One of the reasons why I picked up this book was because the last time I tried to figure out the story of the Cousin's War, all the Edwards and Richards and George's got tangled up in my head. That old English tradition of repeating names and affixing numbers to the end for idenitifcation was, in hindsight, quite silly. I thought these kings and queens were all about posterity.
However, The White Queen
does an admirable job of catching one up to speed on the events of the war, even though it's mixed with a healthy dose of fiction.
Watching Elizabeth's character evolve from a sweet and genteel country girl to a queen starved by her own incessant ambition and baring her fangs at anyone who poses a threat to her family. From lamenting the necessity of war in the beginning of the book, she goes and starts one herself at the end. How power corrupts, I suppose.
I understand Gregory's decision to infuse her family with their own particular brand of magic, but I find myself wondering if it was all rather extraneous to the story. Elizabeth was a formidable character and so was her mother -- the pride they took in their supposed magical lineage was a nice touch, but to me, they never really seemed to need it. It functioned as somehting of a crutch, because these women were strong and fascinating without it.
Will I read the rest of this series? This is actually my first Philippa Gregory book. I think I might pick up the others, but will be in no rush to do so. I am pretty curious about the fates of the rest of the characters in the book, but I will have to decide whether or not researching about historical figures constitutes as spoilers.