As usual, Philippa Gregory does not fail to please in The Lady of the Rivers
. This is the third installment of her series about the War of the Roses (The Cousins' War
), and probably my favorite of the three. It follows Jacquetta of Luxembourg, who was the mother of Elizabeth Woodville (wife of Edward IV). One of the main themes in this book was the fine line that a strong woman had to walk in order to survive in such a male-centered, brutal society where the slightest hint of her attempting to rise above her place would have her imprisoned or burned at the stake.
One thing that stood out for me was the almost non-existence of the steamy reading that can be found in Gregory's earlier works. Where The Other Boleyn Girl and The Virgin's Lover (among others) were practical bodice rippers, this was more focused on the relationships between the historical characters and the author's interpretation of why they behaved as they did - fictitiously, of course. It was no less of a gripping read due to this, but I did not have to worry about blushing or breaking a sweat as I read the novel.
The only problem that I had with this otherwise delightful read was at [a very few times] it began to drag. There were some elements that really were not necessary for the book as a whole, and the writing in some chapters read like it was done in Ben Stein's voice. It was not enough to damage a fantastic book, but I found myself skimming. These were few and far between.
Overall, this is a lovely addition to Philippa Gregory's stunning body of work, and I look forward to [b:The Kingmaker's Daughter|12326644|The Kingmaker's Daughter (The Cousins' War #4)|Philippa Gregory|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41X-K-mJKxL._SL75_.jpg|17305288].