Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Audiobook Review: The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory
Title: The Red Queen
Author: Philippa Gregory
Narrator: Bianca Amata
Unabridged Length: 12 hrs, 23 mn.
Here is a summary of the novel from the publisher's website:
Believing that her piety and lineage has destined her for greatness beyond her ordinary looks and expedient marriage, Margaret Beaufort is determined to see her son Henry on the throne of England—regardless of the cost. And after constant battles kill any other claimants, the little boy is the last Lancaster male to bear a claim to the throne.
Sending her son out of the country to keep him safe and betrothing him to her enemy Queen Elizabeth Woodville’s daughter, Margaret feigns loyalty to King Richard III and marries one of his faithful supporters—all while laying secret plans for the battle between the houses of York and Lancaster that will see her son the King of England.
When King Richard’s only son dies, Margaret launches her plan with a deadly command that strikes to the heart of the White Queen. Henry Tudor invades from France and with the support of Margaret’s husband, defeats the King’s army, gaining the throne and sealing his marriage to the White Rose princess. The ultimate triumph belongs to Lady Margaret; she has founded the greatest dynasty that England will ever know: the Tudors.
Amato brings to life yet another of Gregory's characters as we follow the life of Margaret Beaufort. Ever since Margaret was a young girl she felt that the Lord has given her a special calling. Her plans are thrown into turmoil when her hand is promised in marriage to a Tudor. This puts Margaret on a new path as she fulfills her wifely duties, resulting in the birth of young Henry.
Margaret barely survives the experience of childbirth, but after Henry is born she feels the Lord has given her a new calling--To raise and prepare young Henry for the throne. Even when she finds herself a widow at an early age, she must make decisions that will advance her son Henry to the throne, even if her personal life must suffer.
I love that this novel takes place during the same time period as The White Queen, but from another perspective. This makes you think back to the first installment, recalling who was blamed for specific attacks, realizing who truly was responsible.
Besides Amato narrating the majority of the book, there was also a male narrator reading the war scenes. I found this a very nice change and brought these parts of the story more to life for me. Unfortunately, I'm not sure who the male narrator was, as I found multiple names on-line listing male narrators.
I'm glad I listened to this segment before starting to watch The White Queen on Starz. The series is based on The White Queen, The Red Queen, and The Kingmaker's Daughters. Luckily these are the only ones in the series I have listened to so far, but I do plan on completing the series. I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook and with themes of war, royalty, and destiny, you may enjoy this one as much as I did. I highly recommend this novel for either personal leisure or as a book club selection.
My Rating: 4/5
Disclosure: I borrowed this audiobook from the local library to listen for my own entertainment.