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

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 » 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
Phillipa Gregory
White Queen, The
Simon & Schuster

Rating: 8.5/10 ?


May 25, 2010
Phillipa Gregory melds magic and history in her first installment of "The Cousins' Wars" series, The White Queen. Best known for her Tudor Family-inspired novels, like the best-selling The Other Boleyn Girl, Gregory revisits England during the War of the Roses, a time and place where cousins and brothers destroy each other for a chance at the throne. When Lady Elizabeth Grey of Riverses marries the York claimant king, her desire for royal life and security depends on the elimination of her adversaries, the Lancasters. Throughout the novel, Queen Elizabeth will do whatever it takes to keep her royal title, whether it's through hiding, bribing, or crafting spells. Gregory grips readers at each page, where blood, deceit, and lust are ways to resurrect validity.

When I began reading The White Queen, I was apprehensive; within the first thirty-eight pages, a king woos a commoner. I feared I had entered the same escapist romance made popular by today's fiction. The White Queen, however, proved to be more than a story of historical accuracy and romantic entanglements. The book is a medieval joyride of mystery and warfare, and it is Gregory's impressive imagination that weaves the missing threads of a riddle that has plagued historians for centuries: the Lost Princes at the Tower of London.

In addition to my own reasons for apprehension approaching the novel, others may expect to read Gregory's tale in the time period's Olde-English dialect. Gregory writes the novel in such a way that it reads easily in modern vernacular, unlike a Shakespearean play. For those who are interested in the subject matter, yet feel reluctant about delving into another history lecture, have no fear. The White Queen has something for everyone: intrigue, action, and enchantment.

Without giving too much away, Gregory's illustrative storytelling is masterful, sending the reader through the riveting battles and the illicit affairs during the Cousin's War. The novel has many features, including a reading group guide, an interview with Phillipa Gregory, and an excerpt from her next novel, The Red Queen. Until that book finds its way into print, Gregory's The White Queen will dazzle and entrance readers, as it did me. I look forward to reading her next foray into The Cousins' Wars series.

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

See other reviews by Bridget Doyle

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