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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great insight to these lives and times
Really enjoyed this book. The characters were so interesting and well developed through the story. It gave a glimpse of what life was like in this time, the instability and terrors facing women, and how they had to be master manipulators and schemers just to survive. So far the only book by PG I thought was disappointing was The Other Queen (storyline was way too...
Published 23 months ago by Jan

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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Underwhelmed
That's about the only word I can come up with to describe my feelings. The White Queen is the first in a new series Gregory is writing based upon the Plantagenets and the Wars of the Roses - or The Cousins War as she calls it. The book begins as a widowed Elizabeth Woodville waits on the side of the road with her two young sons to plea for her dower lands from Edward IV...
Published on Aug. 24 2009 by Misfit


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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Underwhelmed, Aug. 24 2009
By 
Misfit (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
That's about the only word I can come up with to describe my feelings. The White Queen is the first in a new series Gregory is writing based upon the Plantagenets and the Wars of the Roses - or The Cousins War as she calls it. The book begins as a widowed Elizabeth Woodville waits on the side of the road with her two young sons to plea for her dower lands from Edward IV. Several years younger, Edward is captivated and must have her - but Elizabeth holds out for a wedding ring and gets it. Elizabeth is crowned queen and immediately goes about getting the best positions and marriages for her relatives, which earns the enmity of just about everyone else. The story continues as Edward battles with Margaret of Anjou and the deposed Henry VI, as well as his treacherous brother Clarence and Warwick, The Kingmaker, and finally culminates at the death of Edward IV (that's known history, no spoilers here), and his brother Richard ascends the throne. That's really about all I want to tell you about the plot. If you're familiar with the period you know the basics and if you're not it's way too complicated to try and put it all into a review.

Unfortunately, I found the writing overly repetitive to the point that I felt like I was being clubbed over the head. Whether it be the first chapters where she keeps referring to twenty-two year old battled hardened Edward as a "boy" (counted it at least six times on one page), to the locket with the names written in blood, as well as the ever present and over bearing references to her ancestor Melusine - I got the point the first time. Outside of the first few chapters at the beginning of their relationship I didn't pick up much chemistry between Edward and Elizabeth - they should have sizzled right off of the pages and instead they fizzled. But worst of all was the magic and spells cast by Elizabeth and her mother, whether you buy it or not I found the casual way everyone in the book treated it more than just a tad bit unbelievable - it's just a day in the park and I'll whistle up another storm to thwart my enemies. I think with all the people who hated her someone would have had her tried as a witch.

One last minor nitpick and thanks to some readers at another site who spotted this - one of Elizabeth's palaces is Nonesuch (or Nonsuch). Google that and you'll find that it was built by Henry VIII. Oops. I am recommending this one only for die-hard Gregory fans, you're better off reading Penman's fabulous Sunne in Splendour. If you're not sure get it from the library first. Glad I did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great insight to these lives and times, May 13 2012
This review is from: The White Queen: A Novel (Paperback)
Really enjoyed this book. The characters were so interesting and well developed through the story. It gave a glimpse of what life was like in this time, the instability and terrors facing women, and how they had to be master manipulators and schemers just to survive. So far the only book by PG I thought was disappointing was The Other Queen (storyline was way too repetitive.) Now on to The Red Queen...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Had trouble putting it down., Jan. 26 2014
By 
Rita Wharry (Calgary AB Canada) - See all my reviews
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I liked that it was based on truth, & have really developed an interest in History which I never had I school.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Addicting, May 22 2013
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This review is from: The White Queen: A Novel (Paperback)
This book is addicting and hard to put down when you start reading it. Can't wait to read all the books in this series.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The White Queen, Sept. 20 2009
If you like English history and have a lot of patience, this is the book for you. I was quite disappointed with the slow pace of the story - too much detail and not enough action. However, it provided a nice overview of the Wars of the Roses and showed the unstable government that people had to live under. I'd recommend it to avid Gregory fans - or history buffs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, Sept. 19 2009
By 
Cozy Evenings with a Book "Book Lover" (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This was the first book of Philippa Gregory's I read and I enjoyed it. She's a historian with a PHD, so you're obviously reading an accurate record of the account with fictional bits fit into it. Someone said that her books are like history books but fun, and I completely agree. This book was at times so sad, so vividly written with emotions and description, that I felt like I was right there sitting beside the main character and looking at her beautiful face. I am not looking to buy more of her novels, but since history back then is filled with family betrayals, murders, lust and lying; I will probably read a lighter book before I launch into English history again. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in English history, who wants to read about what happened to Elizabeth Grey, and if you wish to experience an amazing life story of one woman and all the horrors she had to witness.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The history was sound, Sept. 9 2011
This review is from: The White Queen: A Novel (Paperback)
I did not enjoy it as much as the Red Queen because she is no where as strong a character in this book as the Red Queen was in the Red Queen. Having said that, the romantic scenes were nice and the history was sound.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly Surprised, May 18 2011
By 
caseygirl (Vancouver Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The White Queen: A Novel (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book. I have read most of Philippa Gregory's books and some of them I did not like .I wasn't sure how I would feel about this one. I was pleasantly surprised. It is a good read and historically well written. Not sure I liked the connection of Elizabeth Woodinville and her so called mystical side but after doing some research there might be some validity to it. I liked the view Gregory puts forward regarding the Princes in the Tower and that one of theme actually survived. I had not heard of that possiblity. I learned a lot reading this book and I would recommend it. Sometimes it was a bit difficult to keep track of all the characters and all the battles. It made me realize just how many wars/battles were fought at that time and how no one was loyal to anyone, not family or friend or king and no matter who you were, you could change sides as quick as changing your boots. I thought the book ended abruptly but no doubt that is to encourage the reader to follow up with the next book The Red Queen, which I certainly will do.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Words of a Master Storyteller, Aug. 11 2010
By 
Toni Osborne "The Way I See It" (Montreal, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The White Queen: A Novel (Paperback)
The first book in the Cousins' War series

