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The Last White Rose: A Novel of Elizabeth of York

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New York Times bestselling author Alison Weir explores the life of Henry VIII's mother, Elizabeth, the first queen of the Tudor dynasty, in this stunning historical novel. Elizabeth of York is the oldest daughter of King Edward IV. Flame-haired, beautiful, and sweet-natured, she is adored by her family; yet her life is suddenly disrupted when her beloved father dies in New York Times bestselling author Alison Weir explores the life of Henry VIII's mother, Elizabeth, the first queen of the Tudor dynasty, in this stunning historical novel. Elizabeth of York is the oldest daughter of King Edward IV. Flame-haired, beautiful, and sweet-natured, she is adored by her family; yet her life is suddenly disrupted when her beloved father dies in the prime of life. Her uncle, the notorious Richard III, takes advantage of King Edward's death to grab the throne and imprison Elizabeth's two younger brothers, the rightful royal heirs. Forever afterwards known as the princes in the tower, the boys are never seen again. On the heels of this tragedy, Elizabeth is subjected to Richard's overtures to make her his wife, further legitimizing his claim to the throne. King Richard has murdered her brothers, yet she is obliged to accept his proposal. As if in a fairy tale, Elizabeth is saved by Henry Tudor, who challenges Richard and kills him in the legendary Battle of Bosworth Field. In recognition of his victory, Henry becomes king and asks Elizabeth to be his wife, the first queen of the Tudor line. The marriage is happy and fruitful, not only uniting the warring houses of Lancaster and York--the red and white roses--but resulting in four surviving children, one of whom, Henry VIII, will rule the country for the next thirty-six years. As in her popular Six Tudor Queens series, Alison Weir captures the personality of one of Britain's most important monarchs, conveying Elizabeth of York's dramatic life in a novel that is all the richer because of its firm basis in history.


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New York Times bestselling author Alison Weir explores the life of Henry VIII's mother, Elizabeth, the first queen of the Tudor dynasty, in this stunning historical novel. Elizabeth of York is the oldest daughter of King Edward IV. Flame-haired, beautiful, and sweet-natured, she is adored by her family; yet her life is suddenly disrupted when her beloved father dies in New York Times bestselling author Alison Weir explores the life of Henry VIII's mother, Elizabeth, the first queen of the Tudor dynasty, in this stunning historical novel. Elizabeth of York is the oldest daughter of King Edward IV. Flame-haired, beautiful, and sweet-natured, she is adored by her family; yet her life is suddenly disrupted when her beloved father dies in the prime of life. Her uncle, the notorious Richard III, takes advantage of King Edward's death to grab the throne and imprison Elizabeth's two younger brothers, the rightful royal heirs. Forever afterwards known as the princes in the tower, the boys are never seen again. On the heels of this tragedy, Elizabeth is subjected to Richard's overtures to make her his wife, further legitimizing his claim to the throne. King Richard has murdered her brothers, yet she is obliged to accept his proposal. As if in a fairy tale, Elizabeth is saved by Henry Tudor, who challenges Richard and kills him in the legendary Battle of Bosworth Field. In recognition of his victory, Henry becomes king and asks Elizabeth to be his wife, the first queen of the Tudor line. The marriage is happy and fruitful, not only uniting the warring houses of Lancaster and York--the red and white roses--but resulting in four surviving children, one of whom, Henry VIII, will rule the country for the next thirty-six years. As in her popular Six Tudor Queens series, Alison Weir captures the personality of one of Britain's most important monarchs, conveying Elizabeth of York's dramatic life in a novel that is all the richer because of its firm basis in history.

30 review for The Last White Rose: A Novel of Elizabeth of York

  1. 5 out of 5

    *TUDOR^QUEEN* (on hiatus)

    3 Stars Whenever a new book is out by British Royal author Alison Weir my interest is immediately piqued. I have many of her excellent royal biographies on my bookshelves which I have enjoyed and treasured over the decades. My main focus and passion has been on The Tudors, but was delighted to reach backward when I watched "The White Queen" and "The White Princess" series where Philippa Gregory historical fiction novels were translated to the screen. This was a game changer for me because althoug 3 Stars Whenever a new book is out by British Royal author Alison Weir my interest is immediately piqued. I have many of her excellent royal biographies on my bookshelves which I have enjoyed and treasured over the decades. My main focus and passion has been on The Tudors, but was delighted to reach backward when I watched "The White Queen" and "The White Princess" series where Philippa Gregory historical fiction novels were translated to the screen. This was a game changer for me because although I hadn't read these books it finally put faces and a human touch to the story of The War of the Roses- which launched the Tudor era. Now I could understand who King Henry VIII's parents were and delve further back into their history. This book is about Elizabeth of York, the eldest daughter of King Edward IV. When her father died, chaos ensued when her uncle Richard III seized the throne, her two younger brothers/princes having gone missing from The Tower. For a time it was actually considered that she might become a bride of her uncle, but when he was defeated by Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth, she was designated to marry the victor. Either way she would become Queen of England, but as history turned out, her union with Henry united the long warring factions of the Lancasters and Yorks, in the hope of a settled peace once and for all. This was signified by the overlaid white and red rose motif. In fact, as the eldest living child of King Edward IV, she was entitled to be The Queen in her own right and not just a Consort, but at this time females were not accepted as monarchs. Therefore, her marriage to Henry Tudor strengthened his somewhat weak claim to the throne. They are the parents of King Henry VIII. This book is over 500 pages and really felt like it! Editing it down some would make it far more palatable. There was a lot of repetition that became tiresome. The endless threats to the throne that simmered throughout this book from the unresolved mystery of what happened to the Queen's two little brothers (the legendary Princes in the Tower) and other pretenders, usurpers, etc. were a constant. I also found it difficult keeping a handle on the characters because these British royals often re-use names such as Elizabeth, Margaret, Edward, Katherine, etc. I felt guilty because I was excited to read this, knew the author was stellar, but wasn't quite enjoying it as I had hoped. It made me wonder if the problem was the actual historical story was unpleasant, or just a failing on the writing craft itself. Maybe it's a combination. Thank you very much to Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine who provided an advance reader copy via NetGalley.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Natasha Leighton

