Misfit's Reviews > The Dragon & the Rose

The Dragon & the Rose by Roberta Gellis
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May 13, 12

bookshelves: tudor-england, snoozefest, who-wrote-this, 2012-mt-tbr-challenge
Read from May 11 to 12, 2012

The Dragon and the Rose is supposedly the story of Henry VII (the dragon) and Elizabeth of York (the rose), but don't go getting yourself fired up by the romancy looking cover and jacket blurb. The first half of The Dragon and the Rose is more about Henry's younger years, his mother Margaret Beaufort and events leading up to becoming king after the battle at Bosworth field. That latter half revolves around the Henry's early years as king as he faces challenges of plots against the crown, stabilizing the countryside, along with his marriage to Elizabeth and the MIL from hell (those evil Woodvilles you know).

If you are familiar with this period, you know the drill, and if you are new to the Wars of the Roses this isn't the book to start reading about it. Gellis really doesn't bring anything new or fresh to Henry's early life and the years he spent in exile so just skip through the first half as you'll be bored to tears. But then there's the second half when he's king and newly married and you would think things are going to get interesting, right?

Wrong. Dull, dull, dull. Henry is a good and kind king and forgave everyone who fought against him at Bosworth. Margaret Beaufort was pretty much in the front running for Mother of the Year, leaving all the dirty plotting and evil doing (view spoiler).

No harm ever came from her mother's plotting, she reminded herself. It had always been easy for cleverer plotters to circumvent her, and surely Henry was the cleverest man alive.

Bah! Give this one a pass, wish I had.
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Reading Progress

05/11/2012 page 21
6.0%
05/12/2012 page 47
13.0% "The lines were drawn; Gloucester, Buckingham, and Hastings against the queen and her Woodville relatives, and the first round was Glouscester's."
05/12/2012 page 101
27.0% "A bit underwhelmed so far. If you know this period, you know what is going to happen. Problem is, Gellis isn't making it terribly interesting reading. I suspect those new to the history would be feeling hopelessly lost right about now."
05/12/2012 page 140
38.0% "Oh, I will wed her, and bed her, and doubtless she will breed me heirs - they are fecund mares, those Woodville women. I know where my advantage lies. But I will be king of England of myself, not by Lady Elizabeth's courtesy. In this country and in my own house, I will be master."
05/12/2012 page 175
48.0% ""
05/12/2012 page 216
59.0% "Margaret Beaufort is sure bucking for the mother of the year award, topped off with early sainthood."
05/12/2012 page 258
70.0% "No harm ever came from her mother's plotting, she reminded herself. It had always been easy for cleverer plotters to circumvent her, and surely Henry was the cleverest man alive.

" 1 comment

Comments (showing 1-18 of 18) (18 new)

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message 1: by Barb (new)

Barb Hmm...
why have I never thought of Henry VII in the way he is depicted on the cover of this book?


Misfit Not exactly how I'd picture him either. Waiting for a few credits to come in from paperbackswap and this is on the list.


JadedlilFecker So regal and stately. I'm diggin' this cover.


Misfit The cover I have sucks.


message 5: by Susan (new)

Susan She lost me early on. It didn't help that she conflated two Dukes of Buckingham (grandfather and grandson) into one person.


Misfit Susan wrote: "She lost me early on. It didn't help that she conflated two Dukes of Buckingham (grandfather and grandson) into one person."

That would have gone right over my head, but I'm sure snoozing off here.


message 7: by Jane (new) - added it

Jane OOOO OOOOO OOOOO added that one.


message 8: by Richard (new)

Richard Love the image, Misfit! :)


message 9: by MAP (new) - rated it 1 star

MAP This book was an AMAZINGLY big snoozefest.


Misfit MAP wrote: "This book was an AMAZINGLY big snoozefest."

Just finished and I couldn't agree more.


message 11: by Jane (new) - added it

Jane Oh, perhaps not then.


Misfit Jane wrote: "Oh, perhaps not then."

Good idea.


message 13: by Anna (last edited May 13, 2012 07:19AM) (new)

Anna Henry and his mother as saintly heroes? Bleugh. Even if you'd have liked this book, I'd be avoiding it at all costs!


Misfit Trust me, if I'd have know that I never would have bothered. Like MAP says, it's a serious snoozefest.


message 15: by Jemidar (new)

Jemidar Anna wrote: "Henry and his mother as saintly heroes? Bleugh. Even if you'd have liked this book, I'd be avoiding it at all costs!"

Sounds good to me ;-).


message 16: by Anna (new)

Anna Lol, I knew it wouldn't be long until you popped up ;-)


message 17: by Ana T. (new) - added it

Ana T. Oh dear, I think I actually liked it when I read it... Of course that was in my early days of reading HF and learning about british history. When I read The Sunne in Splendour I thought Gellis wasn't seeing things from the right perspective but never attempted a reread... After reading your review I'm pretty sure there won't be a reread soon :-)


Misfit I always worry about going back and rereading those books from my early HF days. I don't know how many would still cut the mustard.


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