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Publisher's Summary

Brother turns on brother. The throne of England is at stake. The deadly Wars of the Roses have begun....
They ruled England before the Tudors, and now internationally best-selling author Philippa Gregory brings the Plantagenets to life through the dramatic and intimate stories of the secret players: the indomitable women.
Elizabeth Woodville, a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition, secretly marries the newly crowned boy king of England. While she rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for the success of her family, her two sons become the central figures in a famous unsolved mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the lost princes in the Tower of London.
Philippa Gregory brings the artistry and intellect of a master writer and storyteller to a new era in history and begins what is sure to be another best-selling classic series.
©2009 Philippa Gregory (P)2011 Simon & Schuster
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Critic Reviews

"It would be hard to make history more entertaining, lively or engaging." ( Sunday Express)
"Queen of the historical novel." ( Mail on Sunday)
"Gregory brings to life the sights, smells and textures of 16th-century England." ( Financial Times)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By FanB14 on 06-27-13

Prep for Starz Drama

Elizabeth Woodville a strong, ambitious commoner marries Plantagent King Edward for love. The York family featured in this book is part of Gregory’s “Cousins War” series exploring the War of the Roses from different sides. This was my first book in the series and while I enjoyed learning a little history while being entertained, I won’t read any of the others immediately; maybe at a later date. All Philippa Gregory books I’ve read are interesting, a little fact mixed with fiction, drama, intrigue, and love interests blended in a standard formula. You can enjoy and multitask simultaneously. Narrator delivers a solid performance with strong voice for Elizabeth and moves seamlessly between other characters.

Starz miniseries “The White Queen” airs in August exploring the stories of Elizabeth, Margaret Beaufort, and Anne Neville. Listening has given me enough background to prep and hopefully enjoy the new series. Reports thus far give the drama good marks and name Rebecca Ferguson as a possible breakout star. This book was worth my credit.

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32 of 34 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Theodore on 12-15-12

Your ambition will be your curse....

No line in any Phillipa Gregory novel rang more true to the very idea of what any of her books have been about than this one: "Your ambition will be your curse..." This was a line that comes later in the book and is uttered by one Elizabeth of York. I must say I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I do believe that any fan of Phillipa Gregory would enjoy it.

This book did take a number of liberties in the storyline if you ask me with the inclusion of a fair amount of mysticism and superstition. In fact at the end of the book Phillipa Gregory warns us herself that due to the very time in which the novel took place and the scarcity of some facts she did assume quite a bit where some things were concerned. With all that being said though and with me being a bit of a fan of fantasy literature as well, the addition was welcomed. It also was done in such a good way that even though it is noticeable it is not an overpowering aspect in the story.

Typical fans of Phillipa Gregory can expect the same combination of treachery, back dealing, plotting, romanticism, historical facts and above all else excellent writing. The best thing and the most appreciative thing about Phillipa Gregory works is the strong writing which makes the novel flow. You follow Elizabeth Woodville's rise to power, subsequent fall from grace and her constant plotting throughout the book. The book is set in a time where everyone and their uncle with a speck of royal blood (literally) are plotting a way to ascend the throne of England. The battle between the Yorkist brothers and also the introduction of the Tudors comes apparent in this book as well.

Excellent book and it leaves you wanting to continue to the next one. If you are into no so historical, tipped with some but not overbearing romance, a little bit of mysticism topped off with really awesome narrative and writing in general.... you'll love this book.

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38 of 41 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By F on 06-15-11

Stick with it!

At first I found the style of this book irritating but then became hooked on it. It is more lyrical than your average historical novel. Initially I felt the repetition of details, of who people were etc was annoying - as though I couldn't remember for myself - but then got into the way of it and realised it was a style of writing - perhaps mimicking the oral narrative of the times. The intrigues and plotting become compelling as the story unfolds and your sympathies are tested as the main character fights for power when you feel she should really run. A great insight into the times. The mesmeric voice of the narrator becomes addictive. A very different experience!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Carol on 10-14-11

Mixed feelings

This is not the best Philippa Gregory story but not the worst either. I'm a fan of historical novels & enjoyed listening to it, and I'm interested to learn more about the War of the Roses. The thing that spoilt the story for me was the narration. I found the reader's voice languid & expressionless - at times to the point of monotony. It may appeal to others so I would definitely suggest listening to the whole of the sample.

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