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This is great when read as fiction, not as a historical treatise
on 11 October 2014
My remarks here cover the other books about the Cousins' war as well as this one. I see many reviewers quibbling about the accuracy or otherwise of historical details in this series. Personally, I read the books as novels, fictional narratives set in a specific period. If you want 100% accuracy read biographies or histories!
I have enjoyed the books very much as exciting narratives and above all as attempts to see the world of that time through women's eyes - a nice complement to most other accounts. It is true that this works better with some characters than others. I especially loved the Red Queen's own story, I think Gregory succeeded very well in capturing the perspective of this woman, and showing how extreme religious devotion can turn into complacency, self-aggrandisement and bigotry (there are many contemporary examples of this, and I found this character curiously up-to-date!). The White Queen's tale, on the other hand, is often about the men around her, and this problem seems most noticeable in the White Princess, where the story really seems mainly about 'the Boy', though it is told only through a woman's eyes. But on the whole I really appreciate her attempts to show us a period as experienced by women.
I also really enjoyed reading the same incidents as seen by different characters, particularly when the White and Red Queens' stories are juxtaposed. I think the whole series is an interesting experiment in perspective. But above all these are highly readable, gripping stories, to be read not for edification but simply for entertainment.