The Colorless Queen

One of my current obsessions is make up, and this obsession requires the viewing of certain YouTube channels. These so-called “beauty gurus” usually have a side channel where viewers can watch videos about other things. One of the more famous girls, Elle Fowler, does something called Glitteratures, in which she reviews books. And in one of these videos, she reviewed The White Queen by Philippa Gregory. Since I really trust her views on under eye concealer, I thought that her choice of books might be accurate as well. Also, I haven’t been living under a rock, I did hear of Philippa Gregory, so I decided that this new series could be where I started.

This book is the first book of the Cousins’ War series. They are set a bit before the glorious days of Tudors Philippa Gregory is known for, in the 15th century. This particular book is about Elizabeth Woodville. She married King Edward IV, and the book starts with the moment she decides to seduce and marry him. She is a widower with two kids, and she’s actually older than the king, but she still manages it. She mothers lots of kids (I lost count) and two of those are the famous “Princes in the Tower”, which basically means that these two princes vanished one day from the Tower of London and no one knows what happened to them.

Elizabeth is a clever woman, and so is her mother, Jacquetta. Actually she has her own book out, The Lady of Rivers, which is actually set before this one. And the other book in the series, The Red Queen, is around the same time as The White Queen, but from the point of view of the other side, Lady Margaret Beaufort. We see a lot of her in this book as well. There’s lots of intrigues and subtle games for the throne. The love they feel for one another and her emotions as a mother and sister are of second importance, though I don’t think it’s because of lack of talent as a writer. She does her best to portray Elizabeth as a passionate mother and lover, but I just don’t buy it. I don’t feel it, and that’s why sometimes I felt like reading a nonfiction book. The actual war parts were really a drag to get through. At one point, I called it “the book that never ends”, even though it’s not really long. It just goes on and on and on. On the plus side, there’s  a bit of witchcraft. Plus, I do think the lives of the royal make for an interesting read, but I just don’t love this book. I hesitated about the other books, which are quite easy to buy, but I decided to go back to basics and get The Other Boleyn Girl instead.

So, though I believe this is the best thing that could be written about this particular woman’s life, I give it 3 stars, because there are a lot of better books out there. Plus I don’t see Hollywood fighting for its film rights, so there’s no need to rush to the bookstore to get it.

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