The Lady of the Rivers (The Cousins War No.3) – Philippa Gregory
Simon & Schuster, 2011
The year is 1430. The English rule half of France and the French king’s most famous soldier has just been caught: the one they call the Maiden, Joan of Arc. Her death is a reminder to every woman watching that this is a world ruled by men. Born into wealth and trained into the elegant ideal of a noblewoman, Jacquetta of Luxembourg exists in a different world to Joan – but she too has a birthright, as a descendant of the water goddess Melusina, and no woman with such powers can ever trust she is safe. When she marries into the English royal family, she must learn to walk a balance between knowledge and denial – or fall to her death.
I am more than a little in love with this series. Jacquetta is a little-known but significant historical figure – mother of Elizabeth Woodville, great-great-grandmother of Queen Elizabeth I – and it’s fascinating, seeing how her story fits into a larger picture of the turbulent times. Gregory weaves in a thread of fantasy, which I like, but doesn’t overdo it. The Cousins War continues with The Kingmaker’s Daughter.