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Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

Lady of the Rivers (edition 2012)

by Philippa Gregory

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889529,938 (3.81)35
Title:Lady of the Rivers
Authors:Philippa Gregory
Info:Simon & Schuster Ome (2012), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, history

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The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory


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I found this book a bit boring in the beginning, but I really grew to love it. I will admit I had to do a lot of Googling to understand the history of the character Jacquetta and what was going on in the time period. Philippa did a great job making these characters come to life. I can see why the Plantagenets were interesting enough for her to write about. I can't wait to sink my teeth into the next book in the series (I'm reading them in chronological order). ( )
  rabidmunkee | Nov 7, 2014 |
The Lady of the Rivers is the third in The Cousins' War series by Philippa Gregory, following on from The White Queen and The Red Queen; although chronologically it can be read first.

The Lady of the Rivers begins in France in 1430 and is about the life of Jacquetta of Luxembourg. The White Queen is the story of Elizabeth Woodville, (who meets and marries King Edward IV) while in The Lady of the Rivers we learn all about Elizabeth's mother, Jacquetta.

After being widowed by the Duke of Bedford, Jacquetta becomes a very close friend of Margaret of Anjou, King Henry VI's Queen.

The novel contains all of the intrigue, danger, alliances, betrayals, sieges and power for the throne that thrilled readers (and myself) in The White Queen, at the same time chronicling the life of a fascinating woman in history. During her lifetime, Jacquetta gave birth to 14 children (amazing that she survived), outranked every other lady at court (apart from her friend the Queen) changed allegiances from the House of Lancaster to the House of York, was trialled for witchcraft and later saw her daughter become Queen. In the novel she is portrayed as being loyal to Margaret of Anjou and a devoted and loving wife to her second husband, Richard.

The magic and gift of foresight learned and inherited from Jacquetta's Great Aunt play a small role in the novel yet provide a wonderful backstory to the magic in The White Queen. (It was one of my favourite aspects of the novel, and really sets it apart from any other historical novel covering the War of the Roses).

My only wish when reading any novel by Philippa Gregory is that I could retain (and later recall) 100% of the historical information imparted along the way. The White Queen was made into a successful and TV series, and I also hope her other novels in the Cousins' War make their way onto the big screen as well.

I thoroughly enjoyed this entertaining and engaging novel and was instantly caught up in this most fascinating period in our history all over again. The next in the series is The Kingmaker's Daughter and I can't wait to read it. ( )
  Carpe_Librum | Oct 7, 2014 |
Excellent! I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Jacqueline, Lady Rivers and her husband are presented as very likable characters placed in a very bad position by the Lancastrian king and his queen that they serve, a very reluctant service at times as they can see the disaster looming in the future even without Lady River's second sight. ( )
  lisa.schureman | Sep 20, 2014 |
I have been listening to this series of books on audio, and let me tell you, I am so glad that I have chosen this method. Amata has done most of the narrating in the series so far and she doesn't fail to nail the characters every time! You get a glimpse of Jacquetta in previous installments so it was interesting to see things from her point of view this time.

When Jacquetta is just a young girl, one of her aunts sees a special gift in her. A mysterious gift that has been attained by many females in the family. Jacquetta will spend years learning to harness her powers to help herself and her entire family. Although the book touched on this subject it wasn't overwhelming as it really was a small but important element of the story. It did help to clarify events from the previous installments though.

From the previous books I had labeled Jacquetta to be a heartless and cruel woman, but this novel proved her to be the exact opposite. She was a passionate woman who would do anything to protect those she loves. And the love she declared for her mate was proved countless times, with the many children they had together.

Although this is part of a series, I think this book would also be fine as a stand alone novel. I did enjoy this audiobook, but it probably is my least favorite so far, but maybe that's because Jacquetta is my least favorite character! With themes of love, family, and war, you may enjoy this book just as much, if not more, than I did. I recommend this novel for either personal leisure or as a book club selection. ( )
  jo-jo | Aug 2, 2014 |
This book is told from the viewpoint of Jacquetta of Luxemburg, who became the Duchess of Bedford when she was 17, making her wife to the regent of England - the duke being uncle to Henry VI who was then too young to rule.

The story covers the period of 1430-1464, thus it comprises of the times leading up to the Wars of the Roses, and the early years of these conflicts.

When the duke dies not long after their marriage, the duchess "lowers" herself by marrying Sir Richard Woodville. Together they produce many children, one of whom - Elizabeth - grows up to marry Edward IV, so as their eldest daughter goes on to marry Henry VII, Jacquetta - a little-known historical figure - is in fact Henry VIII's great-grandmother.

Author Philippa Gregory notes that she considers Jacquetta an overlooked woman form history. As there is little info on Jacquetta's life, Ms Gregory was able to use her imagination to fill in the gaps, focusing heavily on the superstition that Jacquetta was descended from the legend of Melusina; a woman believed to be a goddess who associated her powers with water.

I think I may have enjoyed this story more had there been less emphasis on the supernatural and a bit more realism, but that's not to say the magical elements drag the novel down. I'm also not a fan of narratives told in the present tense, but this is just a personal taste, not a criticism of the author.

Worth reading. ( )
  PhilSyphe | Mar 21, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philippa Gregoryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Amato, BiancaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
Jacquetta had the gift of second sight which she learned at an early age to keep secret. As a child she had met Joan of Arc, who had the same gift, but had met a horrific death when she was accused of witchcraft.   Jacquetta's 'talent' took her into close proximity to the English royal family, which resulted in her becoming mother of the White Queen, Elizabeth Woodville.
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When the death of Joan of Arc shows her the dangers faced by strong women, Jacquetta, a psychic descendant of a river goddess, studies alchemy and becomes the secret wife of Richard Woodville before returning to the court of Henry VI.

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