Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Book Review: The Lady of the Rivers (The Cousins' War #3) by Philippa Gregory

Jacquetta, daughter of the Count of Luxembourg and kinswoman to half the royalty of Europe, was married to the great Englishman John, Duke of Bedford, uncle to Henry VI. Widowed at the age of nineteen she took the extraordinary risk of marrying a gentleman of her house-hold for love, and then carved out a life for herself as Queen Margaret of Anjou's close friend and a Lancaster supporter - until the day that her daughter Elizabeth Woodville fell in love and married the rival king Edward IV. Of all the little-known but important women of the period, her dramatic story is the most neglected. With her links to Melusina, and to the founder of the house of Luxembourg, together with her reputation for making magic, she is the most haunting of heroines.

Philippa Gregory is a bestselling author in historical fiction.  The Lady of the Rivers is the third book in her The Cousins' War series.  However, this is the first book written by Ms. Gregory that I have ever read.  Even though it's the third of a series, the novel read fine as a stand-alone.

It's obvious a lot of research went into the novel, as a lot of historical facts were presented.  However, the book never feels like a history textbook.  Ms. Gregory manages to bring the historical characters to life, each with their own personality.  Of course, the idea that Jacquetta was psychic and/or could practice magic is up to each reader to believe or not on their own.

The story flowed well, but not always at a brisk pace.  The plot got a bit hung up with excessive detail where no real action was going on; such as traveling here and there, and Jacquetta having yet another child. 

All in all, I enjoyed this book and think anyone who reads historical fiction will as well.  I will be reading more of her books!

I give this book 4 Bookworms. 

Hardcover:  464 pages
Publisher:  Touchstone; First Edition edition (October 18, 2011)
ISBN-10:  1416563709
ISBN-13:  978-1416563709

Ebook:  513 pages
Publisher:  Touchstone (October 18, 2011)
Sold by:  Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
ASIN:  B004T4KX32

Paperback:  448 pages
Publisher:  Touchstone (April 3, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1416563717
ISBN-13:  978-1416563716


  1. I've liked most of the books I've read by Philippa Gregory. I haven't read this one yet and I am looking forward to it.

  2. I love her non-fiction, but I can just imagine how her fiction would read. Thanks for the review!

  3. I thoroughly enjoy all of Ms Gregory's books. I have read the Cousins' War Series, the Wideacre series as well as a few others. She is a very detailed writer and you really get to know the characters.