    A well researched and brilliantlly written story that blends historical fact with the imagined thoughts and feelings of Princess Elizabeth of York—the daughter, niece, wife and mother to some of the most infamous Kings of England and through her proximity to them all; bore witness to some of the most turbulent years in English history. Given how interconnected her life was to so many important and powerful men, I’m surprised at how little fiction is centred around her —though given the drama of A well researched and brilliantlly written story that blends historical fact with the imagined thoughts and feelings of Princess Elizabeth of York—the daughter, niece, wife and mother to some of the most infamous Kings of England and through her proximity to them all; bore witness to some of the most turbulent years in English history. Given how interconnected her life was to so many important and powerful men, I’m surprised at how little fiction is centred around her —though given the drama of her son, Henry VIII’s reign I can sort of understand why. All the same, I am soo glad that Alison Weir has picked up the mantle and crafted an interesting glimpse into the repercussions Edward IV, Richard III and Henry VII’s actions had on the women around them. It’s easy to forget the hardships many of these women went through (yo-yoing back and forth between between being the most beloved to the most reviled). Not to mention how terrifying it would’ve been living at the whims of these men— lives uprooted and marriages dissolved to suit the political machinations of whoever currently sat on the throne… that uncertainty is practically maddening (but so skilfully written). Through it spans 40 years of Elizabeth’s life, I did find the first half a little slow to get into but it does start to pick up during the Richard III years. The day to day descriptions and details were really interesting and I enjoyed Elizabeth’s interactions with her mother and sisters quite a bit, their grief, joy and anxiety was well written really brought these women to life in my mind. I really enjoyed the exploration of her relationship with her children (Henry in particular given what we know transpired later in his life) but, I was rather astonished at how little time noble women seemed to spend with their own children (or get to spend), especially given how perilous infancy could be. Overall, this was superb exploration into the life of woman who, along with her husband gave us the Tudor dynasty and possibly the most infamous King, Henry VIII. A wonderfully accurate and addictive read that history buffs and Tudor fans are definitely going to enjoy. Also, a huge thank you to Random Things Tours and Headline for the proof.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Another hefty novel from one of my favorite authors about Elizabeth of York, perhaps the most important woman in medieval English history. Normally I keep an eye on publication dates for upcoming books by Weir, but this one completely took me by surprise! Somehow I was expecting that she would be done writing novels for awhile when she completed the Six Tudor Queens series, especially as she mentioned that her son had passed away. I was excited to receive a galley from the publisher and hope thi Another hefty novel from one of my favorite authors about Elizabeth of York, perhaps the most important woman in medieval English history. Normally I keep an eye on publication dates for upcoming books by Weir, but this one completely took me by surprise! Somehow I was expecting that she would be done writing novels for awhile when she completed the Six Tudor Queens series, especially as she mentioned that her son had passed away. I was excited to receive a galley from the publisher and hope this means Weir will continue writing more novels about royal women. This book is nearly 600 pages, so it took me awhile to get through. I couldn't shake the feeling that it seems like it was written or at least started before the Six Tudor Queens series. In the afterword, Weir mentions that it was heavily influenced by her biography of Elizabeth (I highly recommend reading) which was written in 2013. Some of the characterizations feel off, for example Elizabeth Woodville comes across as a hysteric gossip until she retires from court. Some of the conversations veer wildly from Arthur being sick to someone offending King Henry and his needing to exact revenge. I live for the moments of introspection in this book. When Arthur dies and Elizabeth wonders if she loved him enough. When she's fed up with Henry and decides that she needs to do something for herself. When she defends and cares for her sisters as they lose their husbands and children to various circumstances. It's impossible to know what kind of person Elizabeth was, because the historical record leaves us so little, so it's one of the reasons I love when an author who knows the record so well makes their best guess.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth McFarland

    This is one of my favorite time periods and one my favorite historical figures to read about. The daughter of a King ,the wife of a King and the mother of a king. Elizabeth of York is endlessly fascinating to me and Alison Weir did a wonderful job with the story of her life. I voluntarily read and reviewed a copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  5. 4 out of 5

    eyes.2c

    First Tudor Queen! Ah! Tudor times! I’ve always been fascinated by those Tudors, tantalised by the cut and thrust and their political jousting, and the sheer ruthlessness of those who would be King, or kingmakers. After all the stakes were high. Technically, this is a fascinating look at the life of Elizabeth of York and the plots surrounding her family as the highest role in the land is grappled for. Thoroughly researched and explained, the complexity of regal politics is well described. I must First Tudor Queen! Ah! Tudor times! I’ve always been fascinated by those Tudors, tantalised by the cut and thrust and their political jousting, and the sheer ruthlessness of those who would be King, or kingmakers. After all the stakes were high. Technically, this is a fascinating look at the life of Elizabeth of York and the plots surrounding her family as the highest role in the land is grappled for. Thoroughly researched and explained, the complexity of regal politics is well described. I must say I found the characters difficult to relate to and harder to engage with as events unfolded. The conversations between them were often stilted. The result for me? Somewhat flat and my interest flagged. A Random House - Ballantine ARC via NetGalley

