Monday, June 4, 2012

2012 BOTY: The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

Ever have one of those days where you feel like your life is going to hell in a handbasket? Well...that's pretty much been my last 3-4 days. So...I've been moping and doing nothing. Today...well today I had grand plans. Grand plans that went to crap at 8am when I woke up with stomach cramps and a low grade fever. So today has pretty much not rocked it. But...I've dragged myself to the computer because, well damnit, I'm going to get something accomplished.

Disclaimer here : I'm still not feeling up to par, so if the writing here is complete crap, well...I'm blaming it on that.

I'm four book reviews behind and Goodreads is informing me that I am currently three books behind on my reading goal. Whee! So tonight I'm going to even that being three reviews and three books behind.

I'm a pretty big fan of Philippa Gregory. I blame that more or less on Patti. She got me hooked when she lent me The Other Boleyn Girl. Since then, I've been grabbing up her books whenever I come upon them. And thankfully, when I was out searching for Jenny Lawson's book, I had enough left over on my Barnes and Noble gift card to buy her newest paperback, The Lady of the Rivers.

The Lady of the Rivers is the third book in her Cousins' War series, all about the War of the Roses (i.e. the wars over the throne of England). As with her other books, this one did not disappoint. I'm not going to beat around the bush here, I loved it.

The story focuses on Jacquetta, mother of Elizabeth Woodville (who will eventually rise to be Queen of England). Jacquetta is a daughter of Luxembourg. She is a descendant of the water goddess, Melusina and is said to have "the sight". She is well aware of the danger that could befall her should others know of her abilities - a lesson she learns firsthand when she witnesses the death of Joan of Arc. But she is sought out for her talent by the man who will become her husband. The Duke of Bedford, England's regent to France, wishes to use Jacquetta's knowledge of the future to help guide him in knowing how England may win back their lands from the upstart French king.

Jacquetta goes with her husband to England, away from her family and her home. Soon after, he dies, leaving her a rich widow well placed at court. She falls in love with his squire, Richard Woodville, and the two secretly marry.

She then finds herself placed in the court of Queen Margaret (of Anjou) when a mysterious sickness befalls King Henry VI. She watches as the throne waivers in the balance while three families war over who should rightfully wear the crown.

Now...having said that I loved this book I do have to say that I didn't love it as much as the second book in the series, The Red Queen. The writing was still superb, but I didn't feel that the book had as much focus as some of her other books and that the last few years were covered quite quickly. I realize that it's difficult to cover such a large span of time in a single book, but having read her other books I am aware of what she is capable of. Also, unlike the majority of her books, I did have a small section of the book where I found myself growing bored. That has only happened one other time, with The Constant Princess. It did have me worried for a bit there, but she managed to turn it around fairly quickly.

As with the rest of her books, The Lady of the Rivers reads (for the most part) fast and easy. She tends to suck me in pretty quickly and she had a great knack for melding fact with fiction. In fact, I consider it a minor history lesson every time I read one of her novels. That's right...she's making me smarter. I'm sticking to that theory.

Plus, the nice thing about this having been the third book in the series? I'm finally starting to get a handle on who is who. Let me tell you, it can be pretty confusing when everyone has the same name. John, Richard, Henry, Elizabeth, Margaret...oh my.

I'll definitely be reading this book again and I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series...which should be available for me some time in the next year or so. The Lady of the Rivers gets 4 out of 5 stars from me.

1 comment:

  1. I'm really looking forward to reading this, I've really enjoyed the two previous books in this new series.

    Marlene Detierro (Fishing The Rogue River)


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