Title: The White Princess
Author: Philippa Gregory
Series: The Cousins War
Previous Books in the Series:
1. The White Queen
2. The Red Queen
3. The Lady of the Rivers
4. The Kingmaker’s Daughter
Date Started: August 24
Date Finished: August 28
Format: Hardcover from local library
Princess Elizabeth of York has known the wheel of fortune. She has been on the upside – where she was a crowned princess and beloved of all the court – and she has known the downside – being in sanctuary with her mother and legalized as a bastard. Her fate seemed to have changed when King Richard of York – her uncle – took an interest in her. But even that wasn’t to last. Richard’s reign was threatened by Henry Tudor – Elizabeth’s betrothed – and he rode out on the battlefield to defend his throne. But he lost and now Elizabeth has a new ruler to pledge her loyalty to, even though he has heard the rumors of what she did.
But that isn’t the hardest part, because no matter who sits on the throne there is always someone out there who claims to be a true heir. And with the mystery still of the York princes, Henry isn’t sure if he can hold on to his throne or who to trust.
I didn’t like this book. Don’t get me wrong. I loved Philippa Gregory’s writing as always and the way she brings these characters to life will always astound me. But I just… I didn’t like Elizabeth, which is odd considering how strong I thought she was and usually I like the strong female trope in historical fiction. I despised Henry Tudor mostly because he was a false king in my opinion. For one thing, he always did what his mother told him to do (don’t even get me started on Her Lady the King’s Mother) which included raping Elizabeth before they were even wed. And his reasoning for it – because she was rumored to be whore after her activities with Richard – was just downright disgusting. When Elizabeth started ‘falling’ for Henry I was thoroughly repulsed. For another, Henry was too mistrusting. I get why, after the life he lived, but my god, there is a difference between being overly careful and just being downright paranoid.
I also didn’t like the mystery of Elizabeth’s missing brothers, especially as each new ‘son of York’ showed up to threaten Henry’s hold on his throne. Was it Richard, the boy Elizabeth and her mother sent out into the darkness? Or is he just some poor boy told to say he is Richard Duke of York? The mystery drove me absolutely nuts.
Final Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. The characters were despicable. The events were too mind boggling to figure out cleanly. And I still think this curse that Elizabeth and her mother put on whoever killed the princes, has a part to play in the next book. I’m just curious how.
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