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Friday, November 4, 2011

Review: The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory

Title: The Red Queen
Author: Philippa Gregory
Publisher: Touchstone
Publish Date: August 3, 2010
Source: Library

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You're a historical fiction fan.
  • You liked The White Queen.
  • You like Philippa Gregory.
What's the Story?:

From "The second book in Philippa's stunning new trilogy, The Cousins War, brings to life the story of Margaret Beaufort, a shadowy and mysterious character in the first book of the series - The White Queen - but who now takes centre stage in the bitter struggle of The War of the Roses. The Red Queen tells the story of the child-bride of Edmund Tudor, who, although widowed in her early teens, uses her determination of character and wily plotting to infiltrate the house of York under the guise of loyal friend and servant, undermine the support for Richard III and ultimately ensure that her only son, Henry Tudor, triumphs as King of England. Through collaboration with the dowager Queen Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret agrees a betrothal between Henry and Elizabeth's daughter, thereby uniting the families and resolving the Cousins War once and for all by founding of the Tudor dynasty."

My Two Cents:

Margaret Beaufort is not a likeable character. She is scheming. She complains a lot. She just isn't that nice. Elizabeth Woodville, the main character in the first book of the Cousins' War trilogy is scheming but has a really compelling story behind her. Margaret Beaufort seems to spend most of her life being jealous of Elizabeth Woodville, who she feels is undeserving to be queen. Margaret Beaufort just kind of annoyed me and not in a good way.

This book also covers the same time period as The White Queen so there are a lot of details that would already be recognizable to anyone who has read that book. I think it would have been interested to hear different details about the Cousins War rather than the same ones but just from Margaret's perspective. Even though Elizabeth and Margaret are from different families, both have the same view point: that each of their perspective families should have the throne.

I'm anxious to read the last installation of this trilogy as it's supposed to cover Elizabeth Woodville's mother, who seems much more interesting than Margaret Beaufort.



  1. Hmmm...based on your review I think I might just read The White Queen and skip The Red Queen. Thanks for the great review! :)

  2. @Kat @ NoPageLeftBehind Yeah, I definitely think you could do that and not miss anything!

  3. I have been a huge Phillipa Gregory fan and I was deeply disappointed with The Red Queen. Although the character Margaret is accurately portrayed as unappealing and unlikeable there did not appear to a believability to the storyline which was extremely dragged out. I found it hard to stay interested and a bit of a lazy read.


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