Alyce (At Home With Books)'s Reviews > The White Queen

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
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If you had asked me last month what the War of the Roses was about I would have probably made some crack about the Michael Douglas movie of the same name in order to distract from my ignorance of this particular segment of history.

Once I started reading The White Queen I realized that I was familiar with parts of the plot from reading Richard III years ago. Even this knowledge was pretty scanty - just something about two boys being imprisoned in the tower. While I had some idea of the outcome of the story, I didn't know any of the details, and so The White Queen was an educational and entertaining read.

After finishing the book I was impatient to know the fate of all of the characters, and did some research on the Yorks and the Lancasters. I was pleased to find that the embellishments that the author made in order to fill in the historical gaps were plausible theories as to what might have happened.

I only had two issues with this book, and they were both minor. The first was the use of the present tense throughout the book. I know that it's supposed to make the story feel more immediate to the reader, like he or she is watching as the action happens, but I find it to be jarring, and it distracted me from the story at times. The second issue was the use of magic and a goddess within the plot. I have no problem believing that the characters might have practiced or believed in magic, but it didn't appeal to me that the magic was supposed to be a real force that actually changed history. When I'm reading historical fiction I want it to be factual, not mystical.

I really liked this book, but I think I would have lost myself within the story more, and given it a higher rating, had it not been for the usage of present tense and the inclusion of mystical forces.
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message 1: by Tai (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tai I second that. Though some people thought this book was mediocre. I feel a lot smarter about European history now than I did taking world history..lol


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