  6. 5 out of 5

    Eileen

    This is a novel of Elizabeth of York, Princess of England, Elizabeth is the oldest child of the golden King Edward IV, and his fabled and beautiful wife Elizabeth Woodville. She is a lovely child fated for a spectacular marriage to the French heir. Then suddenly her father dies in his prime, leaving her young brother Edward as king. But before he is crowned her beloved uncle Richard declares all his brother's children illegitimate and takes the throne for himself. Elizabeth is an intelligent and This is a novel of Elizabeth of York, Princess of England, Elizabeth is the oldest child of the golden King Edward IV, and his fabled and beautiful wife Elizabeth Woodville. She is a lovely child fated for a spectacular marriage to the French heir. Then suddenly her father dies in his prime, leaving her young brother Edward as king. But before he is crowned her beloved uncle Richard declares all his brother's children illegitimate and takes the throne for himself. Elizabeth is an intelligent and well educated woman, but she doesn't know what to believe. Her mother has taken them all except young Edward who is in the Tower of London, into sanctuary. The Queen is eventually convinced to send her son Richard, Duke of York, to join his brother for safety. There both brothers disappear from history, and Elizabeth becomes a pawn in the deadly game of succession between Richard III, the Yorkist claimant, and Henry Tudor, the Lancastrian claimant. Both seek Elizabeth's hand in marriage as she is the next surviving heir to the late king. This is a sweeping saga, in four parts, told from the time Elizabeth is old enough to have a voice until her untimely death, on her birthday, after childbirth at age 37. It is a very intimate story of the the girl who would unite the two waring houses of York and Lancaster, to end the War of the Roses. We participate in the events from the time her father was briefly chased from his throne, through the war, her marriage to Henry VII, family and political intrigues, childbearing, to her death in 1503. Through her eyes and voice we learn of those people who surround her, and her deepest feelings. Often overlooked because of her sweet nature, we see in Weir's portrayal, a woman who spent her life aware of her place in history and willing to take what actions she could to keep her extended family safe. And, of course, because this is fictional portrayal is done by noted historian Alison Weir, the history is correct. At the end of the novel Ms. Weir includes a short Author's Note about the historical accuracy. Just as important, this novel is wonderful to read, and I couldn't put it down, not because I didn't know the history and what would happen, but because her voice in this novel was so spellbinding. Read it as a good historical novel; read it as a voice for a woman often neglected in history; most of all read it because it is compelling.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Karen’s Library

    Out of all of the Tudor stories out there, I think that maybe the last few decades of the War of the Roses time period is my favorite. And yes, technically it’s the Plantagenets time, but the Tudors are in there. I haven’t read many books about the earlier Tudor times with Edward IV so I really only knew the story from one other author who wrote a bit of a different version from this one. I believe that Alison Weir’s version is closer to being much more accurate and I couldn’t get enough of it. I Out of all of the Tudor stories out there, I think that maybe the last few decades of the War of the Roses time period is my favorite. And yes, technically it’s the Plantagenets time, but the Tudors are in there. I haven’t read many books about the earlier Tudor times with Edward IV so I really only knew the story from one other author who wrote a bit of a different version from this one. I believe that Alison Weir’s version is closer to being much more accurate and I couldn’t get enough of it. In Elizabeth of York, Last of the White Roses, the story follows Bessy’s life starting from when she was just a little girl in her father’s (King Edward IV) Plantagenet court throughout her life to eventually being the mother of Henry Tudor the VIII. Out of all the historical figures in the Tudor world, I think that Elizabeth of York is my favorite! It felt like Weir really captured the historical aspects and I’m so happy she switched to writing fiction. I had a hard time putting this book down and can’t wait to find out what Alison Weir comes out with next in this Tudor Rose series! *Thank you so much to Random House, Ballantine Books, and NetGalley for the advance copy!*

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer N

    3.5 stars. I love Tudor novels and I normally love Weir. This book felt a little too long and there were parts where reading just got tedious - endlessly describing their life in sanctuary. Much focused on the disappearance of her brothers which was necessary but I was not convinced by Weir's account. I had previously read The Sun in Splendor by Anne Easter Smith and she convinced me that it was far more likely that the Tudor's had the boys killed rather than Richard. I know that Weir wrote a no 3.5 stars. I love Tudor novels and I normally love Weir. This book felt a little too long and there were parts where reading just got tedious - endlessly describing their life in sanctuary. Much focused on the disappearance of her brothers which was necessary but I was not convinced by Weir's account. I had previously read The Sun in Splendor by Anne Easter Smith and she convinced me that it was far more likely that the Tudor's had the boys killed rather than Richard. I know that Weir wrote a non-fiction account of Elizabeth of York but I wish she gave us more of a historical afterward as I have many questions about her evidence around certain claims. This was also intriguing because everything I had read before portrayed Henry's mother as being very domineering, totally taking over and regulating Elizabeth to a much minor role. She wouldn't even let her make any decisions about her children. In this novel she is very involved but the 2 women have a great relationship.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Katie Bogdan

