Posted by : Ruby Escalona Monday, November 26, 2012
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.
Known as the queen of historical fiction, Philippa Gregory is well known for her TUdor novels, one has even been made into a movie (The Other Boleyn Girl, anyone?). The White Queen is the first novel I've read from her and I can say it was a bit disappointing.
I expected detail, but I didn't expect detail to the point that parts of the novel is redundant - another character already said one thing, only to be repeated a few paragraphs later by another, and that goes on again and again. I also don't like the magic factor. Mixing magic with historical fiction don't really go well with each other, but who knows? Maybe in the old times, they really do believe in curses, magic, and whatnot. Not that it is true!
I originally liked the first part of the novel, but got bored when King Edward died and the story was all about Elizabeth. For some reason, her character became bland, desperate and annoying. When King Edward was still around, there were tales of wars and of love (of course, their love story was part of it).
I forgot to say that this book was the first of a trilogy which focuses on the three strong women within the House of Lancaster: first book is about Elizabeth Woodville (who married Edward, who became king), the second is about Elizabeth's daughter, aptly named Elizabeth as well (and makes things hellishly confusing as in the old times, your child's names are normally named after the parents or aunts or uncles or grandparents!), and the third is based on Jacquetta (Elizabeth Woodville's mother). Now, would I say that I'll buy the second and third part? Hmm maybe if they were on sale (like for $2 or less. I definitely won't buy it full price).
What else can I say about this book? It could be better - I think that it was rushed at some parts, and more detail could have been given about the places and more background on the characters could have been explained (then again Philippa Gregory has this tendency of releasing a few books per year so she could just be writing without considering any of these factors, but that's just me).
I'll read The Other Boleyn Girl some time and hopefully that book would be to my expectations!