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3.9 out of 5 stars
The Red Queen
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on August 17, 2014
Philippa Gregory's grasp of historic detail blends with her imaginative recreation of the main character, the Red Queen, Margaret in this unsentimental look at how this Queen rose to some power, schemed for ever more power and eventually...This Margaret believes she is beloved of God and if so, that's a good thing since she has no ability at all at loving those around her nor at being someone they want to love. When she finally wrestles with the notion that as a woman she will never hold the power she longs for, she places without pause the same halo of expectation and Divine Ordination on her only child, a boy.
This book is a study in character and in character development. I found myself disliking Margaret intensely and enjoying the read more for it.
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on April 25, 2014
I read the first book called The White Queen and this one ties nicely into it as well. I can't wait to read the next book The Lady of the Rivers.
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on April 10, 2014
I really enjoyed this book and the connection the historical facts. Philippa Gregory is very good with her work and keeps you turning the pages.
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on August 14, 2013
Excellent book. Hard to put down. Factual re Tudor History and makes you feel you are back in that time in history.
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on May 23, 2012
Margaret is a cold, calulating person, focused on securing the throne for her only son. While passionate in her devotion to God, she also is a most devious and brutal woman. Her personality was interesting, the storyline was somewhat repetitive, as it's just the opposing viewpoint of The White Queen. Also in this one the battles are more detailed and never seem to let up, which gets a bit monotonous. And there is certainly no 'romantic' theme in this (unlike the passionate Elizabeth of York). A good read though, and look forward to the continuation of Henry & Elizabeth's marriage and reign.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon October 6, 2011
I enjoyed this book but while reading it so many times what ran through my mind was how many wars have been fought in the name of God. It seems Margaret Beaufort seemed to have a very chatty relationship with God with an attitude if I stay on my knees long enough God will tell me what to do even if it consists of treachery, treason, and even murder. Hmmm....not the God I know. Just shows how confused people of that age were. Anyway re the book. I did not like Margaret Beaufort but I don't think Phillipa Gregory wanted us to. As a young girl she was treated terrible but even then she had grandiose ideas of being some incredible servant of God along the lines of Joan of Arc. I preferred the White Queen but I think that is because I liked the Elizabeth W and that was truly a love story.I could hardly believe Margaret's involvement and actual instigation of the murder of the Princes in the Tower. I don't think this is factual as no one knows for sure who murdered those boys, it could have been Richard. But there certainly is enough circumstantial evidence to assume Margaret played a role. I agree with the other reviewer that I enjoyed that last three chapters the best. Parts of the book were a bit tedious but still it all weaved an incredible story that changed history. I thought the characters were well described and believable. I too would have liked to have learned more of when Henry Tudor became king but maybe I need to hit the history books for that, or wait for Philippa Gregory to tell us. Bottom line? I liked this book and would recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2011
I really enjoyed the red queen and the white queen. Was great to see the same story from both sides of the coin. Books are well written and draw you in. If you enjoy English history with a twist you will enjoy this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2011
After finishing "The White Queen", I read "The Red Queen" in 4 nights. I Love these books. I am an Historical Fiction nut, and these books are soooo intriguing! Definitely read "The White Queen" first.
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Book 2 in "The Cousin's War" trilogy

The second book in the series brings Margaret Beaufort, the heiress to the red rose of Lancaster to life. Narrated in her words, she tells her story commencing at the tender age of nine and continues into adulthood including her three marriages. She details her bitter struggle to ensure that her son, Henry Tudor, triumphs as King of England.

The running theme throughout the book is Margaret's belief that she is another Joan of Arc, dedicated to her religion and loveless marriages in the pursuit of power. She feels personally abandoned by God and cheated out of her rightful position by her rivals but believes God's will is for her son Henry to lead the house of Lancaster to victory and eventually be crowned King and she will do anything to reach this goal.

Having enjoyed previous novels on the Tudor dynasty, I was looking forward to reading the role Margaret played in the continuous struggle for power and the barbaric methods used, a time when allegiance was here today, gone tomorrow.... Ms. Gregory's simplistic prose made it easy to follow the scenes and historical figures but unfortunately the storyline pacing is slow, repetitious and a tad boring. There are too many pages describing Margaret's ego and obsession with religion to the point it is a turn off. She is depicted as a cold, ambitious and unpleasant person but she must have had a conning side to live long enough to see her son reach the highest position in the country.....Reading became tedious as the story progressed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2010
I have read EVERY book from Philippa Gregory in regards to the Tudors dynasty. Therefore, I am a HUGE fan of the author and of this time period in England. I've read the White Queen and LOVED it! And like mentioned by others, it was so easy to fall in love with the character and the story of the White Queen. So, when you go on reading the Red Queen, what a contrast!

I'm not trying to say that Philippa Gregory didn't do a good job on this book, but she really managed to make me hate the character because Margaret Beaufort is really irritating! She's portrayed as a very unpleasant woman, with a very unfortunate life, and nothing exciting. There's no passion, no love story, or romance in this book because none of it happened to Margaret! And we can't reinvent history.

So if you love Philippa Gregory's books because of her well-crafted mix of history with fiction, and passion and romance, beware, you will not like this one! You will not like it simply because the character and her story is not as compelling as other Tudor characters.

Another disappointment is that having read the White Queen, you feel like you are reading the same story again but from Margaret's point of view. So there's nothing new. I would have loved to read more on once her son Henry becomes King and goes on to marry Elizabeth of York. I guess this could be another book!

So voila, a very well portrayed book of who the Red Queen might have been which will leave you hating the character :)
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