Lady of the Rivers

( 172 )

Overview

#1 New York Times bestselling author and ?queen of royal fiction? (USA TODAY) Philippa Gregory brings to life the story of Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford, a woman of passion and of legend who navigated a treacherous path through the battle lines in the War of the Roses to bring her family unimaginable power.

When the young and beautiful Jacquetta is married to the older Duke of Bedford, English regent of France, he introduces her to a mysterious world of learning and alchemy. Her...

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The Lady of the Rivers (Cousins' War Series #3)

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Overview

#1 New York Times bestselling author and “queen of royal fiction” (USA TODAY) Philippa Gregory brings to life the story of Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford, a woman of passion and of legend who navigated a treacherous path through the battle lines in the War of the Roses to bring her family unimaginable power.

When the young and beautiful Jacquetta is married to the older Duke of Bedford, English regent of France, he introduces her to a mysterious world of learning and alchemy. Her only friend in the great household is the duke’s squire Richard Woodville, who is at her side when the duke’s death leaves her a wealthy young widow. The two become lovers and marry in secret, returning to England to serve at the court of the young King Henry VI, where Jacquetta becomes a close and loyal friend to his new queen.

The Woodvilles soon achieve a place at the very heart of the Lancaster court, though Jacquetta has visions of the growing threat from the people of England and the danger of their royal York rivals. Jacquetta fights for her king and queen, as she sees an extraordinary and unexpected future for her daughter Elizabeth: a change of fortune, the white rose of York, and the throne of England…

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Philippa Gregory's third Cousins' War historical novel (after The Red Queen and The White Queen) tracks the fascinating story of Jacquetta of Luxembourg (1416-1472). Born to aristocracy and related to the English royal family, she first married the John of Lancaster, the Duke of Bedford, best remembered today as the prosecutor of Joan of Arc, whose execution Jacquetta witnessed. Still a teenager at her husband's death, she defies convention and ignores the king's will by secretly marrying a squire. This alliance of love produces sixteen children; one of them, Elizabeth Woodville, becomes the Queen Consort of King Henry IV. Gregory follows Jacquetta with sympathy and historical fidelity; indeed, modern readers will be heartened that her story's human issues have not blurred over time.

USA Today
“Gregory returns with another sister act. The result: her best novel in years.”
Historical Novels Review (Editor's Choice Review)

“Gregory is one of historical fiction’s superstars, and The Kingmaker’s Daughter shows why . . . providing intelligent escape, a trip through time to a dangerous past.”
Historical Novels Review
“Gregory is one of historical fiction’s superstars, and The Kingmaker’s Daughter shows why . . . providing intelligent escape, a trip through time to a dangerous past.”
From the Publisher
“Gregory returns with another sister act. The result: her best novel in years.”

“Gregory delivers another vivid and satisfying novel of court intrigue, revenge, and superstition. Gregory’s many fans as well as readers who enjoy lush, evocative writing, vividly drawn characters, and fascinating history told from a woman’s point of view will love her latest work.”

“Gregory is one of historical fiction’s superstars, and The Kingmaker’s Daughter shows why . . . providing intelligent escape, a trip through time to a dangerous past.”

“Wielding magic again in her latest War of the Roses novel … Gregory demonstrates the passion and skill that has made her the queen of English historical fiction.…Gregory portrays spirited women at odds with powerful men, endowing distant historical events with drama, and figures long dead or invented with real-life flaws and grand emotions. She makes history … come alive for readers.”

“Gregory returns with another sister act. The result: her best novel in years.”

“Gregory delivers another vivid and satisfying novel of court intrigue, revenge, and superstition. Gregory’s many fans as well as readers who enjoy lush, evocative writing, vividly drawn characters, and fascinating history told from a woman’s point of view will love her latest work.”

“Gregory is one of historical fiction’s superstars, and The Kingmaker’s Daughter shows why . . . providing intelligent escape, a trip through time to a dangerous past.”

“Wielding magic again in her latest War of the Roses novel … Gregory demonstrates the passion and skill that has made her the queen of English historical fiction.…Gregory portrays spirited women at odds with powerful men, endowing distant historical events with drama, and figures long dead or invented with real-life flaws and grand emotions. She makes history … come alive for readers.”

