Review: The Lady of the Rivers – Philippa Gregory

Series: The Cousin’s War #3
Genre: Historical fiction
Pages: 497
Published: September 15, 2011 (UK)
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Ltd
Source. For review

Jacquetta, daughter of the Count of Luxembourg and kinswoman to half the royalty of Europe, was married to the great Englishman John, Duke of Bedford, uncle to Henry VI. Widowed at the age of nineteen she took the extraordinary risk of marrying a gentleman of her house-hold for love, and then carved out a life for herself as Queen Margaret of Anjou’s close friend and a Lancaster supporter – until the day that her daughter Elizabeth Woodville fell in love and married the rival king Edward IV. Of all the little-known but important women of the period, her dramatic story is the most neglected. With her links to Melusina, and to the founder of the house of Luxembourg, together with her reputation for making magic, she is the most haunting of heroines.

My thoughts:
I have been looking forward to this book ever since I heard she was writing it. Jacquetta is an interesting person to say the least. And you can say that when this book end, then book 1 actually begins, The White Queen. Since it is up to that point we hear her story.
Jacquetta married the Duke of Bedford, something that his former brother in law did not like. And they lost the support of Burgundy. In this book Gregory has the duke marrying Jacquetta because of her legacy, she is a descendant of Melusina. While in truth, who knows, he was old., she was young and pretty. That is reason enough. There she also meets Richard Woodville whom she later married without the kings blessing, and they pay for it. But when you are in love you are and I do admire Jacquetta for going against everything and everyone at a time like that.
And the story, yes we get to see England fight for France. Jacquetta get children, a lot, poor woman, she was always pregnant. Well at least they liked each other 😉 And of course the fall of the Lancaster King. The king falling into his sleep, Queen Margaret trying to keep the country together and then the start of the war of the roses. I also got thinking and I do like to think that Margaret got her child by a lover. Who can tell. And of course a book like this always has me picking a side. By now I have reached the conclusion that I will always start of as a Lancastrian but when Edward comes along I am Yorkist all the way. I also find it funny that I never like Warwick, no way. I haven’t liked him in any book I have read so far about this time.
Some do not like the magic in these books. But I look at it another way. I let Jacquetta think she can see the future, because back then superstition ruled. So if she thinks the saw the future it’s because she thought it so. Therefore I do not mind it at all. It does not take anything from the novel. It should also be there since the talk was that she was a witch, just like many other women of power, or who was strange, alone, old, anything really.
What we got in the end is an interesting tale about a woman who risked it all and who lived through dangerous times and got to see her daughter become queen (even if we do not see it here). I am glad Gregory wrote a book about Jacquetta and I am certainly glad to have read it. It was just what I wanted and I will not get tired of The cousin’s war.
A great book that I recommend to all fans of historical fiction, and to everyone because you can’t go wrong with history. And it may be long, but it is good. She does make history come alive. In the end we have this fascinating tale about a strong woman in a rich setting and it is worth exploring.
Pretty 😀

47 thoughts on “Review: The Lady of the Rivers – Philippa Gregory

  1. Audra says:

    Nice review — I've heard some folks where cool on this — they didn't like the characterizations. I find I'm always hit or miss on Gregory's novels but I've been curious about this trilogy so I might have to start it!

  2. Blodeuedd says:

    VivienneShe is?! I did now know that. To the googlemobile! ;)JennyThen I am sure you will like this book tooLindaI truly enjoyed the White Queen so I do recommend this seriesFeliciaSo true, She is the queen :)AudraSo far it has been hits for me with the 3 I have read. But the second, well I liked it, but Margaret was just such a bitch ;)MissieThey fit very well, and I enjoyed them.

  3. Blodeuedd says:

    MichellePerhaps if there were zombies in it? ;)Lol, well there are notDeannaI like that she stays so close to teh truth, but she still manages to put a spin on things. And she makes me believe that who knows, perhaps there was magic back then. A tiny amountAnaNeither had I before reading about E Woodwille :)Just keep cool then 😉 Do not anazlyze

  4. Blodeuedd says:

    ElysiumJust think about it like I said. Like she just thought she knew things. The mind is trickyMelissaYes, bad blogger! Lol, nah, there are just too many good books out there and not enough timeMRS QYAY! I hope you will enjoy it tooAmusedOh, well perhaps these are different. I have actually not read her Tudor books

  5. Mel says:

    I just finished The Red Queen and was looking forward to reading Lady of Rivers…and I like some magic in my books! :)Have to agree, the cover is pretty!

  6. Nina says:

    I'm thinking about getting all three books next year ( I just don't have the time this year. lol) and read all of them in one month. Yes I can do that. 😉 I adore the cover.

  7. Carole Rae says:

    Since I first heard her name I was interested, because at the time I thought she was just a fictional character…but then I found out shes real! I want to read this book in the near future. Great review

  8. Teddyree says:

    I liked The Red Queen more so than The White Queen so I'm really looking forward to this one. Like you I quite like the superstition and magic element 🙂

  9. Marissa says:

    Hmmm have some of her books on my shelf and really need to start reading them when I read your review, it sounds so right up my alley and I so love history!

  10. naida says:

    I'm a big fan of this author. Her Tudor novels are among my favorites. This one sounds fantastic. I think Gregory is among the Queens of historical fiction.

  11. Blodeuedd says:

    MelI hope you like this one then 😀 It was better then the Red Queen, ok not better, Margaret was just such a bitch ;)Sooooo pretty, I love itNinaI think that sounds like the perfect plan 😀 Yes yes do it!Staci*shock*I am speechlesslolChrisI just tried to think around it, even if in the end I liked it since I am all for maagicMelissaI know. I just love historical fiction 😀 You really should try someCaroleOh yes, all real, a babymachine (15 or something), mother to a queen, and quite a woman

  12. Blodeuedd says:

    StephSome like it, some don't, and I do not mind. Since, well I would love to think magic was around back then and other beings.YvonneYou really should try them, and totally start with this seriesBermudaA friend of mine kept bugging me to read her and I am glad I finally did last yearTeddyMore so, well it was good, I just did not like the main character. But she does write to wellAnaYou are one scary woman 😉 But then no one is so good at anazlying as you areAurianShe was right there, and the mother of a queen, still so forgotten

  13. Blodeuedd says:

    MarissaIf you alreay got so0me then yes go ahead 😀 Is it the Tudor ones? I have not read thoseVeeensThen I am sure you would enjoy this book.AlexisAt least they liked each other enough hihi. And pregnancy at that time was a killer so I am glad she made it. I love the fontCarolLol, at least you admit it that you will never find the timeLoriSo pretty, It is one of the best ones this year.NaidaShe sure is there at the top and I hope she writes many more good ones

  14. Blodeuedd says:

    CherryYes of course, book 1 was about Elizabeth Woodville and book 3 is about her mother when she was young. Book 2 was about M Beaufort. So all different women, in different times, but over crossing since it all has to do with the war. You can read them in any order you want really.CarrieYes I did 😀 Mostly cos Margaret was such a bitch 😉

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