I like most of what Gregory writes. She does a wonderful job with history and making it approachable. But sometimes her books just don't hold my interest. And this was one of those. The Lady of the Rivers is the third book in this series, but it actually comes first chronologically, which is why I chose to read it first.
the Rivers introduces us to Jacquetta, mother of Elizabeth (who would go
on to be an important figure in history), and her headlong dash into
the intrigue of court. Jacquetta captures the eye of a powerful man at
court, the Duke of Bedford, and becomes his virgin wife, as he would
rather use her innocence in the making of alchemy. But when the Duke
dies, Jacquetta is left to her own devices and soon marries for love.
Richard is lower born than her, but shows promise and when they regain
favor with the court, Jacquetta becomes a favorite of the young Queen
and must leave her children to help the Queen and King at court and
become a part of the politics that surround England.
isn't actually that interesting. She tells everyone else's tale in this
book even though she is supposed to be intriguing herself. She's
supposed to have powers, but she always hides these for fear of being
called a witch. Which is understandable, but in private moments this
could have been used to advance her character. As it is, she follows
the Queen everywhere and does things she doesn't want to, and in the
meantime has lots and lots of children, whom she leaves in the care of
others for most of the book. I just couldn't like her. Her husband
Richard, is much more intriguing, but he is always away on some duty.
And the Queen, well she's just plain annoying and spoiled. I grew weary
of reading about her. And there are so many characters in this book,
that it's hard to keep track of them all, especially if you're not very
familiar with history.
And I'm not familiar with history. I
couldn't tell you in this book was accurate in the least. I get all the
Kings and Queens mixed up and never quite know who's who. Probably a
weakness on my part, but I'm just not that interested in real life
history, so I get my dose of it through books like this. The writing in
this one was kind of choppy too. Years would pass in a couple
sentences while minutes would take pages and pages of the book. It's
still better written than a lot of books out there, I just didn't find
myself enjoying it very much.
It's ok, as far as historical
fiction goes, but Gregory's done better. I'm curious to read the next
book, and it's already sitting on my shelf, so I will. But it better be
much more interesting that this one to keep my attention.
The Lady of the Rivers