3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Disappointing characters but fascinating period,
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This review is from: The White Princess (Kindle Edition)
Having loved Philipa Gregory's books about the Tudors I was delighted to find a whole new series based on the reign of the Plantagenet's and the founding of the Tudor dynasty. But for some reason it's just not engaging me. I did join half way through with The White Queen but didn't actually finish this book - an unheard of occurrence for me but the recent TV series rekindled my interest and I decided to treat myself to The White Princess. I have to qualify this and say that in the meantime I read Sunne in Splendor by Sharon Penman - a superb book which told the story of Edward and Richard and the Princes in the Tower, a whole new era for me. So I picked up The White Princess with a little background knowledge and a great deal of anticipation. But I found the characters disappointing to say the least. Henry seemed nervous, easily influenced, paranoid and his handling of the whole imposter prince issue seemed so inept I'm surprised he survived the incidence! Elizabeth seemed ineffectual and unsure with no influence whatsoever and I find it hard to believe that these 2 people launched the start of one of the most famous families in British history. I was surprised at the inference of a relationship between Elizabeth and Richard so did a little research and found that is a recognized possibility although tenuous. But I don't object to this - after all this is historical fiction and license is allowed and even expected. But I also found in my research that Henry and Elizabeth were commonly believed to have had a happy and successful marriage and Henry did bring a great deal of stability to the country, at least until nearing the end of his reign and I wish the book had given more of a flavour of this rather than presenting two quite desperate people who didn't seem quite sure how they felt about each other. One point in its favour - although somewhat helped by also reading Sunne in Splendor, is that I now have a completely different view of Richard 111 who I feel was undoubtedly the victim of a sleaze campaign!
In summary not a bad book but a little weak and at this point I'm not sure I would read any more in this series.