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The King's Curse

(The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels #7)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  25,895 ratings  ·  2,125 reviews
The final novel in the Cousins’ War series, the basis for the critically acclaimed Starz miniseries, The White Queen, by #1 New York Times bestselling author and “the queen of royal fiction” (USA TODAY) Philippa Gregory tells the fascinating story of Margaret Pole, cousin to the “White Princess,” Elizabeth of York, and lady-in-waiting to Katherine of Aragon.

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Hardcover, 592 pages
Published August 14th 2014 by Simon & Schuster Ltd (first published August 2014)
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Gail No, you can read any of them out of order. But do read this one ... I don't know how Gregory does it ... this is another fabulous read!…moreNo, you can read any of them out of order. But do read this one ... I don't know how Gregory does it ... this is another fabulous read!(less)
Mary Yes, I started the Cousin's War book 1 and read them all in order. This follows the characters through the proper years. Then I went to the Tudor Cour…moreYes, I started the Cousin's War book 1 and read them all in order. This follows the characters through the proper years. Then I went to the Tudor Court Books 1 and on. This is not how they were published, but best to read in this order. I love learning history this way and Philippa Gregory is a fantastic writer. She lists her history sources at he end of each book.(less)

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First thing’s first, I do have to say I think The King’s Curse is better than The Kingmaker’s Daughter and The White Princess. The Kingmaker’s Daughter had what was, for me, a really grating first person voice and I simply could not care for what happened to Anne Neville and her obviously skewed world view. With The White Princess it was simply a case of boredom. The character of Elizabeth of York in that novel was dull and uninteresting, and I grew weary of her constant recycled conversations w
Jan 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If you love English history-but don't like dry history-read these books. Phillippa Gregory has a wonderful way of making English history come alive. ...more
May 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
Margaret Pole is a fascinating woman! I'd read a bit about her in the earlier novels and online, but Philippa Gregory has brought the lady to life in The King's Curse, the 7th book in her Plantagenet and Tudor historical fiction series. To date, I've read the previous 6 and number 8, so I had to catch up and get back to reading the rest in order. I'm a big fan of this period in English history, and I must admit, it inspired me to read a lot more about the history of territorial disputes between ...more
Jul 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: k
I received this book as an advanced reading copy to give it an honest review (may contain spoilers).

This is the 6th book in the Cousins War series and the one which most closely entwines itself with the Tudor Series that Philippa Gregory had previously written. It focuses on Margaret Pole, the daughter of the Duke of Clarence, who was executed by drowning in a vat of wine. She was a Plantagenet Princess and this book covers the period (1499-1541) in time from when Katharine of Aragon comes to En
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, series
The King's Curse published in 2014, spans forty years of Lady Margaret Pole's presence in and around the Tudor Court, as she and her family rise and fall from favour with Henry VII and then Henry VIII. Philippa Gregory presents a well researched historical fiction about a less well known woman who serves as a compelling protagonist for the final installment in the Cousins' War series.

Before God, I am a Plantagenet, I am a daughter of the House of York. My own father broke sanctuary, murdered
Ahmad Sharabiani
Sep 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
The King's Curse (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #7), Philippa Gregory

The King's Curse is a 2014 historical novel by Philippa Gregory, part of her series The Cousins' War. A direct sequel to The White Princess, it follows the adult life of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, the daughter of George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence and Isabel Neville.

Since Henry Tudor's accession to the English throne as Henry VII, Margaret Plantagenet has had to distance herself from her connection to the f
I loved Philippa Gregory's books once. I still love some of her earlier works, either because I was younger when I read them and my tastes have since changed, or because she simply wrote with more skill, and more care then. Either way, her last few works, indeed, every one that has covered the Cousins' War, have been a complete and utter disappointment to me. She has become a prolific writer in the sense that she will churn out a new book every year, or every second year, but the protagonist in ...more

Rating: 5.0/5.0

Historical Fiction

This is the 7th book in Philippa Gregory's series on the Plantagenet and Tudors. Tells the story of Margaret Pole. A princess who stayed all her life in fear of having the same fate as her father and brother. No matter how much she tried to remain (or pretend to be) faithful to the Tudors, they still at the end took her life the same way if not worse. Margaret was a Plantagenet, the only surviving daughter of George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence (The Wh
For staunch Tudor lovers, the name Margaret Pole is not an unfamiliar one. Yet, even though the Countess of Salisbury was smack-dab in the middle of courtly drama; she seems to play a side note in most books. Phillippa Gregory brings Pole to the forefront in her latest historical fiction novel, “The King’s Curse”.