    4 stars Elizabeth of York is a fascinating figure in British history due to her proximity to such famous kings as her uncle Richard III and her son Henry VIII. Weir points out in her author's note that while she should have reigned as England's first female monarch based on succession, her importance as the ancestress of every reigning English ruler from 1509 on cannot be understated. Elizabeth lived through perhaps some of the most turbulent decades in English history, which are shown to great e 4 stars Elizabeth of York is a fascinating figure in British history due to her proximity to such famous kings as her uncle Richard III and her son Henry VIII. Weir points out in her author's note that while she should have reigned as England's first female monarch based on succession, her importance as the ancestress of every reigning English ruler from 1509 on cannot be understated. Elizabeth lived through perhaps some of the most turbulent decades in English history, which are shown to great effect throughout the book. From the first scene in the novel, violence over the question of succession reigns supreme and impacts every facet of Elizabeth's life. Perhaps because I was not as familiar with the history discussed in the first part of the book, I did feel like the story dragged with the same few scenes (death, violence, and peace) repeating over and over again on a loop. Things definitely get more interesting with Richard's reign and then continues to pick up steam once Elizabeth marries Henry VII. From a history perspective, it's an ambitious and mostly successful endeavor. The biggest problem, however, is the character of Elizabeth herself. It is acknowledged both by the author and by Wikipedia that little is known about Elizabeth's emotions and feelings and despite being in proximity to these massive events, she played little part in politics. Weir has the tough job of having to really craft a character out of very little and I found that for a large part of the novel, Elizabeth becomes less of a character with thoughts and feelings and more of a vehicle through which to view the events being discussed. This does improve as the book goes along, but I would have loved to see more development of Elizabeth as an individual especially since the historical aspect is so well-rendered. Overall, it's an compulsively readable, if slightly flawed, piece of historical fiction that I think Tudor fanatics should consider picking up. Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for an ARC of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum

    Elizabeth of York - The Last White Rose is my sixth book by Alison Weir, and astonishingly (or not) they've all been five star reads.... including this one! Elizabeth of York was the first Tudor queen and was born in 1466. Thanks to reading a number of books by Philippa Gregory over the years - namely The White Queen, The Red Queen and The Lady of the Rivers - I was reasonably familiar with the Houses of Lancaster and York and of course the War of the Roses. Given the number of Richards, Elizabe Elizabeth of York - The Last White Rose is my sixth book by Alison Weir, and astonishingly (or not) they've all been five star reads.... including this one! Elizabeth of York was the first Tudor queen and was born in 1466. Thanks to reading a number of books by Philippa Gregory over the years - namely The White Queen, The Red Queen and The Lady of the Rivers - I was reasonably familiar with the Houses of Lancaster and York and of course the War of the Roses. Given the number of Richards, Elizabeths and Henrys of the period, I was grateful for this foundational knowledge and able to relax immediately into the story. The novel begins in 1470, when Elizabeth is just 4 years old and takes the reader through to her death from childbed fever (or post partum infection) in 1503. It should be noted that Elizabeth of York - The Last White Rose is a standalone historical fiction novel, and unconnected to her Six Tudor Queens series. In following her life, the novel does seem to take the same chronological structure as her Tudor Queens novels, and could easily be read alongside any of the novels I've linked in this review. The reader gets a great sense of Elizabeth, and her portrayal by Jodie Comer in the historical drama miniseries The White Princess, in addition to Michelle Fairley's portrayal of Lady Margaret Beaufort, were both firmly in my mind as I was reading. "I will be Queen of England! I care not whether I hang, burn or drown in the attempt, for otherwise my life is not worth living." Page 220 The novel covers the disappearance and potential murder of the two Princes in the Tower in 1483, a case from history that still fascinates historians today. The Princes were Elizabeth of York's younger brothers and I enjoyed exploring this topic in To The Tower Born by Robin Maxwell back in 2011. Alison Weir has her own take on Richard III and what transpired in the Tower of London, which is very different to Philippa Gregory's version of events. However, it should be said that a centuries old unsolved disappearance lends itself to multiple interpretations and I enjoyed Alison Weir's here. The future King Henry VIII is one of many children born (yes, Elizabeth of York is the mother of Henry VIII) and we see him grow as a charming young boy at the periphery of this novel, only to lose his brother Arthur to the sweating sickness in 1502. When Elizabeth dies Henry is just 12 years old, so it was comforting to know what happens to him and his siblings long after the book concludes. No cliffhangers here! As in her previous books, Weir's writing in Elizabeth of York was evocative and I managed to keep up with the various betrothals, alliances, rebellions, pretenders, usurpers, treasonous plots, royal progresses, betrayals and executions. Researching in preparation for this review, I just learned that Elizabeth of York - The Last White Rose is the first in a new series by Alison Weir called Tudor Rose. As I write this, there are a further two books planned and the series will be about a mother (Elizabeth of York), a son (Henry VIII) and a daughter (Mary I); a series spanning three generations. I can tell this is going to be an epic series and I'm eager to keep reading. Will the next one continue the 5 star streak? Let's see. * Copy courtesy of Hachette Australia *

