It ain't easy being Queen. Especially if you happen to be a queen in Philippa Gregory's novels. I wouldn't want that job for a million dollars.
In the latest dramarama, The White Queen, Elizabeth Woodville lost her husband in the never ending Cousin's War between the Lancastrians and the Yorks. Elizabeth must petition her family's enemy, the present king, Edward York for her lost land. He falls for her and marries her right away, forever altering her life. Elizabeth becomes Queen of England but it's a hard won title. The Lancastrians and Yorks continue to fight each other for the crown. Often it is brother against brother.
Elizabeth, a woman whose family has little power but great numbers, must rely on her relatives and the magic inherited through their ancient ancestress, as well as her husband's ruthless ambition to hold the crown. But there is a heavy price to be paid. It will cost Elizabeth everything she holds dear.
First off, the story isn't near as scandalous as Wideacre or even The Other Boleyn Girl. The focus isn't so much on the relationship between Elizabeth and Edward but on the quest for power. There are only a couple clandestine gropings in the shadows then it's down to war business. And there is a lot of war business. Elizabeth spends much of her time waiting at home biting her nails wondering if she's about to be tossed out of the castle- or worse.
The White Queen was enjoyable but it didn't keep me on the edge of my seat. I found parts were a bit repetitive: the references to Melusina for one. However, the magical aspects didn't really bother me. I could believe that the women in the story would believe that they could use magic to change things. Although as a reader, I think what happens is coincidental (as do some of the characters in the story) and not the result of witchcraft.
Anyway, it is worth reading this fictionalized account of a somewhat unknown Queen of England.
Recommended for Philippa Gregory fans.