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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
LOSTATSEA.NET > FEATURES >

August 23, 2010
Rating: 8.3

Margaret Beaufort longed to be an abbess, an educated and religious woman immersed in the work of God. Unfortunately, that would be neither God's intention nor England's plan. After marrying a man three times her age, she discovers her undeniable destiny within her son, Henry Tudor. In Phillipa Gregory's long awaited novel The Red Queen, the author reveals a spiteful woman's beginnings and certainty to claim England's throne from a usurping king. Gregory, most noted for The Other Boleyn Girl and other medieval-inspired novels, explores how this holy and unyielding lady strategically places her family en route for the crown.

The Red Queen fits the The White Queen like a corresponding jigsaw piece, explaining the Lancastrian perspective during the reigns of Edward IV and Richard III. The novel answers Queen Elizabeth's sneaking suspicions about Lady Margaret Beaufort's alliances and further untangles the aching questions concerning the York family's fall from grace. Gregory did a wonderful job fleshing out such a pious figure in English history, allowing the reader to develop a love/hate relationship with Margaret Beaufort. One moment, you are sympathizing with Margaret's plight and the next moment, you are condemning her being overly righteous in her convictions. Above all, Gregory's delicious storytelling depicts the curious accusations of Margaret's hand in the Tower of London and the princes' disappearances.

As expected, The Red Queen reads similarly to The White Queen even while acting as its counterpart. Although the story is a first-person narrative, Gregory conveys Margaret as a cold yet fierce individual (very different from Elizabeth Woodville in Book One) who waits patiently to exact her revenge on the York heirs. She lacks lustful ambition, but thrives on power and pride--a wicked force to be dealt with. Even though The Red Queen lacks The White Queen's intensity, the plot atones for itself as you witness the Lancaster cousins undermine the York family through conspiracy and predation on every page.

A must-read all in all, Gregory delivers a cool and calculating tale about an otherwise passionate period in history. The Red Queenpromises avid readers to view the Cousins' War in more objective light as well as portrays how one woman's crusade can subvert an entire nation.

SEE ALSO: www.philippagregory.com
SEE ALSO: www.simonandschuster.com

--
Bridget Doyle
A resident of New Jersey who covers literature for LAS, Bridget Doyle has known Dan Weiss since high school.

See other articles by Bridget Doyle.

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