I have just completed this fascinating and intriguing book. Readers may remember that I have previously reviewed the other books from this “Cousins War” series The Red Queen and The White Queen, in fact this book is a kind of prequeal to The White Queen as it tells the story of Jacquetta of Luxembourg, umoured descendant from the River Goddess Medusina, and in posesion of some scying [foresight] powers.
As a young virgin she is wed to the talented Edmund Duke of Bedford, Regent of France, he purposesly does not deflower her, instead wanting her to remain pure inorder that he can learn from her scryings and thus maintain the English power in France and remain the much loved and respected lord of his England.
Widowed and wealthy, she falls for the dashing, romantic, loving squire of her late husband, Richard Woodville. The two become lovers and marry in secret, returning to England to serve at the court of the young King Henry VI, where Jacquetta becomes a close and loyal friend to his new queen.
The Woodvilles soon achieve a place at the very heart of the Lancaster court, though Jacquetta can sense the growing threat from the people of England and the danger of royal rivals. Not even their courage and loyalty can keep the House of Lancaster on the throne. King Henry VI slides into a mysterious sleep; Margaret , his queen, turns to untrustworthy favorites for help; and Richard, Duke of York, threatens to overturn the whole kingdom for his rival dynasty of the House of York.
Jacquetta fights for her king, her queen, and for her daughter Elizabeth Woodville, a young woman for whom Jacquetta can sense an extraordinary and unexpected future: a change of fortune, the throne of England, and the white rose of York. A sweeping, powerful story rich in passion and legend and drawing on years of research, The Lady of the Rivers tells the story of the real-life mother to the White Queen.
I often thinkof this as a trite phrase,but it really was a “Page Turner”. For a period in history were women were essentially the property and posession of their husband/father/guardian/King it is fascinating to see how these women maniulated,engineered and also endeered themselves and in many cases were the power of the house.
I eagerly await Ms Greggoy’s next subject.