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kitty McIntosh

    ‘Elizabeth of York’ by Alison Weir is the story of Elizabeth, the last White Rose, as thereafter the houses of York and Lancaster joined to become the House of Tudor. Elizabeth has lived her entire life in fear of one political upheaval after another. Her young life is interrupted by the need to seek sanctuary as her father fights to hold onto his throne. On his death her future looks uncertain. Will she be forced into marriage with her uncle? Or will she finally meet and marry the Lancaster riv ‘Elizabeth of York’ by Alison Weir is the story of Elizabeth, the last White Rose, as thereafter the houses of York and Lancaster joined to become the House of Tudor. Elizabeth has lived her entire life in fear of one political upheaval after another. Her young life is interrupted by the need to seek sanctuary as her father fights to hold onto his throne. On his death her future looks uncertain. Will she be forced into marriage with her uncle? Or will she finally meet and marry the Lancaster rival to the throne, Henry Tudor? The difficult choices she must make will not only affect her own life, but those of her family and the entire country. Alison Weir fills in a lot of the backstory using conversations between the young Elizabeth and her mother. And this was certainly needed, as there are many players in this story and their relationships to each other are extremely important. There is a list of those involved and how they relate to each other at the beginning of the book and I found myself having to refer to that several times. We are reminded that very young children are but pawns in royal households at this time. They are married off at very young ages and sent away from their families. Power seems to trump close and loving familial relationships, especially in the eyes of Elizabeth’s parents. The author managed to make Elizabeth very real to me. I could imagine her fears as well as the joyful moments in her life. Alison Weir gets into the heads of her main characters, giving her readers a way into the past. Elizabeth had a lifetime of being a part of, and watching the machinations of, those intent on power at all costs. Her fortunes would rise and fall, depending on how the political situation changed. I found her story fascinating. Weir pulled me into Elizabeth’s world, and transported me to a time and place vital to the future of the monarchy. Her knowledge on the subject is astounding and I learned so much about an amazing woman. I was given this ARC to review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    I really enjoy Tudor fiction especially from this author! She has a special way of drawing her readers into the story before we know it. I couldn't put it down. I loved learning where the Tudor dynasty came from. In my opinion, this is the most interesting era in English history! Wonderful characters that I enjoyed seeing again new ones that I loved meeting! I didn't want the story to end, but I can't wait to see what else she comes out with! I'm never disappointed in her books. My thanks for a copy I really enjoy Tudor fiction especially from this author! She has a special way of drawing her readers into the story before we know it. I couldn't put it down. I loved learning where the Tudor dynasty came from. In my opinion, this is the most interesting era in English history! Wonderful characters that I enjoyed seeing again new ones that I loved meeting! I didn't want the story to end, but I can't wait to see what else she comes out with! I'm never disappointed in her books. My thanks for a copy of this book. I was NOT required to write a positive review All opinions expressed are my own.

  13. 5 out of 5

    HalKid2

    NOTE #1: I was given early access to this manuscript through netgalley in exchange for writing an impartial review. Thank you Ballantine Books. Publication Date: May 3, 2022 Generally I’m a fan of Historian Alison Weir’s fiction (I LOVED her Six Tudor Queens series) but I found more flaws (especially during Elizabeth’s early years) in this book, the first of Weir's new series (Tudor Rose). I would rate this one 3.5 stars. ELIZABETH OF YORK, THE LAST WHITE ROSE is a fictional account of the life of NOTE #1: I was given early access to this manuscript through netgalley in exchange for writing an impartial review. Thank you Ballantine Books. Publication Date: May 3, 2022 Generally I’m a fan of Historian Alison Weir’s fiction (I LOVED her Six Tudor Queens series) but I found more flaws (especially during Elizabeth’s early years) in this book, the first of Weir's new series (Tudor Rose). I would rate this one 3.5 stars. ELIZABETH OF YORK, THE LAST WHITE ROSE is a fictional account of the life of the oldest daughter of King Edward IV of England and his wife, Elizabeth Woodville. Elizabeth eventually becomes the wife of King Henry VII and together they found the Tudor Dynasty, ancestors of all English monarchs since 1509. Weir’s account of Elizabeth’s life is solid and comprehensive. The traumas of her childhood, uncertainties surrounding prospective marriages, marriage to Henry, and threats to the legitimacy of their claim to the throne are all handled believably. If the author had stuck with just that, I’d have given this book four or five stars. But Weir, an historian by training, felt compelled to include a lot of additional historical detail that felt superfluous so Elizabeth’s story and made the book feel long and in some places clunky. Let me try to explain. • When Elizabeth is still a child, I felt the narrative kept shifting. I think Weir was trying to maintain Elizabeth’s child-appropriate perspective, like referring to “Mother” (instead of Queen Elizabeth Woodville) and “Grandmother” (Jacquetta Woodville). But then Weir would include information or observations that would not be possible coming from a five-year-old. As though the narrator suddenly became omniscient, with the language and sensibilities of an adult. • Weir includes a lot of detail about the politics and shifting allegiances associated with the Wars of the Roses, some of which have little or no impact on Elizabeth’s interests or life. This, I believe, made the book feel overly long. • To include a lot of this extraneous information, Weir again and again resorts to the same literary device: someone overhearing a conversation between others. WAY overused! I certainly recommend the book for historical fiction fans, those who want to know more about this remarkable woman (the mother of King Henry VIII), and, of course, anyone who loves Tudor England. NOTE #2: If you, like me, believe Richard III innocent of the controversial deaths of the two princes in the Tower, be warned that Weir does not agree.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    Thank you to NetGalley and Headline for the ARC of this wonderful book. I’ve long been a big fan of everything Tudor and I adored the Six Tudor Queens series, so I was excited for the idea of a novel that takes us back to where it all started: with the union of York and Lancaster. Reading this, I couldn’t believe that Elizabeth of York only lived to the age of 37! I found the first part of the book to be a little slow, as Elizabeth was very young and didn’t fully understand what was going on aro Thank you to NetGalley and Headline for the ARC of this wonderful book. I’ve long been a big fan of everything Tudor and I adored the Six Tudor Queens series, so I was excited for the idea of a novel that takes us back to where it all started: with the union of York and Lancaster. Reading this, I couldn’t believe that Elizabeth of York only lived to the age of 37! I found the first part of the book to be a little slow, as Elizabeth was very young and didn’t fully understand what was going on around her. However, the pace soon picked up and the turbulent times she lived in throughout her entire life made for fascinating reading - four kings, numerous rebellions, and the secrets, betrayals and heartbreak that come with it. As soon as it seems like they’re safe, another obstacle arises… I thought Elizabeth’s relationship with Henry was complex and well-written. Naturally, they’ve come from different sides with different loyalties, but they are both fully committed to the challenge of reconciling this into their new family. These two and many of the other characters had clear, well-rounded personalities, which added feeling to the history we all know and love. I love the White Queen series by Philippa Gregory so had a lot of prior knowledge about this time - I read The White Princess recently, which covers pretty much the exact same period. However, not only did I still learn lots of new things, but it was a completely different perspective on Elizabeth and her motivations. I always love reading Alison Weir’s historical notes and discovering what is fact, what is fiction and what is reading between the lines. It was so interesting to compare the two interpretations of the history. Overall, I highly recommend this along with Alison Weir’s other novels - brilliant characterisation and informative without being too dry.