Before I even proceed further, I want to make something clear for those who aren’t regular readers of my reviews: I do not think of Gregory as a God nor of her work as the Bible. Her bo
I liked this better than I remembered. It could be the direct comparison to the dismal book before this one in the series.
Maragaret de la Pole is an interesting and truly tragic Tudor character. She helps to raise Henry VIII and his siblings as well as Queen Mary I. From the scanty historical records which survive from that period that include women she was often in favor with his parents and her appointments at court likely reflect a closeness between Queen Consort Elizabeth and her cousin Lad
Who is ever going to find the courage to name what is more and more clear: that the king does not see the world as it is, that his vision is unreal, that-though it is treason to say it-the king is quite mad.

At first I thought that I may have read too many Henry VIII novels, as everything felt very familiar, but as I got further into the book I understood why Philippa Gregory decided to use Margaret Plantagenet as the narater. It allows a much wider view of this era, as well as Henry. Most of her
Jul 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Anyone interested in learning more about the life of Margaret Pole, the daughter of George Plantagenet, the 1st Duke of Clarence and Isabella Neville, eldest daughter of the Kingmaker, will find Philippa Gregory's research interesting and informative.

May 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebook
Now that it's been published, I'm moving my comment into the review space.

I'm starting to feel that all my reviews for the books in this series could be copy/pasted.

The format of 1st person narrator giving a chronology of events still isn't working. Gregory's language needs to be more layered and the character voices more distinct. Otherwise, it reads like a boring recitation of who said and did what with the only distinguishing characteristics between the various players being their names.

Her w
Sep 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I have great respect for any author that can make history "cool" and as such I am a huge Philippa Gregory Fangirl. I have read all of her Tudor Court and Cousins War novels and unfortunately I must say that this was my least favourite of hers. The quality of writing is still just as high as all of her other works, but I found Margaret Pole to be an unlikable character...and I'm saying this as someone who has read The Other Boleyn Girl

I think I may also have disliked this book a little simply bec
Jan 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
The queen of historical fiction is in fine form with the tale of Margaret Pole, cousin of Elizabeth of York and her terrible fate at the hands of Henry VIII. In The Kings Curse, Philippa Gregory throws of the old adage that history is written by the victors and gives a voice to those lost in the bloody struggle between the houses of York and Lancaster.

Spanning 40 years and charting the brutal rise of the Tudors, this expansive novel is narrated by the last York princess Margaret who as an heir t
Maja  - BibliophiliaDK ✨

✨ Popsugar Reading Challenge 2019✨
✨✨A novel based on a true story✨✨

I have been a great fan of Philippa Gregory's Plantagenet and Tudor books since I read The Other Boleyn Girl. However, the latest few book have deeply disappointed me. This one was no exception. I have the feeling that Gregory is just going through the motions. She is just repeating herself over and over again. This book was the last nail in the coffin for me.
Philippa Gregory's The King's Curse is the 6th book in her Cousin's War series. Seen thru the eyes of Margaret Pole, a Plantagenet of royal blood, she narrates about the struggles of the Plantagenets, House of York, during King Henry VIII's reign.

Gregory has done some painstakingly detailed historical research for this book. It's quite well done with many historical characters like Cromwell and Wolsey. The reader gets a good look at what it was like to live in those times. The King's Curse is fi
Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
Hmm....what did I think?
Well first off, I haven't read any of the other "Cousins Of War" books and by the reviews,
you either love the series or hate it.
I never read a trilogy/series backwards or in another order because I always feel I "miss" something that way.
So..the only reason I have done so was because my library got it in (the hold would be forever and I got it first) and I know nothing about Margaret Pole.
And this can be read as a "stand on it's own."
The setting for the story is 15th
Sarah u
Apr 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
DEC 2014: I've had this given to me for a Christmas gift (2014), so it looks like I'll be reading it after all.

JAN 2015: Well, I think I've given this book a good shot, but I can't read any more. I DNF at 59%.

