"The Red Queen" Review

"The Red Queen"
by Philippa Gregory

Source: ARC sent by publisher in exchange for review

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Book Summary from Goodreads.com:

The second book in Philippa's stunning new trilogy, The Cousins War, brings to life the story of Margaret Beaufort, a shadowy and mysterious character in the first book of the series - The White Queen - but who now takes centre stage in the bitter struggle of The War of the Roses. The Red Queen tells the story of the child-bride of Edmund Tudor, who, although widowed in her early teens, uses her determination of character and wily plotting to infiltrate the house of York under the guise of loyal friend and servant, undermine the support for Richard III and ultimately ensure that her only son, Henry Tudor, triumphs as King of England. Through collaboration with the dowager Queen Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret agrees a betrothal between Henry and Elizabeth's daughter, thereby uniting the families and resolving the Cousins War once and for all by founding of the Tudor dynasty.

My Review:

Margaret Beaufort isn't really a likable heroine. She was so stiff and unemotional, it was hard for me to relate to her. This criticism isn't against the author, it's just what you have to deal with in historical fiction based on real life.

When Margaret was a child, her prickliness was actually cute. And how can you not laugh when she rejoices at her knees being callused from kneeling in prayer, calling them 'Saint's Knees.'

I sympathized with her being forced into marriage with Edmund, who never really cared about her at all. And the scene where she has her baby, Henry Tudor, is heartbreaking because her own mother tells the midwife to save the baby at the expense of Margaret. So, I do understand that she has had a hard life and has felt unloved. However, it seemed like she only cared about her son for what he could do for her-make her the mother of a King.

Some of the interaction between Margaret and her brother-in-law Jasper Tudor was really romantic, but neither of them really went the extra mile to be together.

I really started to get frustrated with Margaret at her careless treatment of her second husband, Henry Stafford. He was never anything but nice to her and gave her a very comfortable life. But she was always mean to him and acted like she was disappointed in him because he lacked her all-consuming ambition.

The story was fast and intriguing. I was surprised I stayed so interested because I had just finished reading The White Queen-which dealt with the same time period and events from a different perspective.

Main Characters: 3/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5

Setting: 4/5

Romance: 2/5

Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 3/5
Writing: 4/5

Bottom Line:I think readers will be fascinated by Margaret's story even if she isn't the most endearing heroine.

Check out the site just for the book! http://pages.simonandschuster.com/the-red-queen

Get the latest Philippa Gregory news on her website: http://www.philippagregory.com

and twitter: @pgregory_news

And if you missed my review for "The White Queen" check it out here!


  1. She doesn't sound that nice, but hey she was for real so..anyway, starting this one tomorrow :D I hope it is as good as the White q

  2. I hope you like it, Blodeuedd! Can't wait to hear what you think!

  3. I'm so jealous, and I so love your review! I can't wait for when I get the chance to read it!

    Thanks Carrie!

  4. Awesome review! I really, really want to read this, despite the fact that she sounds a wee bit despicable haha

  5. I will need to read the 1st book first to see how it goes to me. Thanks for the review =)

  6. Thanks, Redd!! I hope you enjoy it!!

    Thanks, Melissa!! she definitely is :) But it's kind of interesting to read about someone so unlikable.

    Thanks, Darlyn!! I actually liked the first one, The White Queen, better. :)

  7. I havent' read any Philippa Gregory, but I might start out on another book, just because I like my first read from an author to have a likable heroine. :-)

  8. Tiger, my favorite book of hers that I've read is The White Queen!

  9. I've got this one on my TBR. Can't wait!

  10. Sometimes the most obnoxious main characters can really draw you into the story. Sounds like this plays with that line between drawing you in and repelling you away.

  11. Danielle, I hope you get to read it soon!

    Jennie, you have a good point!!

  12. THis sounds good - I think it would annoy me as well how Margaret treats her second husband, though I can imagine myself doing the same thing.

  13. brizmus, I just felt so bad for him!! She didn't appreciate him at all :(

  14. Great review! I completely agree with you. She was awful to Henry Stafford. I'm looking forward to the third book- I hope it is about Elizabeth of York.....I've been hearing mixed feedback regarding the third book and its focus. Either way, it should be good!

  15. Thanks, Christina!! I think there are going to be at least two more, one about Elizabeth's mother and one about her daughter. I think both will be great!!

    And wasn't she mean to Henry??? And he was so nice :(

  16. I really can not wait to read this! I love Philippa Gregory!

  17. Mmm... interesting. I've only seen the movie, you know, the other boleyn girl and never really wondered about the books.

    I think I get what you mean about being interested even though she doesn't sound like a likable person.

    Nice review

  18. Great review. I was wondering about this book - actually I'm interested in the whole series. So many books... :o)

  19. I am such a fan of Philippa Gregory's. I am really looking forward to this book as I am in the middle of The White Queen now. Thanks for the great review.

    BTW, I have an award for you on my blog:

  20. Great review! Wasn't huge fan of The White Queen but I still wanna read this since there's so few books about Margaret Beaufort.

  21. I have to confess that I haven't read any Philippa Gregory either, but have heard so many great things about her books, that I think I'll have to grab myself a copy of one of her books and try her out. Will probably make it The White Queen.

  22. Sheila, Enjoy!!

    Thanks, Juju!!

    Thanks, Anime Girl!!

    Lee, so many books, so little time!!

    Jules, thank you for the award!! I'll go check it out!!

    Elysium, I think she would be a difficult character to write about!!

    thebookfairyheaven, I'd start with the White Queen if I were you!! I hope you like it!

  23. I've awarded you The Versatile Blogger award which you can check out over at my blog: http://planet-print.blogspot.com/2010/08/my-first-award.html

    Hope you have a great day!


Thanks so much for your lovely comments!