Book Review/Giveaway ~ The White Queen by Philippa Gregory


Summary ~ The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

Brother turns on brother to win the ultimate prize, the throne of England, in this dazzling account of the wars of the Plantagenets. They are the claimants and kings who ruled England before the Tudors, and now Philippa Gregory brings them to life through the dramatic and intimate stories of the secret players: the indomitable women, starting with Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen.

The White Queen tells the story of a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition who, catching the eye of the newly crowned boy king, marries him in secret and ascends to royalty. While Elizabeth rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for the success of her family, her two sons become central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the missing princes in the Tower of London whose fate is still unknown. From her uniquely qualified perspective, Philippa Gregory explores this most famous unsolved mystery of English history, informed by impeccable research and framed by her inimitable storytelling skills. – This text refers to the Audio CD edition.


The White Queen by Philippa Gregory kicks off a new series by the best selling and beloved author.  This time the focus is on the famed “War of the Roses” or “The Cousins’ War.”  The Houses of York and Lancastor battled for the throne of England between 1455 and 1487.  At the time “The White Queen” takes place, King Edward IV of York’s reign.  He privately married our heroine, Elizabeth Woodville, after a short courtship. 

The historical fiction that Gregory produces is wonderful.  It’s rich with storytelling and fact that has been blended perfectly together.  I have never read any of Gregory’s novels before but I can say that she has struck a positive chord with this new book as she introduces her readers to a new reign in England’s history.

From the beginning, I thoroughly enjoyed Elizabeth.  Her thoughts are strong and well written and her adventures from widow and mother to Queen of England and beyond held my attention.  Kind Edward was five years Elizabeth’s junior and because he married for love (or lust, because Elizabeth wouldn’t go to bed with him until he married her) and not for an alliance between countries, this caused weakness in his personal and professional relationships that make for good drama.  Of course there is heartbreak, romance and all the great aspects that are expected in a Philippa Gregory novel (I’ve read the reviews and seen the film adaptation of “The Other Boleyn Girl”).  However, I did feel that the flow felt a bit like a non-fiction work at times but for the most part The White Queen was a good read.

Thank you so much to Philippa Gregory’s publicist Kelly at Touchstone-Fireside Books for inviting me to read and review The White Queen and for sending me my beautiful copy of the book.  The cover art is exquisite!  Kelly has also offered to giveaway two copies of The White Queen to two lucky winners/readers here at Planet Books.  Please leave your name, e-mail address and the name of your favorite Philippa Gregory book so far for a chance to win.  This contest will conclude on Friday, August 21st at Midnight, EST.  Good luck!!  You can check out Philippa Gregory’s website HERE.

{Rating ~ 4 out of 5}

16 thoughts on “Book Review/Giveaway ~ The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

  1. Oh, I love Philippa Gregory and the Plantagenets. One of my favorite historical periods is the intrigue leading up to the Tudor Dynasty.

    I liked the Other Boelyn Girl very much.

  2. I love Phillipa Gregory’s Tudor novels. I find her take on the tales to be rich and refreshing. My personal favorite is The Queens Fool. It struck such a chord with me that it appeared on the summer reading list last year for the high school at which I teach.

  3. I cannot wait to read this book! I’m been fortunate to have already won a copy (from A Girl Walks Into a Bookstore), but I’ll post your giveaway on my sidebar along with other WHITE QUEEN giveaways.

  4. My favorite PG book to date is definitely The Other Boleyn girl. Heck, she brought me into historical fiction, now my favorite genre, with that book! I feel that she’s fallen off recently, but I hear that this one is much better, back to some former standards.

  5. i have wanted to read PG’s books but every time i go to the library, they are all checked out! i really must put them on my hold list.

    i posted about this novel a few days back–in a ‘coming attractions’ post about what books are on tap for release. commentors seemed interested in this one–and i’d love to give it a whirl. thanks for hosting!

  6. The Other Boelyn Girl was fantastic=)
    I would really, really enjoy ‘The White Queen’ Please enter me in your giveaway!
    Thanks bunches,
    Luvdaylilies at bellsouth dot net

  7. It is a toss up between The Other Boleyn Girl and The Virgin Queen. I would love to win the first book in the “Cousins’ War,” trilogy!!

    cyeates AT nycap DOT rr DOT com

  8. I have never read any of Philippa Gregory’s books, but The White Queen sounds wonderful. Please enter me in the giveaway. Thank you.

  9. Reading your review had me saying outloud “Yes!” because I literally JUST finished this book this AM and I felt that other than the first bit of Elizabeth and Edward falling in love, the rest of the book was mostly a “talking heads” book, and you described it perfectly that it read likea non-fiction book instead of the riveting novel that Gregory is so adept at writing.

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