Publishers Weekly
Wielding magic again in her latest War of the Roses novel (after The Red Queen), Gregory demonstrates the passion and skill that has made her the queen of English historical fiction. Her heroine-narrator, Jacquetta of Luxembourg, who possesses second sight, is but 14 when she witnesses the execution of Joan of Arc. Joan's persecutor, the duke of Bedford, marries Jacquetta the next year in a vain attempt to access her powers, but then leaves her a wealthy widow. Defying convention, Jacquetta chooses a new husband herself: the duke's handsome young squire, Richard Woodville, with whom she has a dozen children, including Elizabeth, the future queen. Richard serves at King Henry VI's court, and Jacquetta befriends his new queen. When the king's widowed mother weds Owen Tudor, tolerance spreads for women who defy convention. As in previous works, Gregory portrays spirited women at odds with powerful men, endowing distant historical events with drama, and figures long dead or invented with real-life flaws and grand emotions. She makes history (mostly accurate) come alive for readers (mostly women) by giving credence to persistent rumors that academic historians (mostly men) have brushed aside. (Oct.)
Library Journal
The best writers of historical fiction imbue the past with the rich tapestry of life and depth, and Gregory is surely counted among their number. Her third offering in the "Cousins' War" series (after The White Queen and The Red Queen) is the story of Jacquetta, mother of the White Queen, Elizabeth Woodville. Given first to a husband who desires only the magical powers she might possess, Jacquetta marries second for love, much below her station. Still, she manages to keep her family in the good graces of the ineffectual King Henry VI, placing them ultimately on the losing side of the Wars of the Roses. She and her husband hold on, however, finally settling in the country to raise their large brood and await the ascendancy of their daughter Elizabeth, who will bring the family to prominence again. VERDICT A worthy addition to this fascinating series, once again distinguished by excellent characterization, thorough research, and a deft touch with the written word. [With fellow historians David Baldwin and Michael Jones, Gregory is publishing in September a nonfiction account The Women of the Cousins' War: The Duchess, the Queen, and the King's Mother.—Ed.]—Pam O'Sullivan, SUNY Coll. at Brockport
Kirkus Reviews

A duchess endowed with second sight is caught up in the War of the Roses, in another installment of Gregory'sCousins' Warseries (The Red Queen, 2010).

The story opens as Jacquetta, a young princess of Luxembourg, befriends Joan of Arc. Jacquetta's great aunt, the powerful Demoiselle, takes Joan into her household while the French and English decide the fate of the warrior maid.Near death, the Demoiselle informs Jacquetta that she is a true heiress to the powers conferred on certain women of her family by their ancestor, the water goddess Melusina. Teenage Jacquetta is noticed by the English regent of France, the Duke of Bedford, who demands her hand in marriage.Horrified at first (Bedford engineers the execution of Joan as a witch), Jacquetta soon learns that, rather than consummate their marriage, Bedford wants to employ her occult talents and her virginity in his quest for the Philosopher's Stone.Bedford's squire, Richard Woodville, worships the new Duchess from afar. After Bedford dies, Jacquetta risks her status as Dowager Duchess and heiress to a great fortune to marry Richard, her less-than-blue-blooded true love.The two attempt to retire to an English country house but are soon summoned to attend to Lancastrian King Henry VI and his volatile Queen, Margaret of Anjou.Richard is made a baron and given command of the English garrison at Calais.As two factions of English nobility, the Lancasters and Yorks, vie for control of the unstable realm, hard-won English territories in France are lost, further undermining Henry's sway.Then Henry lapses into a catatonic state, during which Margaret needs Jacquetta's help to keep the Yorks at bay. However, Jacquetta, who despite Richard's frequent absences has birthed at least 11 children (readers will lose count), resists exploiting gifts that some may see as witchcraft.

Although the complexity of the historical and political events threatens to overwhelm Jacquetta's story, the suspenseful pace never flags, although it's clear that Jacquetta has allied herself—at least for now—with the losing side.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781476746319
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 7/9/2013
  • Edition description: Media Tie-In
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 79,111
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Philippa Gregory is the author of several bestselling novels, including The Other Boleyn Girl, and is a recognized authority on women’s history. Her Cousins’ War novels are the basis for the critically acclaimed Starz miniseries The White Queen. She studied history at the University of Sussex and received a PhD from the University of Edinburgh. She welcomes visitors to her website, PhilippaGregory.com.

