Philippa Gregory Makes History Come Alive – A Review of The Red Queen
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!
It’s always great when you see young readers listening to your favorite authors like John Grisham, James Patterson, or even Candace Bushnell. If you’re asking yourself why kids would be listening to these adult writers, the answer is simple. This year we have seen many adult writers expanding their readership by writing stories for a younger age group. Now, everyone has the opportunity to discover these great authors.
British author Philippa Gregory, known for The Other Boleyn Girl, just announced that she will be writing four new young-adult historical romance novels. I couldn’t be more thrilled about this as I enjoyed The Other Boleyn Girl.
John Grisham, Candace Bushnell and James Patterson have also joined in on readership expansion by writing YA best sellers. Grisham’s two Theodore Boone novels are both about a young lawyer who looks to be about 12 years old. Bushnell, known for writing Sex and the City, has published two audio books in her young-adult series, The Carrie Diaries and Summer and the City which are narrated by a younger Carrie. Patterson has also written Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life which was released this past summer.
It’s becoming clear that no matter what the genre is, everyone is on the hunt for a great story. I believe it’s important that a younger generation is able to grow up into reading or listening to great stories from great authors. The genre is slowly becoming less prominent. This is evident with the Twilight series, where women and men of all ages are reading a series intended for teens. The genre itself, “teen fiction” no longer holds the same weight as it used to. A great story is a great story, whether it’s intended for a younger or older audience!