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)
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.
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.
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.
Yet again another superbly written book by Philippa and beautifully narrated. Reading/listening to these historical novels we get a vivid insight into the lives of these powerful women that shaped the course of history. The story surrounding Jaquetta and the legend of Melusina is completely enchanting. Thank you Philippa, your research teaches us so much and put together in these stories takes us back to a time we love to be.
From the outset, my enjoyment of this book was marred by the reader, whose constant plaintive intonation and inflexion at the end of every sentence made the whole novel seem like a dirge, even the lively parts.
Apart from that, which is quite a big consideration, if you don't expect a great historical novel, this is an enjoyable listen. There is little period detail but at least it is the War of the Roses seen through a female character and an insight into how difficult it was to be an educated woman at a time when any learning in a woman could be construed as witchcraft. It has no depth or insight of character or plot and is too romantic for my taste but was easy to listen to whilst gardening and doing complicated knitting. I would listen to another book by the same author, but I would chose a time when I wanted something undemanding and definitely read by another voice.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.