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    1. Hometown:
      Yorkshire, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 9, 1954
    2. Place of Birth:
      Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa
    1. Education:
      B.A. in history, Sussex University, 1982; Ph.D., 18th-century popular fiction, Edinburgh, 1984
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 172 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(91)

4 Star

(50)

3 Star

(16)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(6)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 172 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 21, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    I have really enjoyed reading this book. I have read the Red Queen and the White Queen, and would recommend all three. However, I wish Phjilippa Gregory had written this book first. If you are new to these books read The Lady of the Rivers first.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 23, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    great

    Great weekend read with great characters. Finished it in a couple of hours.

    7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2012

    Slow start, but otherwise entertaining

    Since i'm typing this out on my nook i'll keep it brief. I'm a sucker for this genre. Even though the rational part of my brain recognizes Greggory as a sub-par author, I'm still typical drawn into her books which range from great (TOBG) to downright unreadable (Wildacre series). This falls somewhere in the middle, and also falls short of its sequel The White Queen. In TWQ I found the characters much more dynamic and well thought out. Elizabeth actually has an arc. She grows and changes ovee time. Here.... not so much. The only really interesting character here is probably Margaret of Anjou. Also, for a story that takes place in an incredibly interesting period of history, not much actual history happens here. A lot of family dynamics, Greggory's incredibly annoying insistance that all woman of history were victims of men... she does this in every book, I swear, and maybe the occassional historical event thrown into the backseat. I find it hard to believe someone as important as Lady Rivers was to the royal court would have so little to say about what was happening on her lands and in her country. This could have been so much better. Still, I think its worth reading if you've enjoyed Greggory's other novels or you're a fan of this genre. Maybe not worth buying, but i'd reccomend lending a copy if you are interested.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A powerful story

    Jacquetta is married to the much older Duke of Bedford, who is the English Regent of France. He has heard of her gift of second sight and introduces her to a world of education, which was not exactly the forte of women in this era. Jacquette was also introduced to alchemists working for the Duke. When the Duke passes away he leaves Jacquetta a very wealthy widow. Her only friend turns out to be Richard Woodville, the Duke's squire, who is at Jacquetta's side when her husband dies. The two fall in love and marry without the knowledge of the King, which is a no-no, for the King has to approve all royal marriages. They are fined and sent away from the Court of King Henry VI but are welcomed back eventually and Jacquetta becomes the Queen's closest confidante. The Woodvilles soon become friends of the Court although Jacquetta, in between childbearing (11 children), senses the growing threat from the royal rivals (Lancaster and York). The House of Lancaster tries to keep the Court intact but, the House of York want the throne and, during all this, the King is taken ill. Queen Margaret turns to untrustworthy people for help and the Duke of York threatens to overturn the kingdom. Jacquetta and her husband fight for the King and Queen and for their daughter Elizabeth Woodville. Jacquetta has foreseen a fabulous life for Elizabeth including a fortune and maybe the throne of England sometime in the future. This author is an acclaimed writer of British History. The Lady of the Rivers is another about the Lancasters and the Yorks who were both after the throne of England. These people were all related to each other as the readers can see when the family trees are printed. But, Ms. Gregory is a master storyteller and Elizabeth Woodville is the heroine who will become Queen when everything is figured out. This is a powerful story which is very passionate and as the author tells the legendary story of Jacquetta and Elizabeth Woodville the reader will become enthralled with the story of the Lady of the Rivers. Quill Says: This author is well-known in the field of English History. This book is part of a series called The Cousins' War, featuring the Plantagenets and tells of the Wars of the Roses, a very violent time in the history of the English Royals.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Outstanding storytelling

    In 1430 near Arras, France, in front of her great-niece fourteen year old Lady Jacquetta, Lady Jehanne asks her prisoner Joan to accept parole by reneging her vows from God and remaining at Lord Luxembourg's Castle of Beaurevoir. Though weary that she erred in crowning the king, Joan, still a country peasant at heart refuses. Jacquetta witnesses the execution of Joan declared a witch by the Duke of Bedford.

    In 1433 Jacquetta has no say as she is forced to marry recently widowed John, the English Duke Bedford Regent of France. He plans to use her powers to further his ambitions but dies before he can achieve his objective. Still a teen, Jacquetta is now a wealthy widow. The king and her family choose her next spouse, but Jacquetta refuses to obey. Instead she weds Richard Woodville. They have a happy marriage with many children as he serves King Henry VI at the royal court and she serves as the queen's loyal confident while anticipating after Henry the Lancaster dynasty will die too.

