Saturday, November 12, 2011

Review of The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory

Title: The Red Queen
Author: Philipa Gregory
Published by: Simon & Schuster Audio
Dics: 12 CDS
Source: Library
Format: Audiobook
Rating: ★

Summary from Goodreads: 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.

I love historical fiction.  When I read this genre I imagine that this history is true and I'm actually reading the scandalous life of someone who existed during the time period.  It's like finding an old diary and exposing the truths of someone who has long been gone.  I think in a way it almost makes me feel smart because I'm not only wrapped up in the story, I'm also learning some history too that the author snuck in.

That being said, this book just didn't do it for me.  I think the main reason I didn't enjoy this book is because I couldn't stand the main character, Margaret Beaufort.  First she was a religious fanatic who twisted her religion to always benefit her.  She claimed that "it is the will of God," when in fact it was just her will and since she assumed she was blessed she thought it impossible for "the will of God" to not be her will as well.  It drove me nuts that she was so determined that whatever she wanted was "the will of God: and everyone else was going against God's will.

She was a conniving, arrogant and contemptuous women that throughout the whole novel I kept wanting her side to loose.  I actually felt sorry for her husbands.

As for the story itself I felt there was a lot of war.  I wanted more out of the story.  I wanted court life, scandal, dashing knights and forbidden romance.  All I got was strategists and war.

I love Philipa Gregory as an author, so if your looking for a great historical fiction novel I'd pick one of her other novels instead.   


  1. I read this too and I felt the same thing about the main character. I just wanted to give her a good smacking. Anyways, great review. I'm sorry you didn't like it that much, but I thought it was okay.

  2. I read the Constant Princess not too long ago and Margaret was a character in that book. She was very unlikable in that book as well.

  3. I have yet to read anything by her, but I definitely will choose a different title when I get around to reading one of her books.


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