Published: Sep 15, 2011
#1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory weaves witchcraft, passion, and adventure into the story of Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford, a woman who navigated a treacherous path through the battle lines in the War of the Roses.
Descended from Melusina, the river goddess, Jacquetta has always had the gift of second sight. As a child visiting her uncle, she meets his prisoner, Joan of Arc, and recognizes her own power in the young woman accused of witchcraft. They share the mystery of the tarot card of the “wheel of fortune” before Joan is taken to a horrific death at the hands of the English rulers of France. Jacquetta understands the danger for a woman who dares to dream.
Married to the Duke of Bedford, English Regent of France, Jacquetta is introduced by him to a mysterious world of learning and alchemy. Her only friend in the great household is the Duke’s squire Richard Woodville, who is at her side when the Duke’s death leaves her a wealthy young widow. The two become lovers and marry in secret, returning to England to serve at the court of the young King Henry VI, where Jacquetta becomes a close and loyal friend to his new queen.
Drawing on years of research, Philippa Gregory tells the story of the Woodvilles who achieve a place at the very heart of the Lancaster court, though Jacquetta can sense the threat from the people of England and the danger of royal rivals. Not even their courage and loyalty can keep the House of Lancaster on the throne. Henry the king slides into a mysterious sleep; Margaret the queen turns to untrustworthy favourites for help; and Richard, Duke of York threatens to overturn the whole kingdom for his rival dynasty of the House of York.
Jacquetta fights for her King, her Queen, and for her daughter Elizabeth Woodville, a young woman married to a neighbour for whom Jacquetta can sense an extraordinary and unexpected future: a change of fortune, the throne of England, and the white rose of York.
A sweeping, powerful story based on history and rich in passion and legend, The Lady of the Rivers tells the story of the real-life mother to the White Queen. Philippa Gregory is writing at the height of her talent.
This is book #3 in the Cousins war series (the first is The white queen and the second is The red queen) and it follows the mother of the white queen from book one. Jacquetta is the duchess of Bedford and one of the queens closest friends and its pretty much just the story of her life and all that goes with it.
I love reading about what kind of life women had to live back in those days. They really had it tough and it makes me appreciate what we have now. Its really interesting looking at life through these women's eyes and i have really come to love this series.
You can really see how much work and research Philippa put into writing these stories and they really put you into this place and time so well.
This book was probably my favourite so far of the series, I just really loved Jacquetta as a character and her story really fascinated me.
When i first started reading this series it was quite hard to keep up with dates and who was who but by this book I'm more familiar with names and places and events so it was much easier for me to follow the story and what was going on.
I really recommend this series for anyone interested in history or even just a really well told story from a more medieval time. I am definitely looking forward to continuing reading this series (I'm not sure how many books are planned for the series but there is one more that is already out called The Kingmakers Daughter and one due to come out called The White Princess).