Author: Philippa Gregory
Series: The Cousins' War
Genres: Historical fiction
Release: July 23rd 2013
// Goodreads //
Caught between loyalties, the mother of the Tudors must choose between the red rose and the white.
When Henry Tudor picks up the crown of England from the mud of Bosworth field, he knows he must marry the princess of the enemy house—Elizabeth of York—to unify a country divided by war for nearly two decades.
But his bride is still in love with his slain enemy, Richard III—and her mother and half of England dream of a missing heir, sent into the unknown by the White Queen. While the new monarchy can win power, it cannot win hearts in an England that plots for the triumphant return of the House of York.
Henry’s greatest fear is that somewhere a prince is waiting to invade and reclaim the throne. When a young man who would be king leads his army and invades England, Elizabeth has to choose between the new husband she is coming to love and the boy who claims to be her beloved lost brother: the rose of York come home at last.
EXPECTATIONS: I love Philippa Gregory books, especially the Tudor Series and the Cousins’ War. I loved the previous books so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this one. Elizabeth of York and Henry Tudor are one of my favorite couples in history so I went into this book with really high expectations.
THE WORLD: The world in 15th century England. The Cousins’ War has ended Richard III has been killed and Henry Tudor or Henry VII is the king. Just like in any Philippa book we have beautiful castles, dresses, balls and dances. In this book there is a lot of war and political discussions as well.
CHARACTERS: Now before we move further I have to say that I was especially disappointed with this book. I didn’t like the characters; I didn’t like the plot…let me explain.
So the main character in this book and the narrator is Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV, if I remember correctly. She is the oldest York daughter and therefore the victor of the battles and the war kind of has to marry her because the people love the York House. She was NOTHING like the Elizabeth I have read about, watched documentaries about or ever search about. I mean Elizabeth of York was kind and understood the importance of uniting the two houses so England could finally be at peace, but this girl….this girl was just something else. She was so annoying, so spoiled and just so stupid. She literally didn’t know anything, was vulgar and cared about nothing else but her dead uncle lover Richard III.
Then we have Henry Tudor, who also was just a stupid mamma’s boy. I mean he did sometimes express himself as king and all went into battles and all but he was nothing like the man I read about in other books.
Elizabeth Woodville, Elizabeth’s mother was annoying also, nothing like the woman in the book The White Queen, Lady Margaret also was just super over the top. You know what I will sum it up basically every single character in this book was so over the top I wanted to vomit.
ROMANCE: Elizabeth is in love with Richard her uncle lover, but he’s dead so she has to marry Henry, but they hate each other and at one point they kind of love each other but not really cause of multiple reasons.
GOOD: I liked the historical part and that this book is turned into a TV Show, because the show is very very different, and it’s kind of actually good, so I’ll just stick with that.
BAD: Disclaimer, I will talking about spoilers so if you don’t want to read don’t read:
1. Henry and Elizabeth – in every single book or documentary is it very clearly stated that Henry and Elizabeth both understood the necessity to marry in order to finally make peace in England. And that they actually had a happy loving marriage. Well this book totally messed that up really shocking way for me. I mean I like historical books being realistic but this is just too much. First of all, they constantly insult each other oh you whore, you usurper etc., it’s not cute or funny. I wanted a book where the entire wellbeing of a kingdom is put in the hands of two basically kids and they need to find a way to rule together. Instead I got stupidity. 2. The rape scene – ok so Henry sees Elizabeth for like the second time and he forces her to have sex with him because he won’t marry her if she won’t conceive and give him an heir. If she gets pregnant he will marry her. When I read this I couldn’t believe what I was reading. What the hell is this? Do you actually think I, a person who really knows history and medieval customs, who spends her Friday night listening to some documentary, you will make me believe that a royal King, who has to marry a royal Princess, of the only house his entire country holds as their kings house, the daughter of the most beloved king, will rape her every night to see if she gets pregnant, and if not he will marry someone else? Are you kidding me right now? No one did this; no one even held hands until marriage, especially a noble and royal people. Guys I literally got so angry! 3. I got sick of the revenge plot, because the characters were so annoying, I just got annoyed also. 4. The ending – there was no ending, I didn’t understand anything.
OVERALL: Overall, I was very upset and disappointed with this. I really wanted to read this book and love it but I think I’ll stick with the show since it’s also pretty far from reality but at least the actors are pretty to look at.
What do you think about THE WHITE PRINCESS?