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The Roses — The struggle for the British Kingdom during 1455 1484 known as the War of the Roses signifies the battle between the House of Lancaster whose badge was a red rose and the House of York known by a white rose Elizabeth Woodville comes to the uneasy court of Henry VI and is filled with ambition to rise high in the world of royal splendor All is well until the rival houses fall out and the warring commencesImpoverished after the defeat of Henry of Lancaster Elizabeth gambles her wit and beauty for the heart of a Yorkist and she winsBut Elizabeth's pride ambition and lust for gold become a trap She is caught in one of history's most fascinating and sinister chapters a time of passion treachery and intrigueElizabeth the queen who never was


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    Actual rating 2 12 stars This slight novel condenses Elizabeth Woodville's life down to less than 200 pages This did do the job I intended it to do I needed a read to give me a brush up on this era and a reintroduction to Elizabeth Woodville and her times Maureen Peters certainly succeeded in accomplishing this Anyone familiar with this time knows there is simply no way to tell Elizabeth's life story within so few pages people and events are pushed aside It is just too much over too few pages the reader is not allowed to settle in and get absorbedWe meet a young happy thirteen year old Elizabeth when she and her brother Anthony are sent as representatives of the family to the wedding of Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou The book moves along at a brisk pace by the next chapter Elizabeth has been married to her first husband John Grey for two years and civil war is brewing Elizabeth's story continues to unfold quickly showing how her losses and struggles form her into the women she becomes Elizabeth is neither sweet and sympathetic nor wicked and manipulative rather she is shown as a woman of her times Allusions to witchcraft are only briefly mentioned and mainly in how the rumors affected the family Overall I do think Peters' portrayal of the Woodvilles was too sympathetic There is an interesting thread Peters weaves into her tale of a meeting that Elizabeth has with a soothsayer foretelling where she would find her greatest enemy The conclusion of this plot device is a compelling poignant and shocking twist that gave me pause for thoughtThe reader is expected to be able to keep up with the advancement of time by the mention of an anniversary birthday year of reign or the like This is written in the third person allowing the narrative to alternate between the expected personages of the time as with the passage of time it is left to the reader to discern who is being discussed The rapid time changes and alternating points of view may be a bit difficult for some to follow especially considering the length of time coveredskipped I had to go back and reread the beginning of a chapter a couple of times to regain my footing Being written in the 1970's there is no character list genealogical chart or author's note If you are a huge fan of the War of the Roses or looking for a quick read that gives an overview of the people and events surrounding The War of the Roses than this may be worth seeking out You may not want to go out of your way to hunt this down but if it falls into your lap or you stumble across it at your library give it a try you know it will be short and quick