Book Review: The White Queen (Cousin’s War #1)

The White Queen (Cousin’s War #1) by Philippa Gregory:

The White Queen is the first book in a series by noted English historian and historical fiction writer, Philippa Gregory.  It takes place amidst the turbulence and violence of the English War of the Roses. This is the story of beautiful commoner Elizabeth Woodville who would marry Yorkist King Edward IV and become queen of England.

Once I read the opening scene of Elizabeth meeting Edward for the first time by a tree on the side of the road, I was hooked. I loved the chemistry between the two lovers. Their relationship starts quickly and moves at a fast pace resulting in a secret wedding between the two.  I admired Elizabeth’s courage as she fought to protect her family interests and be a good wife to Edward. She is not accepted by the king’s mother and many at court. She would eventually lose her two small sons in the Tower of London.  It was never determined what happened to them and remains one of England’s greatest mysteries. In addition, I love the fact that the book is told from a woman’s point of view. We all know the male players in English history, but we don’t know a lot about their female counterparts.  I guarantee you won’t be disappointed in The White Queen. The cable network, Starz, premiered the series on August 11, 2013.

Lies Beneath

            Lies Beneath is about mermaids. But get past this image of Ariel in your head or swimming with dolphins. This is more Silence of the Lambs. These mermaids murder humans in order to steal their energy for survival, and right now, they are out for revenge. When this family of sisters and brother were children their mother died because Tom Hancock couldn’t keep his promise. But unlike feeble humans, mermaids and mermen must always keep their promises, so they are out to avenge their mother. Since Tom Hancock has died, his grown up son Jason will do just fine.  The sisters send their brother Calder, the narrator, to get close to the family in order to lure Jason out onto the lake. Only one problem… Calder falls for Jason’s daughter. What’s a murderous merman to do?

            Plot wise, the story was solid. There were little to no holes. The author did a very good just bringing the reader along for the ride and showing, not telling us, what we were seeing. It was intriguing and I definitely want to read the next book immediately.

            Mermaid Folk Lore was different in the novel. Some of it wasn’t explained clearly until the end of the novel. I understood that the author was trying to not give away the ending, but a clearer understanding during the middle would have linked together a few things. Making sure the mythology makes sense is vital when writing fantasy.

            Character wise Calder was easy enough to read. He was slightly moody but he was supposed to be because he hadn’t “absorbed” any humans in 6 months. And he wasn’t at Bella Swan mode yet. I liked Lilly but I wasn’t in love with her yet. The next novel is written from her POV so hopefully that will clear that up. There were a few weird things. There were supposed to be two ‘protagonists’. The first were Calder’s sisters. He didn’t particularly enjoy being connected to them. They were written well but there was always something … unsettlingly creepy about them… And the other enemy was Jack Petit. I totally hated him. But you were supposed to.

            Overall I’d say 4 ½ stars Book Review by Sydney