  15. 5 out of 5

    SaraFair

    I remember watching a movie or miniseries on Henry VIII’s reign with a scene where he enters to report “my most beloved mother has died.” He was portrayed as being simply crushed and I loved that it showed him being so human. So who was this person that meant so much to her son? How much of his personality and kingly actions could be attributed to her? With Alison Weir’s new fictional account of her life, The Last White Rose, I could begin to find out. Her story with dialogue, living conditions I remember watching a movie or miniseries on Henry VIII’s reign with a scene where he enters to report “my most beloved mother has died.” He was portrayed as being simply crushed and I loved that it showed him being so human. So who was this person that meant so much to her son? How much of his personality and kingly actions could be attributed to her? With Alison Weir’s new fictional account of her life, The Last White Rose, I could begin to find out. Her story with dialogue, living conditions and emotion sticks with me so much more than a nonfiction version. With Weir’s novel, we sit right on Elizabeth of York’s shoulder as she rides up and down a ladder of princess and pauper, love of the ruling government and fear of the ruling government, births and losses, with points of triumph and spots of total humiliation. It weaves her Plantagenet background into the new Tudor dynasty of the time. If Tudor history is a love for you, this novel will cement many of the characters and events into your memory. Elizabeth of York was alive and witness to a few controversial changes in the monarchy of England as well as being queen for a major power change. The excitement of the time is reflected in the “Bessy” that Weir shapes and that gives life to her nature as a mother. I just loved this novel that turned a history lesson into a great drama. Rest assured, this author still knows what she is doing. It has unlocked another portion of English history for me to tackle. Thank you to NetGalley for this free ecopy in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and author for this ARC. I’ve not read any of this author’s books for a long while and the blurb for this piqued my interest. I thought this book got off to a very slow start and it took time for me to become fully absorbed in it. This book spans nearly 40 years and follows Elizabeth Plantagenet’s life, the losses she endured and the start of the Tudor monarchy. Despite the slow beginning I found the more I read the more I got into the story and it’s charact Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and author for this ARC. I’ve not read any of this author’s books for a long while and the blurb for this piqued my interest. I thought this book got off to a very slow start and it took time for me to become fully absorbed in it. This book spans nearly 40 years and follows Elizabeth Plantagenet’s life, the losses she endured and the start of the Tudor monarchy. Despite the slow beginning I found the more I read the more I got into the story and it’s characters. This is a well written book and I think the author has a good style of writing, and a great way of making her characters come to life in my mind. I liked the intrigue, mystery and suspense the author gave the story and reading of court politics at that time. For me, the book got better and became more engaging after Elizabeth’s father passed away and she reached adulthood. I thought the writing was a good reflection of the time period and the turmoil the country was facing. I enjoyed reading of Elizabeth meeting Henry Tudor and her marriage and life with him. Overall, after it’s slow start I did enjoy this read. I felt it was a little too descriptive and overly long a few times though and my interest dropped a little here. If you’re a fan of historical fiction, particularly our monarchy then you’ll probably enjoy this book and I would recommend it. 3.5 stars

