Sunday, August 30, 2009

REVIEW: THE WHITE QUEEN by Philippa Gregory

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

A HUGE THANK YOU to Simon and Schuster Canada for sending me a copy of "The White Queen" for review! 

SUMMARY:  (  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.

"The White Queen" will always be special to me as it was my very first Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) sent to me by a pubishing house.  I was very excited to read this book as I was a HUGE fan of "The Other Boleyn Girl" by Gregory, and had heard many good things about "White Queen" so I immediately started reading. 

The first 50 pages or so of the book will have you swooning all over the place.  At least that's where it had me.  The georgous blonde king falling in love with Elizabeth is Gregory's story telling at it's absolute best!  But right after the coronation is when the story starts to become little more than a retelling of events, for me.  The majority of the book was very much a "talking heads" book and more like non-fiction.  Most of it lacked Gregory's usual dramatic edge and emotion, and I felt myself becoming bored and often times confused as to where the characters were physically in the story and what they were doing when the pages and pages of dialogue started. 

What I did like about it, though, were the scenes in which Edward and Elizabeth were alone as husband and wife and gently teasing one another, or embracing in powerful displays of love.  These were like lovely oases in a stark and long trek through facts and history.  Also, the whole theme of the mythical Melusina was lovely, and I also enjoyed the "witchy" aspects of Elizabeth and her mother. 

Near the end of reading it I started to wonder what I would say about the book, and knew that I had to have a balanced review for my readers.  While I did not "not" like it, I couldn't say in all honestly that I LOVED it either.  It was a fast read, and definately peaked my interest for more about this particular royal family and their story. 

RATING:  2/5

8 Blabs:

Libby's Library said...

Hi - thanks for dropping by my place and leaving such a nice comment!

Unknown said...

kay, your blog is making my 'to-read' list like a bizillion miles long. But I'm LOVING reading about all these books and what you think of them. :)

Jenny said...

Good review! I think I'll still read it but I'm not sure if I'll hurry to buy it. I still haven't read her other series and have been wanting to start that for a while!

Lisa said...

Hey Jaclyn! I know what you mean... since diving into book blogging and visiting many blogs everyday, my "to-read" list is huge.

So glad you like my blog!!! :)

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Great review. Sorry this one didn't work out to well for you.

Anonymous said...

Nice review. Thanks for giving us the good and the bad.

Mel (He Followed Me Home) said...

Oh no, I have this in my TBR pile! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it. Maybe with my lowered expectations it may not be as bad for me, lol.

Lisa said...

Hey Mel! You know what? If I had known ahead of time the style of the book, I would not have been dissappointed. You may love it! Who knows? :)

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