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Friday 20 September 2013

Book Review: The Red Queen ★★★


This review is so hard to write because I love this series of books but the character in this one is so awful it made the story a struggle.

This is the second book in Philippa Gregory's The Cousin's War series, and follows Margaret de Beaufort, the mother of King Henry VI as she makes it her mission to get her son on the throne of England.

Margaret is incredibly devout and believes that it is God's will to have her son on the throne, and spends much of the book on her knees praying that it will be so. She is also quite cunning and I would even go so far as to say a little evil in the lengths that she will go to bring it about, believing that her involvement in anything which would normally be classed as sinful will be pardoned by God because it is all in aid of getting Henry on the throne. It is this obsession with religion that made this such a hard read. Margaret's mad chattering, often attempting to liken herself to Joan of Arc, can only be read for so long before it gets very tiring.

I wish we had seen more of her wilfulness in a positive light instead of it only appearing as treachery, as I think for a woman so devoted she could be an inspiration to some. Ultimately she had a goal and she achieved it by any means necessary.

For me I read this because it was the next book after The White Queen which I loved, but I wouldn't choose to read it again, and it did put me off carrying on the series for a while. I recommend that you do read it if you want to complete the series because as always Philippa Gregory's writing of the period is fascinating to read and she researches well, but be prepared for it to take a while.


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