Leah's Reviews > The Red Queen

The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory
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's review
Dec 27, 10

bookshelves: historical-fiction
Read from December 14 to 23, 2010

I had no choice but to give this book one star. I have never wanted to put a book down so much in my life. I found myself skimming pages rather than reading them because I was so bored OR annoyed with Margaret's POV. I have never read a book where I disliked the main character so much. She starts off a sympathetic character who I rooted for and ended up being so single minded and annoying I just wanted her cause to fail!!! If she talked about Joan of Arc one more time I was going to just set the book on fire!! She talked frequently about how holy she was and how she was chosen for this great purpose etc... I found nothing holy or special about her- she was just a fanatical religious woman with an enormous chip on her shoulder.

I've become wary of Philippa Gregory's books since she wrote "The Other Boleyn Girl" and slaughtered history. That is a beloved time period of mine and the Boleyns a special family who I have an affinity for, so what she did to them in that book was a crime. I understand that she was taking artistic license but people unfortunately mistake her books for "fact".

I really enjoyed her books prior to her decision to write "historical fiction" based on real historical figures and events but I've lost respect for her now. I only read this book because my mom had it from the library and I wanted to give Ms. Gregory another chance. I confess that I don't know if she's mangled history in this one, as it's an era that predates the one I know well, but she certainly failed in writing a character that garners any sympathy or a story that's a page turner.
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Reading Progress

12/18/2010 page 180
12/20/2010 page 200
52.0% "having an incredibly hard time getting into this book. I don't like the main character and lost sympathy for her as she starts growing up."
12/27/2010 page 300
79.0% "this book is definitely not on my top list!! the main character was horrendous! I didn't sympathize with her at all or want her cause to win, even though I know my history and know that they did. There's something very wrong when an author chooses to make their protagonist unlikeable!!!!"
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Deborah There are definitely some inaccuracy in the books, but you can get past that if you just accept that it is fiction and it`s not meant to be accurate, no matter how much Ms. Gregory likes to call herself a historian. Now,if you are still reading this book, you have to understand that, much like The Other Boleyn Girl, if Ms. Gregory does not like a person, she`s going to do her best to make everyone else hates said person too (see Anne Boleyn`s example). Gregory LOVES Elizabeth Woodville. She absolutely adores her, so of course Margaret Beaufort needs to be horrible.
She completely destroyed the character! Margaret Beaufort is one of the most incredible woman of her time (if not the most incredible). She was a highly educated, pious woman, she was trusted with the education of many of noble children and founded Cambridge colleges. But instead of using all this information about her, she turned the woman into a one dimension, childish religious freak who thinks she`s always right and that anyone who disagrees with her is the devil`s brood. And it makes me SO ANGRY!

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