Book Review: The Cousins' War Series by Philippa Gregory

I recently finished reading the last of the five novels that make up this series .... absolutely loved them all.

My favourite, however, is The Lady of the Rivers, the story of Jacquetta, Countess of Luxembourg, mother to Elizabeth Woodville, wife of Edward IV.

Underlying all the historical fact and the turbulence of the era is a love story (yes, I'm a bit of a romantic) between Jacquetta and Richard Woodville. This is a real 'feel good' story and even though the ending of their tale is not a happy one, their relationship outshines all the bad and lingers well after the final page is read.

Philippa Gregory has done an excellent job of bringing the subjects of these five novels to life. Her interpretation of the facts and  the way she presents them to the reader is very well done. The main characters are strong, determined (some may say obsessed) women of a time when to be a high-born female was to be nothing more than trade goods; in some cases their lives  were barely mentioned in the chronicles of the time.

The beauty of this series is that all the novels are stand alone books, which to my mind is a positive. Many a time I've been to the library or bookshop to find that one of a series is missing (usually the first one).

In closing, I have to comment on the fate of the princes in the tower. The discovery in 2012 of Richard III's remains beneath a car park in Leicester, England, has raised the question again of what happened to them. In her novels, Philippa Gregory presents both sides of the argument, and one thing is evident, there were many others who had motive and access to the boys to blame their disappearance soley on Richard III. Besides I was born in Yorkshire and am a Ricardian at heart ....... and who knows? If the remains of a king lost for over 500 years can be found, there is still hope that one day this other mystery will be solved.

Other novels in the series: The White Queen, The Red Queen, The Kingmaker's Daughter and The White Princess.

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