  17. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    This definitely gave me a different side to Elizabeth of York who I always thought of as determined and headstrong. I got this view after reading and watching The White Princess which was written by Philippa Gregory. However, this book showed a sweeter and more relaxed side to Elizabeth. I liked how it showed all of her life and not just her time as Queen of England.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Christine Cazeneuve

    A very good read on Elizabeth of York starting as a very young girl until her death. Alison Weir's take shows a different Elizabeth particularly regarding her relationship with her husband King Henry VII. The author strikes the perfect balance between narrative and description. I agree with some others that it's a bit difficult to digest that Elizabeth was able to eavesdrop so many times when she was younger. In addition, I found it hard to believe that she could have the conversations she had o A very good read on Elizabeth of York starting as a very young girl until her death. Alison Weir's take shows a different Elizabeth particularly regarding her relationship with her husband King Henry VII. The author strikes the perfect balance between narrative and description. I agree with some others that it's a bit difficult to digest that Elizabeth was able to eavesdrop so many times when she was younger. In addition, I found it hard to believe that she could have the conversations she had on some subjects at the ages of five and six. I am a diehard Ricardian but do not hold that against the author. A must read for any Tudor lover! Thank you to NetGalley, the author and publisher for an e-arc in exchange for my honest opinion.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    This is well written. I'm just not sure that this character is the most interesting person in history. This is the eventual wife of Henry VII, mother to Henry VIII, and the sister of the princes in the tower, niece of Richard III. You would think that would make her fairly interesting. I guess it's hard to write something truthful to history but also interesting and exciting. There was just something about this that fell flat for me. I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange This is well written. I'm just not sure that this character is the most interesting person in history. This is the eventual wife of Henry VII, mother to Henry VIII, and the sister of the princes in the tower, niece of Richard III. You would think that would make her fairly interesting. I guess it's hard to write something truthful to history but also interesting and exciting. There was just something about this that fell flat for me. I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sarah C

    I am a huge fan of Alison Weir and her Tudor stories! This was a perfect ending to her series - I love how we have ended with Elizabeth York and her journey to becoming a Tudor and siring one of the most notorious king's in English history! Absolutely amazing story - highly recommend! I am a huge fan of Alison Weir and her Tudor stories! This was a perfect ending to her series - I love how we have ended with Elizabeth York and her journey to becoming a Tudor and siring one of the most notorious king's in English history! Absolutely amazing story - highly recommend!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sara Yeshoua

    This book was given to me by NetGalley and Penguin Random House- Ballantine Books in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own. When I heard this book was coming out, I was really excited, because Elizabeth of York to me is an overlooked Queen, overshadowed by her son Henry VIII. Elizabeth’s life is so much more interesting and her life leading to being Queen is a story of legend. The book is divided into four parts to better organize the story. The parts include Elizabeth’s childho This book was given to me by NetGalley and Penguin Random House- Ballantine Books in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own. When I heard this book was coming out, I was really excited, because Elizabeth of York to me is an overlooked Queen, overshadowed by her son Henry VIII. Elizabeth’s life is so much more interesting and her life leading to being Queen is a story of legend. The book is divided into four parts to better organize the story. The parts include Elizabeth’s childhood to her becoming Queen. The reading sees Elizabeth being beloved by her parents and surrounding herself with people that she loves. This part is unnecessary. We know so much about how Edward IV came to the throne, his parents and how he fell in love with Elizabeth Woodville. Elizabeth’s relationship with her parents is sweet. She was beloved by her father. The first part, however, sets up the background for how the Woodville family was targeted by Edward’s brothers, Richard and George. We see Elizabeth grow into a young woman, a princess that, however was targeted by those who seized power. I would also like to compliment Alison Weir for not pinning the Princes of Tower’s death on Margaret Beaufort, unlike some ignorant historians. Elizabeth is forced into marriage with her uncle until Henry Beaufort asks for her hand in marriage to better stabilize his claim to the throne. Alison refers Henry as the Earl of Richmond and not by his first name, which only made it confusing. I didn’t realize Alison was referring to Henry until much later. Elizabeth’s respect for her new betrothed is immediate. They begin writing letters to each other, sending tokens of love, funding, soldiers. This part is dragged out and Elizabeth’s marriage to Henry doesn’t come until much later in the book. The beginning was slow for me, so it took me a while to read the first part. The last couple of hundred pages were an easier read. Elizabeth’s marriage to Henry is largely debated by historians and readers. Some believe they married for love, and some believe Henry wouldn’t have been able to seize the throne until he married her. Alison portrays their marriage as loving, affectionate, and kind. They never once say “I love you” to each other, although the narrative hints strongly that they do. Many other writers who write about Elizabeth’s love story with Henry either portray their marriage as distrusting, sometimes hateful, or either for political reasons. What struck me as odd is that Henry didn’t trust Elizabeth with political and court intrigues. In the fifteenth century, the king’s consort was responsible for raising a family, arranging marriages and setting her own income. Henry-as a historical fact- trusted Elizabeth and asked her for advice, although unusual for the time. He was not raised to be king, but Elizabeth grew up around her father, and knew how the court worked, Henry did not. Henry was raised by Jasper Tudor in exile. Elizabeth’s relationship with her children is interesting. When she gives birth to Arthur, she feels estranged. This to me was an unusual plot-line because Henry and Elizabeth were quite keen to have their children close. Elizabeth’s favoritism with Harry, Margaret and Mary were uneasy for me to read. Henry’s attitude towards Elizabeth giving birth to two daughters and not another son, was unusual, although he did not wish to endanger his wife’s health for another son. The plot mainly focuses on Elizabeth and Henry, their concerns about their reign, their trust in each other, their love and their children which I loved reading the most. I think the plot could use a few points to make it much more interesting, however this is just my opinion: Margaret Pole Margaret’s involvement with Henry’s success and the royal family’s suspicion if Margaret was involved. Perkin Warbeck and Elizabeth’s concern if he’s really her brother Jasper Tudor’s relationship with Henry. Jasper was the only father Henry knew, I’m surprised he did not show up in the story more. An epilogue. If the reader is introduced to the Tudors by this book, then an epilogue chronicling what happened to the rest of the characters would be fitting. This however, is just my opinion. The publisher should know that they are multiple typo errors found throughout the book, and unnecessary sometimes hard to read sentences are found in book. A scene is also placed where it should not be. I rated this book 4.2/5 based on my thoughts and opinions. I thank Penguin Random House and NetGalley for giving me this book. I really enjoyed reading it, this fulfilled my Tudor appetite!

