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The Lady of the Rivers: A Novel (The Cousins’ War) Paperback – April 3, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 729 customer reviews
Book 3 of 6 in the Cousins War Series

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From the creator and writer of Downton Abbey comes a grand historical novel, with hugely exciting twists and dramatic chapter endings. Learn more | See author page
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Editorial Reviews


"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. . . .A worthy addition to this fascinating series, once again distinguished by excellent characterization, thorough research, and a deft touch with the written word." -"Library Journal"

"Confident, colorful, convincing, and full of conflict, betrayal, and political maneuvering." --"Publishers Weekly"

"Sexy...scandalous...smart." -"Redbook"

"Gregory is a consummate historical author." -"Historical Novels Review"

"The ethereal magic threaded throughout the story. . . .contrasts nicely with the power politics." -"Booklist"

"The suspenseful pace never flags." -"Kirkus"

"The best yet, a lively tale of witchcraft and romance set amid civil wars in England and France." -Associated Press

"This rip-roarer possesses the same intimate imaginative texture of Gregory's classic "The Other Boleyn Girl". . . . It's about love, power and human weakness." --USAToday.com

"The best yet, a lively tale . . . set amid civil wars in England and France." -Associated Press

"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."

About 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. Her most recent novel is Three Sisters, Three Queens. She graduated from the University of Sussex and received a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, where she is a Regent. She holds an honorary degree from Teesside University, and is a fellow of the Universities of Sussex and Cardiff. She welcomes visitors to her website, PhilippaGregory.com.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Cousins’ War
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Reprint edition (April 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416563717
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416563716
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (729 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,136 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Baumanis on September 25, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the third novel in Philippa's series The Cousins' War, but chronologically (so far anyway) sets the scene and characters for the whole series. What I enjoy the most about her books is their authenticity...her characters do not use 21st century slang or mannerisms, a feature which makes me cringe with some historical novels.Philippa has clearly researched her topic and does not hide or water down how conditions were in those days...fleas, disease, death, women used as pawns in their families with no rights...it may offend our present day values but is true and honest. I highly recommend this book and all her writing...
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Format: Hardcover
From a young age, Jacquetta of Luxembourg has known things that other people don't. The ability to foresee future events is a gift she doesn't understand, even though it's an integral part of her family history. The women who came before her, descended from the river goddess Melusina, have been the keepers of the secret of their second sight for generations. Unfortunately, psychic awareness is a dangerous possession at a time when accusations of witchcraft, punished by painful, fiery deaths, abound.

When the book begins in France in 1430, Jacquetta is in the company of the captured girl leader, Joan of Arc. While Jacquetta develops a fondness for Joan, their friendship doesn't last long. In spite of Jacquetta's hopes for Joan's freedom, Joan is burned at the stake, an event that she is forced to witness.

As a notoriously beautiful young woman, it isn't long until Jacquetta captures the eye of the Duke of Bedford, one of the most powerful men in England. At 17, she becomes his bride and leaves France to begin a new life in England as part of the royal court of King Henry VI, where intrigue and treachery run rampant. While most men would have chosen Jacquetta to satisfy their baser desires, the Duke has loftier intentions. He encourages her occult skills and urges her to reveal his future military fate. Unfortunately, Jacquetta has not come into her own yet and is unable to help the Duke in the way that he desires, no matter how much he insists.

While remaining faithful to the Duke, Jacquetta cannot deny the feelings in her heart that tell her that Richard Woodville, her husband's squire and trusted companion, is the man for her.
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Format: Paperback
Summary: The Lady of the Rivers is the third book in the Cousin's War series spanning the time period near the War of the Roses. Even though it's the third book in the series, chronologically it's the first. The story is the life of Jacquetta of Luxembourg from near the time of her first marriage to the Duke of Bedford and ends near where The White Queen (the novel about her daughter, Elizabeth Woodville) begins.

I like historical fiction. I also generally like Greggory's novels (though she's also had more than her fair share of absolute bombs as well). She's kind of a guilty pleasure for me. I know that her novels are not groundbreaking works of fiction that will be discussed in literary circles for generations to come. It's "candy fiction". It tastes good, but you know there is no nutritional value. This is especially true with The Cousin's War series, where she takes many more liberties with actual historical events than she does in the Tudor novels. Granted, the Tudor family, and Anne Boleyn (obviously from The Other Boleyn Girl, her best work to date) especially, are much better documented in historical documents. So, some of this can be explained away by simply a lack of records from these times and characters. However, the fact still remains that these books are entertainment only, and not a "history reference".

There are things I enjoyed about this novel. It held my interest well enough. I liked the inclusion of alchemy and mysticism which added an interesting angle, even if it did make the already factually flawed novel even more unbelievable. I liked Margaret of Anjou! She was really the only character that I thought was truly dynamic.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'll admit that I don't read as much historical fiction as I feel I should. I love history and have always enjoyed fiction based on historical events in the past, so when I recently became interested in the Wars of the Roses, I figured it was a good time to sample a recent contribution to the genre. Unlike many reviewers, I have not read anything by Philippa Gregory before. I saw "The Other Boleyn Girl" in theatres, and thought it was entertaining, though perhaps lacking in accuracy. Additionally, during my brief time as a bookstore employee, it came to my attention that Philippa Gregory seemed to be the "go-to" author for historical fiction, so it seemed that she was the most obvious choice for my adventure into the genre. And, as luck would have it, she has several books out about the Wars of the Roses. Since I like to read chronologically when possible, I selected "The Lady of the Rivers" (the third of the series to be published, but the first chronologically) and began reading, expecting to enjoy a historically based story peppered with fictional elements. Much to my dismay, I was disappointed on both fronts. Spoilers follow.

I'm going to start with a brief disclaimer. As mentioned above, I enjoy history and love learning new things; however, I am by no means a historian. Most of my knowledge of history comes from documentaries or what I learn from spending some time clicking around the Internet. Much as I wish I had the time to sit down and really research these time periods, I simply don't. So, with that in mind, I approached this more as a work of fiction with historical elements than a straight factual historical novel. I am not here to nitpick Gregory's research or her historical accuracy.
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