Philosophy is defined as a theory underlying or regarding a sphere of activity or thought. Well, my theory is if I can add at least 10 new books to my Wishlist and move at least 5 older Wishlist selections to my TBR list every month, then life is a ice cream sundae. And if I can find those 10 books from at least 5 new blogs each month then that's the cherry on top.


Well, I've made it almost 5 years now, so for better or worse, I continue on. I tend to blog in spurts as the urge to be creative erupts. As I don't have an artistic bone in my body, you will see very few changes in the layouts. Hey, I'm a reader not an artist like so many of the awesome bloggers I follow. I know you don't always have the time but if you stopped and looked, take a half a minute and say your piece. Recommend a book that you have enjoyed or hated for that matter. Thank you to all who visit.
Oh, and I moved my Google Friend Connect info and share this buttons to the top, as without our friends, who are we?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Red Queen: A Novel (The Cousins' War) by Philippa Gregory

Title: The Red Queen: A Novel (The Cousins' War)
Author: Philippa Gregory
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: * * * 1/2
Publishers Date: August 3, 2010
Hardback: 400 pages
Publisher: Touchstone
ISBN: 1416563725
FTC Disclosure: I was given a free copy by the publisher  for my unbiased review.

Heiress to the red rose of Lancaster, Margaret Beaufort never surrenders her belief that her house is the true ruler of England and that she has a great destiny before her. Her ambitions are disappointed when her sainted cousin Henry VI fails to recognize her as a kindred spirit, and she is even more dismayed when he sinks into madness. Her mother mocks her plans, revealing that Margaret will always be burdened with the reputation of her father, one of the most famously incompetent English commanders in France. But worst of all for Margaret is when she discovers that her mother is sending her to a loveless marriage in remote Wales.

Married to a man twice her age, quickly widowed, and a mother at only fourteen, Margaret is determined to turn her lonely life into a triumph. She sets her heart on putting her son on the throne of England regardless of the cost to herself, to England, and even to the little boy. Disregarding rival heirs and the overwhelming power of the York dynasty, she names him Henry, like the king; sends him into exile; and pledges him in marriage to her enemy Elizabeth of York's daughter. As the political tides constantly move and shift, Margaret charts her own way through another loveless marriage, treacherous alliances, and secret plots. She feigns loyalty to the usurper Richard III and even carries his wife's train at her coronation.

Widowed a second time, Margaret marries the ruthless, deceitful Thomas, Lord Stanley, and her fate stands on the knife edge of his will. Gambling her life that he will support her, she then masterminds one of the greatest rebellions of the time - all the while knowing that her son has grown to manhood, recruited an army, and now waits for his opportunity to win the greatest prize. 

I truly detest reading a book from the first person POV. I just never get really comfortable nor lose myself in the story. I was acutely aware at all times that I was reading a novel. Except for a few chapters toward the end of the book that were third person, I never got entrenched in the story. I knew that Margaret Beaufort was a religious fanatic (but then during that time most were) but I got tired of hearing about her “Joan of Arc” obsession, two or three times on every page. She truly was an annoying and self absorbed person. Even as a child she was very full of herself. The only time I came close to feeling pity for her was when at 13, she gave birth to Henry. It amazes me that any woman lived to have more than one child. While I enjoyed The Red Queen more than The White Queen, neither was as riveting as the Tudor wives books nor the royal gardener books which I adored.  Again, this book was thin on the areas that I so loved in her earlier Tudor books, descriptions of the homes, foods, court life and clothes. I like to be able to “see’ as well as read about what was going on in this era. I dislike being told what is happening. It wasn't a great book but I’m still holding out hope that the rest of this series will live up to my expectations.

Cousins' War
1. The White Queen (2009)
2. The Red Queen (2010)


Jules@OneBookShy said...

I'm just starting to read The White Queen. It'll be interesting to see how I feel about this one. I tend to not like first person narration either.

Have a good one.

Megan Hoover-Swicegood said...

I picked up The White Queen this week and I'm really excited. I read a lot of Phillipa Greggory last year and am looking forward to reading this series this fall.

Anonymous said...

The Other Bolyne Girl had been on my wishlist for years. Really have no idea why I haven't picked it up yet...

Stacie said...

I'll have to give this series a try. Not sure about the first person narrative though. One of my favorite genres :)

Fanda said...

I never tried any of Philippa Gregory books, maybe I should start with this one. I like novels with first POV, as it feels more personal