in the first book of the series - The White Queen - but who now takes centre stage in the bitter struggle of The War of the Roses. The Red Queen tells the story of the child-bride of Edmund Tudor, who, although widowed in her early teens, uses her determination of character and wily plotting to infiltrate the house of York under the guise of loyal friend and servant, undermine the support for Richard III and ultimately ensure that her only son, Henry Tudor, triumphs as King of England. Through collaboration with the dowager Queen Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret agrees a betrothal between Henry and Elizabeth's daughter, thereby uniting the families and resolving the Cousins War once and for all by founding of the Tudor dynasty.

I immensely enjoy this novel, Gregory made quite an achievement in this novel by taking an unlikable character and able to give the audience mixed feelings or sympathy and hatred. ret is depicted as a fiend who does everything but cackle, "I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!" I found this an entertaining and amusing read about a woman who's been somewhat neglected in historical fiction. 

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