Hardcover, 382 pages
Released: August 3, 2010
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.
My Ratig: 4 / 5
One may find Margaret Beaufort a hard character to connect with, but you have to give the lady credit for her detemination…at all costs. From early childhood, Margaret compares herself to Joan of Arc and at age ten, is proud to have saints knees from praying so much! She always thought her calling was to be a nun “I am chosen by God to save England” (page 13) but sadly things don’t go her way when she is married at age twelve & pregnant. From pregnancy, she believes her son will inherit the throne, and with tunnel vision, her life is about making this a reality. See, I told you she was determined!
We all know how the story ends, but it was interesting reading Philippa’s take on how Margaret ensures her only child, Henry, becomes King. There are a few theories about the princes in the tower and in this book Philippa plays on Margarets scheming ways. Although the most commom theory is that King Richard III had them killed, Philippa weaves in the theory that Margaret had the boys murdered to put her son that much closer to the throne. Margaret was willing to give up everything in life, living with one goal in mind but her plotting ways left me feeling no remorse for her setbacks. I must say I felt more sympathy to the Yorkists after reading this book
This is the second book in a series entitled ‘The Cousins’ War’, to be followed by The Lady of the Rivers in Autumn 2011 (The Story of Jacquetta of Luxembourg, the mother of Elizabeth Woodville) and The White Princess (The Story of Elizabeth, Princess of York, daughter of Elizabeth Woodville, wife of Henry VII and mother of Henry VIII). You can click here to read my review of the first book The White Queen which I must admit to liking a bit more.