Wednesday, August 14, 2013

[Books] The Cousins' War #3: The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

August 7 - 12, 2013
Descended from Melusina, the river goddess, Jacquetta always has had the gift of second sight. As a child visiting her uncle, she met his prisoner, Joan of Arc, and saw her own power reflected in the young woman accused of witchcraft. They share the mystery of the tarot card of the wheel of fortune before Joan is taken to a horrific death at the hands of the English rulers of France. Jacquetta understands the danger for a woman who dares to dream.
Jacquetta is married to the Duke of Bedford, English regent of France, and he introduces her to a mysterious world of learning and alchemy. Her only friend in the great household is the duke's squire Richard Woodville, who is at her side when the duke's death leaves her a wealthy young widow. The two become lovers and marry in secret, returning to England to serve at the court of the young King Henry VI, where Jacquetta becomes a close and loyal friend to his new queen.
The Woodvilles soon achieve a place at the very heart of the Lancaster court, though Jacquetta can sense the growing threat from the people of England and the danger of royal rivals. Not even their courage and loyalty can keep the House of Lancaster on the throne. Henry the king slides into a mysterious sleep; Margaret the queen turns to untrustworthy favorites for help; and Richard, Duke of York, threatens to overturn the whole kingdom for his rival dynasty.
A sweeping, powerful story rich in passion and legend and drawing on years of research, "The Lady of the Rivers "tells the story of the real-life mother of the white queen.
Jacquetta fights for her king, her queen, and for her daughter Elizabeth for whom Jacquetta can sense an extraordinary and unexpected future: a change of fortune, the throne of England, and the white rose of York.


The third book of The Cousins' War series by Philippa Gregory; The Lady of the Rivers. In this book we get a view of Jacquetta of Luxembourg, the known descendent of the river goddess, Melusina, and her life before her daughter Elizabeth became queen of England. 

I expected the book to start out from when Elizabeth and King Edward met, and that we would get a different point of view of the same storyline just like the past 2 books. Here we get to read about Jacquetta from her childhood up to adulthood and also when the War of Roses first started. 

Surprisingly, if you think about. This book doesn't really focus on Jacquetta's personal life much. I mean, the story line is set on Jacquetta's life, whereabouts and what she's been through but all that seems to be covering the book is Margaret of Anjou and Jacquetta's loyalty to her. There were times when I would feel tempted to shout out "plaayaaaa" at Margaret of Anjou for having a secret affair with Edmund Beaufort.

All I thought about when I went through the book was "How will Jacquetta turn her coat (as they say) from the House of Lancaster to the House of York?" "How does that happen?". At slightly shocking turn of very simple events, she does turn her coat from Queen Margaret to King Edward. I expected a lot more blood to be shed at this point. But Jacquetta is a very powerful woman, no matters where her loyalties lay, her gifts would always find a way to save her.

I really admire the love of Jacquetta and her husband. They have the love that is so deep that nothing can tear them apart from each other. Even death can't break them. (I just had to put that out there). Her husband would leave to go to war, and then come back safely. He sure is lucky. 

In conclusion, the Lady of the Rivers is a good book. It is fascinating, intriguing and slightly confusing book (just when it comes to the all the names). If you've read the first two books of the series, reading this book will fill out a bit of holes that needed to be filled out about Jacquetta and the early ages of the War of Roses.
I recommend this lovely book to those who enjoy reading a small part of the history of England, and to those who enjoy reading about the medieval times. Because I recently found out that I do xD

When I finished this book, I quickly picked up book 4. Determined to finish at least until book 4 before the series ends. xD

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