Finally it is time for “The Red Queen”, it feels like an eternity since the first installment of Gregory’s new series The Cousins' War was released. The Red Queen officially hits US bookstores on August 3rd, UK publication date – August 19th ANZ publication date – September 1st. I enjoyed “The White Queen” and all of Gregory's other books including “The Other Queen” which I know many people did not like at all. I know that Philippa has a past of stirring up controversy, her books are usually a hot topic of debate. One that history buffs hold strong opinions on. I am sure this one will be no different on the controversy cauldron. I personally am not one who has to have complete historical accuracy, but I do draw the line at a certain point. One thing I will never be able to forgive Gregory for is the mythical sixth finger nub she gave to Anne Boleyn in “The Other Boleyn Girl”. Even if I cannot forgive her for that I still enjoy her books even if they can be a bit off historically sometimes.
The notoriously pious Margaret Beaufort has always been one in my book that is a known Tudor villain. Personally I think the woman was evil. She schemed and plotted her way all through the War of the Roses and came out on top. I figure she must have been smart and quick as a whip because she was one of the few people that survived the war. It was all for one great cause, her son Henry Tudor. Being the only heir left of the house of Lancaster Margaret sees her sons cause simply as put in place by God himself. God himself wanted Henry to defeat York and roar into England as the red dragon. Even in her younger years Margaret was sure she was destined to become a saint and that her "lady" sent her visions of Joan of Arc for a reason while she prayed on her “saints knees”. It was like she was supposed to be England’s version of Joan of Arc which I can not even say out loud with out huffing about it. Margaret was firm in her belief that her prayers were answered and that a higher power spoke to her and gave her a divine purpose of placing her son on the throne of England. Her only child was destined to rule England because God himself willed it. Which translated to Margaret simply as, it did not matter how many people died in her path because her way was the righteous way to the throne.
Margaret was everything I expected, nasty, conniving, cunning, cold-hearted, and as strict as a nun schoolteacher who would beat a child with a large ruler in class. Gregory nailed Margaret's personality down to the T and since the book starts with a young Margaret you can get a feel of maybe just maybe why it was she was so dang mean. I enjoyed that Gregory gave a unique reason as to why Margaret was never able to give birth again after Henry was born. Scary as it sounds poor Margaret had a hard labor and Henry was just not coming. The crazy answer hum lets see; lets toss her in a blanket over ten times to shift the baby, dumb but it worked to get Henry out at the time. The tossing must have caused damage on her already too young body. Surprisingly I did not feel bad for her very much.
My only upset which I cannot go into too much detail about, is not that Margaret and Jasper Tudor shared feelings for each other which was more like a crush. For me it was Jasper's role that did not settle well in the end. It is well worth the read just to be able to understand what I mean but I can not give away too much it just is not my style. I will say however that it was not line crossing.
4/5 enjoyed it but I was a bit disappointed in the handling of the Lost Princes of York. It seemed a little anticlimactic leading up to Margaret’s perspective of the events. I am hoping the book in the series that will be on Elizabeth of York will be the tie into for both red and white queen but...we might have to wait for Elizabeth Woodville's mother Jaquetta's appearance first. I just have a feeling Elizabeth’s story will make all of it just make more sense. Recommended to all, especially newbie’s who want to get into the War of the Roses because this one is limited to almost wholly Margaret's prospective. I have to say though I think the historical accuracy lovers might have a few issues with this read. Even with all my quips I really did enjoy the read and will continue to read the series.
FTC: Book was sent to me by publisher
PG-13 Rating Violence