Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Book Review Tuesday - The White Princess by Philipa Gregory #Phillipagregory

Book Review for: The White Princess
Written by: Philippa Gregory
ISBN: 918-1-4516-2609-4
Avail as a hardback and ebook
4 Stars

Gregory pulls back the pages of history to give us a raw, gritty look of the start of the Tudor reign with "The White Princess." Elizabeth of York has loved and lost and is now resigned to her fate, Queen of England. Henry VII has won a crown but lost in love. Can he build a dynasty to rule England without love?

The novel opens with Elizabeth mourning her uncle's death. Henry Tudor has taken the throne as Henry VII, yet he is weary of anyone and anything once belonging to York. Having lived a hard life, he's suspicious of all, and this is his challenge: can he overcome his faults and inspire love in the people around him? It just might prove an impossible task with his mother at his side.

The story belongs to Elizabeth, however, and not Henry. Here we see a young woman confident in herself, having been raised a princess. She assumes the mantle of queen with poise and grace, yet many plot to restore the beloved House of York to the throne. How Elizabeth manages the challenges in her life defines the type of woman she will be remembered for.

Gregory's done her research and it shows, painting a vivid fictional backdrop against established historical events. It's said "history is written by the victors," and Gregory proposes that's what the first Tudors, Henry and Margaret, have done. Her writing is easy and not overburdened by trying to capture 1500's speech patterns.

The story slows in some places, but there's always a twist to keep it moving. "The White Princess" is full of suspense and heartbreak that will keep you turning the pages. 

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