I just cannot get on with Gregory's newer work. This book plodded along, racing through the life of Margaret Pole without creating any emotional connection, any excitement, or any tension. It was just there, repeating itself endlessly (we are the White Rose, reminders of people's names an
Shirley Revill
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-books
I have never been disappointed with a book by Philippa Gregory.
She knows her subject well.
Highly recommended.
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
Sep 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wonderfully interesting story of Henry VIII told through the eyes of Margaret Poole his aunt and a Member of the Plantagenet family. It was a harrowing tale for this family who claimed to have had the throne wrestled from them by Henry Tudor. It had just the right mixture of history and the cunning vile nature of the at that time British aristocracy. Always jockeying for position and ever mindful of the whims of a king who declared himself both above man and god, this book was a through look int ...more
Mar 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The King's Curse is, once more, a retelling of the reign of Henry VIII. This time the narrator is Margaret Pole, last of the Plantagenet line. The Plantagenets had been the ruling house until they were overthrown by Henry VII of House Tudor.

Margaret must walk a very thin line as her past family relationships cause her to be the object of Henry's paranoid actions. As relatives from Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, to her own son, Reginald, conspire and are executed, Maragret goes from the
May 29, 2014 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Diane S ☔
Mar 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
The last book in the Cousin's War series and a very good way to end. Using Margaret Pole as her narrator created the opportunity forma somewhat wider view of this period. As she was Elizabeth of York's cousin and guardian to the young couple Catherine of Aragón and the Prince of Wales. Later lady in waiting to Queen Catherine. Royal in her own right she led a stressful life, tight roping her way between first Henry the seventh and then the whims of his infantile son when he became king.

It also p
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
I will say that I liked this book better than the Constant Princess, and this book focuses on one of the characters that is less-known in the Tudor stories. I found this refreshing after reading the 'voice' of several prominent women in history (and in Tudor fiction) like Catherine of Aragon, Elizabeth of York, Anne Boleyn, or Elizabeth I.

I liked how history was woven into fiction, but feel that the book could have been edited down some as some parts could get pretty repetitive. Still, the story
Karen’s Library
I was very lucky to have received an ARC from Touchstone in exchange for an honest review.

This final book in The Cousin’s War epic series by Philippa Gregory is told from the POV of Lady Margaret Pole, daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, who was executed for treason by his own brother, King Edward IV. Lady Pole is a beloved cousin to King Henry VIII’s mother, Queen Elizabeth of York, but because of her royal blood, seeks to stay in the background so as to draw as little attention to herself an
May 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rio (Lynne)
2 1/2 stars. I's fiction, but PG stands by her fiction like its fact and that's what bothers me. It's one thing to write fictional characters, it's another to defame real people. I take serious issue with that, especially when there is no truth or evidence to back up her so called facts. I read this book because it's about Margaret Pole. I wanted to hear her story. I went into this realizing PG takes lots of liberties. What annoyed me about the writing.....the constant reminders and sl ...more
Sean Barrs
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
This is a poor conclusion to a disproportionate series in terms of quality. The Red Queen was fantastic, The White Queen was enthralling but the Kingmakers daughter was bland. The White Princess sat somewhere in the middle whereas this was just uninspiring.

Perhaps I am fed up with Philippa Gregory’s bland tone or perhaps I’ve just read too many of her books. This felt rushed: King Henry goes from young promising King to brutal tyrant in a few hundred pages. With the first three books we have th
Aug 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Another consistently good novel in this series. The ending surprised me and I am stricken by the utter waste of human life by so many regimes throughout time. Margaret Pole speaks to us now and she is not forgotten.

Philippa Gregory has given voice to many women in history who have been under appreciated so many male authors.

Brava, Ms Gregory.
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Philippa Gregory is one of the world’s foremost historical novelists. She wrote her first ever novel, Wideacre, when she was completing her PhD in eighteenth-century literature and it sold worldwide, heralding a new era for historical fiction.

Her flair for blending history and imagination developed into a signature style and Philippa went on to write many bestselling novels, including The Other Bo

Other books in the series

The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • The Lady of the Rivers (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #1)
  • The White Queen (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #2)
  • The Red Queen (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #3)
  • The Kingmaker's Daughter (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #4)
  • The White Princess (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #5)
  • The Constant Princess (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #6)
  • Three Sisters, Three Queens (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #8)
  • The Other Boleyn Girl (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #9)
  • The Boleyn Inheritance (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #10)
  • The Taming of the Queen (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #11)

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