Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Audiobook Wednesdays: The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

Oh, Philippa, I can't quit you. I wasn't impressed with the last book I read of yours, The King's Curse, but like I said, I was open to reading more of your books... but not pay full price for them.

Enter Audible's 6 dollar audiobook deal. I'm a member, which means I pay $13.00 a month for a book, but every so often, they have sweet, sweet book deals. I would have never known if it wasn't for the fact I put Down the Rabbit Hole on the wish list, and they sent me an email letting me know that it was on the sale. I snapped up Holly's book, and then took are this time around to listen to the voice actors. This is the first time I ever listened to a book with a British voice actor, and I had trepidations. The sample I listened too was pretty good, and along with another book, I figured, what the hell? I bought it.

This book is a neat set up prequel to Gregory's most famous book, The White Queen, and if you wanted to re-read that book again, you can immediately do so at the ending of this book.

The book is about Elizabeth's Woodville's mother, Jaquetta Woodville, the Dowager Duchess of Bedford and Lady Rivers. It introduces her life as a daughter of a wealthy family of Luxembourg and how she became the Duchess of Bedford, then the Lady Rivers. I was very interested to read about Richard Woodville and Jaquetta's romance, and how she was disgraced by marrying him, which was one of the reasons, (along with the price) I pulled the trigger and bought the book.

At first, I thought I made a huge mistakes. The voice actor was annoying, and when she did the voices of men and other women, some of them trailed off mid sentences, which prompted me to hike up the sound so I could hear them and figure out what the heck they were saying (just a day in the life of a hard-of-hearing person...). I thought this was going to be Magnus Chase all over again but I was relieved to find that when Jaquetta got older, she matured into her voice as well as Richard's Woodville's voice.

Jaquetta meets Joan of Arc in the beginning of the book, as well as introduce magical motifs and themes that are there for a lot of her books. Thankfully, it's not so heavy handed as The King's Curse, where Margaret Pole mentions The Curse on nearly page, and even shows Jaquetta resisting her magical gifts in order to fly under radar for most of life.

I always like reading books where the author refers to other events in other books. Call it cheesy, but it makes me feel like I'm apart of an inside joke or I'm in the know. When she mentions "The 3 Suns" or when she refers to her daughter standing in the road, I'm gleeful, because I know what she's referring to, and I feel accomplished.

Margaret of Anjou is laughably evil and spoiled in this book and I can't imagine a person who can't reflect on their own actions and not draw their own conclusions on their decisions. You're glad when England is ride of her and King Henry, who is such a pool fool. This definitely sets up the saviors that is Edward and Elizabeth who overtake the throne.

I read some of the reviews and some of them critique the fact that Philippa constantly referred to people by their name and title and their relation. I don't remember from her other books, but as an audio book, it was good to hear the titles sometimes and be reminded of who the heck they were. Besides, there are a million Richards, and Edwards and Henries... sometimes it's hard to keep track! Nevertheless, the conversations between Jaquetta and Margaret of Anjou was stilted because Gregory felt the need to constantly refer to everyone by their name and station.

Overall, it was an enjoyable listen. There is some good and bad, and if you want a deep, insightful historical fiction book, this isn't it. Many readers, especially history buffs complained that PG is dumbing down her books to appeal to a larger audience, especially the constant references to various people by their titles and station, but I thought it was better than some of her books. I definitely wouldn't buy it for full price.

No comments:

Post a Comment