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
"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)
I'm a keen reader of classic, historical and contemporary fiction, biographies, history and science.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I love the classics, history, fantasy, the odd thriller - I will try most genres if the plot description appeals.
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.
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.
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.
Loved The Cousins' War series. I felt that this book should be the first in the series not the last.
While I liked Bianca Amato's voice, I would say she doesn't create distinct character voices as some readers do. That said, in other audiobooks I have heard, the multiple caricature voices can very quickly become irritating so I think that I would favouring the subtler approach. However, there are some peculiarities of pronunciation or delivery that can distract and jar over hours of listening. In this book, Ms Amato gives no hint of American or South African pronunciation and is very pleasant to listen to, except for her use of the word "orf". I doubt if there is any idea that Jacquetta and Co would have pronounced it that way and even the present Queen no longer does. It's such an apparently small thing that it seems petty to mention it - and yet it jars.
I haven't finished listening, but this already seems more fanciful than some other Philippa Gregory books I have read. None the less enjoyable for that.
I really enjoy Philippa Gregory's books and this one is as good as her others. Detailing 14th century regency power struggles and land battles. I am also quite particular about the narrator and was not disappointed with Bianca Amato's narration. I would recommend this book.
I rarely listen too books twice but would certainly recommend this.
It is in the usual fashion of Philippa Gregory's work with her signature blend of history and drama.
Margaret of Anjou
No - but it is longer than I am awake for in one sitting - very good though!
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.
"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.
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