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The Lady of the Rivers | [Philippa Gregory]

The Lady of the Rivers

Descended from Melusina, the river goddess, Jacquetta has always had the gift of second sight. As a child visiting her uncle, she meets his prisoner, Joan of Arc, and recognizes her own power in the young woman accused of witchcraft. They share the mystery of the tarot card of the "wheel of fortune" before Joan is taken to a horrific death at the hands of the English rulers of France. Jacquetta understands the danger for a woman who dares to dream. Married to the Duke of Bedford, English Regent of France, Jacquetta is introduced by him to a mysterious world of learning and alchemy.
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Publisher's Summary

Number-one New York Times best-selling author Philippa Gregory weaves witchcraft, passion, and adventure into the story of Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford, a woman who navigated a treacherous path through the battle lines in the War of the Roses.

Descended from Melusina, the river goddess, Jacquetta has always had the gift of second sight. As a child visiting her uncle, she meets his prisoner, Joan of Arc, and recognizes her own power in the young woman accused of witchcraft. They share the mystery of the tarot card of the "wheel of fortune" before Joan is taken to a horrific death at the hands of the English rulers of France. Jacquetta understands the danger for a woman who dares to dream.

Married to the Duke of Bedford, English Regent of France, Jacquetta is introduced by him to a mysterious world of learning and alchemy. Her only friend in the great household is the Duke's squire Richard Woodville, who is at her side when the Duke's death leaves her a wealthy young widow. 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.

A sweeping, powerful story based on history and rich in passion and legend, The Lady of the Rivers tells the story of the real-life mother to the White Queen. Philippa Gregory is writing at the height of her talent.

©2011 Philippa Gregory (P)2011 Simon & Schuster

What the Critics Say

"Sexy...scandalous...smart." -Redbook"Gregory is a consummate historical author." (Historical Novels)

"Wielding magic again in her latest War of the Roses novel ... Gregory demonstrates the passion and skill that has made her the queen of English historical fiction.... Gregory portrays spirited women at odds with powerful men, endowing distant historical events with drama, and figures long dead or invented with real-life flaws and grand emotions. She makes history ... come alive for readers." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (129 )
5 star
 (56)
4 star
 (47)
3 star
 (21)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.3 (56 )
5 star
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3 star
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1 star
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Story
4.4 (53 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    E. Gale England 09/04/2013
    E. Gale England 09/04/2013 Member Since 2012

    I'm a keen reader of classic, historical and contemporary fiction, biographies, history and science.

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    "Five star story, four star narration."

    I found this a very enjoyable story, just as I would expect from Philippa Gregory. I am interested in history and a good fictional account makes it easier to remember characters and events than a strictly factual one. Of necessity, there is more of this story that is imagined than her Tudor series, since the records are sparser, but I trust Philippa Gregory to be faithful to known fact and make reasonable interpretations. This story is engaging and entertaining and led me to do some research of the period once I felt I had a basic understanding. One thing I would have liked more of is period detail to explore the experience of life at this time more deeply. As for the narration, I know that good narration is very hard to achieve and I feel that Clare Corbett did quite well. The narration is clear, smooth and pleasant to listen to, which are the most important factors.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresa Inverurie, United Kingdom 26/03/2012
    Teresa Inverurie, United Kingdom 26/03/2012

    TJ

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    "Great Read, Disappointing Listen"

    I actually really enjoyed the story of this, the latest in Philippa Gregory's 'Cousins War' series. It was interesting, entertaining and, unlike in both the previous books in this series, I liked the 'heroine'. However I found that as an audiobook my enjoyment was completely ruined by the lacklustre and uninspired narration. Little effort was put into different character voices, the only inflection was a sort of whimsical, wishy-washy huskiness and the occasional mispronunciation drove me demented! It really destroyed my ability to enjoy the story and I will be religiously avoiding this narrators other works although I still look forward to more from the author.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Miss N. Farooqui UK 13/04/2013
    Miss N. Farooqui UK 13/04/2013 Member Since 2013

    Nadia

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The lady of the Rivers"

    Although i read the book, i was excited when the book came out on audible. An English married duchess marries her squire, Richard Woodville is a tale of one of the greatest romances of the age, although it shocked many of her peers. Their union produces Elizabeth Woodville, queen to Edward iv and their children influence the course of history. A fantastic novel.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda Near Abingdon, United Kingdom 09/12/2011
    Amanda Near Abingdon, United Kingdom 09/12/2011 Member Since 2010

    An avid reader who usually has two or three books on the go at one time I particularly enjoy historical fiction such as Barbara Erskine's.

