May 272013
 
Review: The Red QueenThe Red Queen (The Cousins’ War #2) by Philippa Gregory
Narrated by: Bianca Amato
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on Aug 3, 2010
Genres: Adult, Historical fiction, Romance
Format: Audiobook from Library
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

The second book in Philippa’s stunning new trilogy, The Cousins War, brings to life the story of Margaret Beaufort, a shadowy and mysterious character in the first book of the series – The White Queen – but who now takes centre stage in the bitter struggle of The War of the Roses. The Red Queen tells the story of the child-bride of Edmund Tudor, who, although widowed in her early teens, uses her determination of character and wily plotting to infiltrate the house of York under the guise of loyal friend and servant, undermine the support for Richard III and ultimately ensure that her only son, Henry Tudor, triumphs as King of England. Through collaboration with the dowager Queen Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret agrees a betrothal between Henry and Elizabeth’s daughter, thereby uniting the families and resolving the Cousins War once and for all by founding of the Tudor dynasty.

It’s been a while since I read historical fiction, so I picked this audiobook book up on a whim, not realizing it was the second in the series. I was pleasantly surprised. The story stands alone, and is quite intriguing.

Margaret is a cold, bitter, jealous woman. She is quite delusional, believing that God speaks to her and that her every desire is the will of God. She is selfish and doesn’t see it at all. She’s not an easy woman to like, but her belief in herself does lead to quite a bit of drama.

While I enjoyed the story, it could have been a bit shorter if the constant repetition was reduced. Margaret’s religious beliefs are repeated over and over, often using the same phrases. Removing this repetition would have reduced my dislike for Margaret and her constant whining and justifying of her actions.

The narration of the story smooth and perfect. The slight accent fit Margaret’s character and helped give the story life.

Overall, this story reignited my enjoyment of historical fiction. I already picked up the first book in the series so I can dive back into more Tudor drama.

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