    The third Cousins' War historical thriller (see The Red Queen and The White Queen) is another interesting look at a strong woman who must conceal her fortitude in order to navigate the treacherous male waters. Lady Jacquetta is a fascinating protagonist as she learns from the execution of Joan and the marriage of the king's mother to a Tudor that being strong but smart is an asset even in a male only world. Genre fans will appreciate Philippa Gregory's entertaining medieval biographical fiction of an intelligent courageous woman who not only survives the War of the Roses; she observes her grandson become King of England.

    Harriet Klausner

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Good read for gregory fans

    I have been a huge phillipa gregory fan ever since i read the other bolelyn girl and fell in love with it. This book definitely did not disappoint and i enjoyed reading it as a part of the trilogy based on the cousins wars. I liked it much better than the red queen and about as much as i enjoyed the white queen. Gregory really brings that time period to life and i particularly enjoyed the fact that it centers on a little known character from that time period. The story was engrossing and moved smoothly, i found it difficult to put down!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2011

    recommended

    It was a good contection to the others in the series. However, it didn't keep my interest as well as the previous books in this series.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2011

    Just ok

    This book started out as a good read then I quickly became bored with the same old stuff chapter after chapter. Did not like the ending at all.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 10, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    AWESOME READ

    This is supposed to be either the 2nd or 3rd in the series, I think it should be the 1st since it tells you about the Baron & Lady Rivers. The history is right on and the storytelling is very interesting and bring you into it. I read it in one night. Also read the White Queen. I got this book because of the mini-series, The White Queen and I wanted to learn more about Lady Rivers, who is Queen Elizabeth's mother. If you to learn about history but in a story not just facts thrown at you then you will like this book and basically all books by Philippa Gregory. She gives you the historical facts in a storylike manner and makes you care about that time period and the people that were involved in that time period. Wish my highs chool history book was like this.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 18, 2011

    Preordered, but won't let me read...

    I got an email that my preorder was complete, but I cannot open or even dowmload the book to my Nook Color...anyone else having issues?

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2011

    Fantastic!

    Phillippa has done it again, I highly recommend the lady of the rivers!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2014

    War of the roses

    Good, a little more fantasy involved but interesting

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  • Posted February 7, 2014

    Excellent Historical Fiction

    I cannot decide whether I would suggest reading this book before reading The White Queen since the Lady of the River is the White Queen's mother. I realize these books are a progressive undertaking and are written as Philippa's interests expand. The interactions between the three heroines in all three books is exciting. Reaad on to the other two books in this series.

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  • Posted January 26, 2014

    Highly Recommend!!!

    I really liked Philippa Gregory's The Red Queen, White Queen, The King Maker's Daughter, and The Lady of The Rivers. I would read all four of those books. These ladies were powerful women for the 1400s England.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2013

    A definite must read if you are into the Cousin's War novels.

    I especially enjoyed that it was also Jaquetta's love story. Not particularly seeking power like the other queen stories but living in her moment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2013

    Lady of the Rivers

    Excellent & well written, I absolutly loved the "the cousins war" trilogy however I believe it best to read this book first.... it just makes more sense to read the series in not just historic, but chronological order. I would have to say that this one is my favorite followed closely by "the Kingmakers Daughters". Either way they should both be read before "The White Queen" or "The Red Queen". An absolute treat & with the majic & story of true love, its definetly Phillipa Gregory's best work (including the series) since "the other Bolyn Girl"

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2013

    Yes

    So good

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2013

    A great read. I always enjoy historical novels by Phillppa Gregory.

    Very interesting. Philippa Gregory brings history to life through her novels.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2013

    Very good read!

    Have recently started reading Gregory's "Cousin's War" books. Really enjoyed this one about the mother of Elizabeth Woodville, wife of Edward IV. Will continue to read more of Gregory's books and any new ones in the future.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2013

    A must read!

    Beautifully written & captivating! Another excellent book from Philipa Gregory. I read this before reading The White Queen and I am very glad. This was a great introduction to The Cousin's War series and the lives of Jacuetta and Elizabeth. I love P.G.'s work and I look forward to reading more!

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