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    "Rather disappointing"

    I've always been a huge fan of Philippa Gregory and fell upon this one after having recently read both the White Queen and the Red Queen which were great reads. However, this one disappointed and I'm still not sure why. It read more like a vague fairy tale with a few battles thrown in and although the historical points are always well made I felt that it was a little thin in places. Sorry.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chloe Coventry UK 18/07/2013
    Chloe Coventry UK 18/07/2013 Member Since 2010

    I love the classics, history, fantasy, the odd thriller - I will try most genres if the plot description appeals.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Backstabbing in the Middle Ages"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would definitely recommend it to a friend who has an interest in British history - I'm a history teacher but had limited knowledge of the Hundred Years War and the Wars of the Roses. This book inspired me to do a bit of background research on the characters and context of the events. The story itself was of course a little fanciful but I'd rather learn about the events from the perspective of an empathetic character with an interesting life.


    What does Clare Corbett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Clare Corbett became the voice of Jacquetta and performed Margaret of Anjou well, though she wasn't as strong with the male voices I thought.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    There was one section, when a child dies, that stayed with me. Deaths of children were so common at the time, but the description brought home the fact that they were still as precious as they are today to their own parents.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glenis Ashford, Kent, United Kingdom 13/04/2013
    Glenis Ashford, Kent, United Kingdom 13/04/2013 Member Since 2008
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    "Loved this story"

    I have now read/listened to nearly all Phillipa Gregory novels and I love them all.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marjorie Coventry, United Kingdom 20/04/2012
    Marjorie Coventry, United Kingdom 20/04/2012 Member Since 2010
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    "Out of sequence"

    Loved The Cousins' War series. I felt that this book should be the first in the series not the last.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chloe KINGSHILL, United Kingdom 13/12/2013
    Chloe KINGSHILL, United Kingdom 13/12/2013
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    "Good read (listen!)"
    Would you listen to The Lady of the Rivers again? Why?

    I rarely listen too books twice but would certainly recommend this.


    What other book might you compare The Lady of the Rivers to, and why?

    It is in the usual fashion of Philippa Gregory's work with her signature blend of history and drama.


    Which character – as performed by Bianca Amato – was your favourite?

    Margaret of Anjou


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No - but it is longer than I am awake for in one sitting - very good though!


    Any additional comments?

    We'll narrated and a good story - this felt less historically accurate than some of her other works but it is a novel not a biography and thoroughly enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    julie CROYDON, United Kingdom 19/09/2013
    julie CROYDON, United Kingdom 19/09/2013 Member Since 2013
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    "The lady of the rivers"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Lady of the Rivers to be better than the print version?

    Philippa Gregory has amazing books that keep me gripped got many of her books fantastic writer


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    katinka ELY, United Kingdom 13/07/2013
    katinka ELY, United Kingdom 13/07/2013 Member Since 2011
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    "Entertaining, educational read"
    Where does The Lady of the Rivers rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I'd say it ranks pretty high. The story didn't disappoint and the narrator did a great job. I'm trying to think what I'd change or like to see improve but I can't think of anything major...


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I liked Margaret of Anjou most because of her unpredictability as a character and her development as a woman and as a queen. She was both the heroine and the villain.


    Which character – as performed by Clare Corbett – was your favourite?

    I think she did a great job with all the characters.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, definitely.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 12 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Tamara
    15/10/11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dramatic on all accounts"

    I have the book and now have listened to the audio version. It is a brilliant story and really well written. The narrator, although great at what she does, was a little trying to listen to in parts. I felt I was listening to an audio version of a Shakspearean play rather than a brilliantly researched historical novel - a little too dramatic and some of the voice portrayal was extremely melancholy on not fitting for what the character was expressing in some areas. Also I found she paused a little too often midway through a sentence - but then that maybe the difference between my reading it and her reading it.

    I found I enjoyed taking the time and reading the book itself more than listening. Just my opinion though the story itself is excellent, the narration is not to the same standard.

    Going through the motions of the story, Jacquetta is a young girl to begin with and an older woman by the end but the narrator portrays her as older all the way through. I was expecting her to age the character as the story progressed but it seems that my expectations were not to be realised. Instead, the narrator reads through an older woman's eyes as if she is looking back through her past. Just me again seeing things differently.

    Don't let this deter you from listening to an amazing story - you may have a very different opinion of how the narrator reads the story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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