I’m a big fan of Philippa Gregory’s work but I had never listened to one of her audio books before. I decided to start with The Red Queen narrated by Bianca Amato. Like many of Gregory’s books, this historical fiction audio book is told from the perspective of an important woman and this time it’s Margaret Beaufort, heiress to Lancaster House.
Margaret has always felt that she was special and that she had a calling. She felt that God spoke to her, that her will was God’s will and that she was destined to be an abbess. Unfortunately for her, women in England in the 1400s really did not get a choice of what they wanted to do with their life. Especially since she is cousin to the King, she doesn’t have the option of becoming a nun; she must marry and produce an heir.
The story follows Margaret through her multiple marriages and her journey to see her son become King of England, which she is determined to see happen. Margaret is a very proud and selfish woman and of course does not see these qualities in herself. She is not the most likeable protagonist which could make this audio book frustrating for some listeners. I found the story to be quite good even though I didn’t particularly like Margaret. At points I was laughing because she is so completely determined and self-absorbed she doesn’t really comprehend what is going on around her.
Philippa Gregory does not disappoint with this sequel to The White Queen. I found it very interesting to see the second perspective on the Cousin’s War. This is a great book for Philippa Gregory fans and for Tudor fans who want to know more about Henry VIII’s father and grandmother.
Have you listened to The Red Queen? Share your thoughts in the comments section!