During Thanksgiving I read the fifth book in Philippa Gregory’s Cousin’s War series, The White Princess. Elizabeth of York is the narrator of this book, and the novel picks up where book 4 ends. Richard III is dead at Henry Tudor’s hands, and his lover and niece finds herself forced to marry her enemy. Forced into a political marriage, Elizabeth goes from being a beloved daughter of York to a spoil of war. However, being a child born of the War of the Roses, Elizabeth is familiar with how to play the game, and fights for some semblance of happiness in what was once her father’s kingdom. In the synopsis according to Goodreads:
When Henry Tudor picks up the crown of England from the mud of Bosworth field, he knows he must marry the princess of the enemy house—Elizabeth of York—to unify a country divided by war for nearly two decades. But his bride is still in love with his slain enemy, Richard III—and her mother and half of England dream of a missing heir, sent into the unknown by the White Queen. While the new monarchy can win power, it cannot win hearts in an England that plots for the triumphant return of the House of York. Henry’s greatest fear is that somewhere a prince is waiting to invade and reclaim the throne. When a young man who would be king leads his army and invades England, Elizabeth has to choose between the new husband she is coming to love and the boy who claims to be her beloved lost brother: the rose of York come home at last.
I have to admit that this is my favorite book in the series. I found that Elizabeth of York was a much more sympathetic character than her mother or mother-in-law. I also enjoyed reading about this time period. I’ve read a good deal about Henry VII, but didn’t know much about Henry VII outside from what the VII talks about in The Tudors. Elizabeth was very brave under the circumstances she found herself in. Her mother was considered an enemy of the state and imprisoned, and Elizabeth found herself in a loveless marriage where her mother-in-law’s opinion held more sway with Henry than her own. While smart, Elizabeth wasn’t a political animal like her mother, but was wise enough to solidify her place as the Queen of England. This was one book I found hard to put down.
“Fortune’s wheel takes you very high and then throws you very low, and there is nothing you can do but face the turn of it with courage.”
This is my twentieth completed review for the Historical Fiction Challenge