Elizabeth Woodville is most famous as the mother of the two infamous ‘princes in the tower’ – who disappeared during the rise to power of Richard III. However this novel tells us Elizabeth’s own story – her rise from obscurity to be Queen of England.
Famed as the most beautiful woman in all of England, and a descendant of a water goddess, Elizabeth’s sotry begins with her standing alongside road, waiting for newly crowned Edward, Son of York, to pass. She plans to beg for the return of her lands and titles, but ladies’ man Edward is swept up in her beauty and they wed in secret.
An ambitious woman, Elizabeth plots like a natural to advance her brothers, sisters and children. But she is caught in a web of ambition even greater than hers – those who would kill for the throne.
A more likeable character than The Red Queen, I’m glad I read the second book first – its scope in time in greater and it tells more of the story of the downfall of the three Sons of York and the rise of Henry VII. I particularly enjoyed the elements of witchcraft that Woodville’s heritage provides her. The river whispers to her, brings her sons and heirs and gives her the strength to curse her enemies. What she doesn’t realise though, is that her own ambition is her greatest curse.
Some nice touches in here – including one at the end which attempts to explain the strange deaths around Henry VIII. Not exactly research, but entertaining nonetheless.