The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

When the young and beautiful Jacquetta is married to the older Duke of Bedford, English regent of France, he introduces her to a mysterious world of learning and alchemy. Her only friend in the great household is the duke's squire Richard Woodville, who is at her side when the duke's death leaves her a wealthy young widow. The two become lovers and marry in secret, returning to England to serve at the court of the young King Henry VI, where Jacquetta becomes a close and loyal friend to his new queen.
The Woodvilles soon achieve a place at the very heart of the Lancaster court, though Jacquetta has visions of the growing threat from the people of England and the danger of their royal York rivals. Jacquetta fights for her king and queen, as she sees an extraordinary and unexpected future for her daughter Elizabeth: a change of fortune, the white rose of York, and the throne of England.

It took me a little while to get properly into The Lady of the Rivers. It has a rather stale start featuring Joan of Arc and that threw me for a bit, fearing I'd misunderstood what the book would be about.

However, soon enough the book got back on track and I fully immersed myself in yet another great book by Gregory. For me she truly is the 21st century Queen of the Tudor Court as well as the Courts that came just before - her research seems thorough and her portrayal of the many historical character is brilliant. They all come alive right before my eyes and I love it.

The Cousins' War series (chronological order, rather than publication):
  • The Lady of the Rivers #3
  • The Red Queen #2
  • The White Queen #1
  • The Kingmaker's Daughter #4
  • The White Princess #5
  • The Last Rose / The King's Curse (not yet released) #6
The series is about the famously known War of the Roses between the two Houses Lancaster and York, who fought bitterly over the throne of England (Spoiler: York wins and ends with Elizabeth I on the throne). This book, though published after the others, is set before them and is about the grand mother of first Queen of York. Elizabeth Woodwille, a person I'd never heard of before, but who turns out to be a highly interesting woman who lived through a turbulent time and had a great deal of influence on the court of her time.

The Lady of the Rivers
by Philippa Gregory
The Cousins' War #3
ISBN13: 9781847374592
502 pages / published in 2011
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014


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