This latest series tells the story of the Plantagenets, the first novel is centered around Elizabeth Woodville and her family. Based on facts and mixed with the author's vivid imagination, this historical fiction proves once more that Ms Gregory is more than a researcher, she is also a master storyteller.

Elizabeth cherishes the idea that she is a descendant of the water goddess Melusina and the daughter of a woman believed to be a witch. Applying her magic she charms the previously betroth King Edward into marrying her in secret this allows her to eventually move into the castle. Keeping the throne and staying in power is not easy. Her husband had recently dethroned King Henry thus making him the new target...

The story recounts the struggle for ultimate power during this time period. Although witchcraft plays an important part in this fictional plot it also highlights Elizabeth Woodville influence on history.

I like the way Ms Gregory depicted this era, it is quite entertaining but some may not like the route she took and may prefer the traditional point of view. You will find the characterization is one dimensional.... they are all described as having a wicked side to them.....

This tale is definitely not for the historical buff....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Lost for Words, Aug. 4 2010
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This book chronicles the tumultuous reign of Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen and her husband, King Edward IV. She was a woman of astounding beauty, a widow, and young mother who wanted to claim the land and fortune taken by her mother-in-law after her first husband's death. She broached the subject to the young King of York, and he granted her wish, and then some. They married secretly, and once he was officially pronounced King of England, he announced that he had married, and so the reign of Queen Elizabeth Woodville, and King Edward IV began.
This was my first historical fiction read by Philippa Gregory, and I quite enjoyed it. The history from this era was recreated vividly, and plausible explanations were given for certain scenarios in history that are still unsolved. The Princes in the Tower being one of the unsolved mysteries of said time. I love history, but haven't read that much historical fiction. That said, this isn't a time period that I know much about, so I really enjoyed reading Gregory's version of Plantagenet life.
Elizabeth was an intriguing character. She was very much a mother, and cared for her children, but she also cared for her throne. She quickly arranged marriages for her siblings to those in higher positions, therefore securing her position as queen. She was a loving, yet ruthless and bitter woman. She held lifelong grudges, and she apparently was a witch who also had the Sight. The only thing I didn't find "real" in this book, was that key points in battle hinged on Elizabeth's use of witchcraft, and the resolution of said "crafting". It just didn't feel plausible that every spell, or working cast provided results. However the mystery generated with the disappearances, or death of the princes in the Tower was captivating. I know even now, that I am left wondering what actually happened to them.
All in all, Gregory deftly weaves a brilliant tale of history merged with fiction, bringing the characters, and era to life with just a few words. A plausible explanation of the mystery surrounding the princes in the Tower, and a tale of Houses divided, which will resonate with readers for some time. An excellent start to the Wars of the Roses.
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The White Queen: A Novel
The White Queen: A Novel by Philippa Gregory (Paperback - April 6 2010)
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