Friday, August 13, 2010

Historical Fiction Friday: Review

This is the second book in the series The Cousin's War. Ms. Gregory has a large following, even among my teen patrons, so I decided to read this book.

Margaret Beaufort is obsessed with Joan of Arc and religion. The reader is introduced to this in the first few pages of the novel. And then they are heavily beaten over the head with this information for the next 100 pages and then only moderately beaten over the head with it for the rest of the book.

I got it. Margaret wants to be another Joan of Arc. I also understand that Margaret is on a mission from God to put her son, Henry, on the throne.

The story that unfolds is about an uptight Margaret(who became really annoying towards the end) who is constantly praying, scheming and telling everyone she comes across she is on a mission from God. She's chaste, she's dull, and she's mean as a wet hornet.

Lord Stanley, Margaret's last husband is by far the most interesting character in the book. He marries her for political gain only and pretty much tells her how it is.

The story limps along at an unusually slow pace. The beginning had promise and then we get to the second half of the book which is dull, talks about battles, fighting, and I just don't care.

In this book Philippa Gregory manages to do what a lot of YA historical fiction authors do, and that is leave out the details of the time period. Nothing puts my knickers in a knot faster than no historical details. There was no explanations of food, clothing..nothing. I hate that.

This is a book to be missed for all of the reasons stated above. If you are a Ms. Gregory fan and need to read the book I would get it at the library.


Miss Moppet said...

Pity! Her earlier books had lots of detail and I liked her use of historical metaphors in particular. I wish she'd go back to that style of writing. It's the little details that just make the book and create the atmosphere for me.

YA Librarian said...

I couldn't agree more. I loved her early stuff, but now. I think she writes too quickly and leaves out the little details. In my opinion the books suffers. Others may disagree though. :)