Tuesday, 29 March 2016

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory | Review

Genre : Historical Fiction , Adult , Romance
Publishing Date: Touchstone
Publisher: January 1st 2009
Pages: 408
Rating: 4/5 stars

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, and now Philippa Gregory brings them to life through the dramatic and intimate stories of the secret players: the indomitable women, starting with Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen.
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 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. From her uniquely qualified perspective, Philippa Gregory explores this most famous unsolved mystery of English history, informed by impeccable research and framed by her inimitable storytelling skills.

White Queen is the first Philippa Gregory book that I have read so I didn't really know what to expect. I also don't read as much historical fiction as I should so this was really a new experience for me. I knew the story of Elizabeth Woodville and of the boys in the tower from documentaries and minimal research so I was intrigued to be thrown into that world. I like that this story has always had so much mystery to it so that Gregory could fill in the gaps and write an intriguing and unpredictable story.

This book follows a large portion of Elizabeth's life , like seriously , one page could cover more than 5 years and people who were newborns in the last chapter are suddenly running around and speaking multiple languages. I think there are roughly 20 years in the 400 odd pages , which I enjoyed but I think that some people might dislike that. 
At the start of the book I did like Elizabeth. She was self important and stubborn but she was ambitious and loyal to her sons and family. By the end I didn't like her as much as she was a 50 year old Queen who had pretty messed up priorities , in my opinion. I did feel sympathy towards her though and I loved how Gregory created a likable protagonist out of someone I didn't like very much from the knowledge I had of her.
All in all , I enjoyed this book! It was slow at times and the ending left a lot open but I think that added to it as much as it took away. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to be thrown into the past or to others like me who adore stories about princes' and princess'. 

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