  22. 5 out of 5

    rina dunn

    There's no doubt about it, Alison Weir is a hugely talented writer and equally as an Historian. Whenever there is a new series by this author my interest is immediately piqued. Following Elizabeth Of York, The eldest daughter of King Edward IV. A flame haired beauty and the apple of her Father's eye she is devastated when he passes away. Richard III her Uncle devious in nature plots to take the throne and imprisons Elizabeth's younger brothers in the tower so they can't take their rightful place There's no doubt about it, Alison Weir is a hugely talented writer and equally as an Historian. Whenever there is a new series by this author my interest is immediately piqued. Following Elizabeth Of York, The eldest daughter of King Edward IV. A flame haired beauty and the apple of her Father's eye she is devastated when he passes away. Richard III her Uncle devious in nature plots to take the throne and imprisons Elizabeth's younger brothers in the tower so they can't take their rightful place as King. The brothers are never seen again and although presumed alive, there are rumors that the Usurper has had them put to their death. Determined to rule Richard III will stop at nothing including claiming his niece Elizabeth as his wife. Elizabeth can't imagine anything worse than marrying the man who murdered her brother. Instead her heart belongs to Henry Tudor. Will he arrive in time to save her from a life of misery and will she get to rule as queen.... Alison Weir's knowledge and the amount of research she's done is really quite remarkable and it tells in The Last White Rose. The attention to detail is nothing short of spectacular, however at over 500 pages long it's not a short book and neither did it feel so. In places it's quite repetitive with numerous threats to the throne and so many deaths. I appreciate that it was a pivotal time in history and this was accurate of the time period however I do feel that it could of benefited from being edited more. The writing is beautiful and I loved the real sense of place and time given. Alison really brings the characters to life and I thoroughly enjoyed the imagery throughout this story. Overall its absolutely fascinating and very well written. I feel like this would be perfect for historical fiction fans interested in this time period and whilst I did enjoy it I feel like others will appreciate more.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Eleanor (bookishcourtier)

    Despite this being essentially a history recount with a thin spread of character on top of it, I indeed ate this up as fast as I could.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    544 pages 5 stars We first meet Elizabeth when she is just shy of four years old. We follow her life through her childhood and her father, King Edward IV’s, untimely death. The book shifts gears a little when we reach the whole drama with her uncle the Duke of Gloucester, who becomes King Richard III. Her younger brother, King Edward V and an even younger brother, also named Richard, suddenly disappear. Richard III is considered as usurper by many and is suspected of the murder of Elizabeth’s two 544 pages 5 stars We first meet Elizabeth when she is just shy of four years old. We follow her life through her childhood and her father, King Edward IV’s, untimely death. The book shifts gears a little when we reach the whole drama with her uncle the Duke of Gloucester, who becomes King Richard III. Her younger brother, King Edward V and an even younger brother, also named Richard, suddenly disappear. Richard III is considered as usurper by many and is suspected of the murder of Elizabeth’s two younger brothers. Or, at least their disappearance. Elizabeth liked and trusted Gloucester, so she couldn’t understand why her mother disliked and distrusted him so much. Surely, her mother was wrong about him. He wouldn’t harm her brothers or try to usurp the throne. When her brother Edward is taken by Gloucester and her uncle and half-brother are arrested, Elizabeth and her family must flee to sanctuary once more. Elizabeth feels that her mother is overreacting to the Duke of Gloucester’s behavior when he has Edward V installed in the Tower of London. It is the customary place for royalty awaiting coronation to be housed, but Elizabeth’s mother doesn’t see it that way. Elizabeth is getting tired and fed up with her mother’s fears. When Elizabeth’s mother turns out to be right about Gloucester, her world is turned upside down. Margaret Beaufort a/k/a Lady Stanley, a descendant of John of Gaunt, proposes that Elizabeth marry her son, the Duke of Richmond. She stresses that it would join the houses of York and Lancaster. The Duke of Richmond is Henry Tudor. Following another betrayal by King Richard, Elizabeth throws all her support to Henry Tudor. She schemes with Lord Stanley to assist Henry in any way they can. When Henry defeated King Richard at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, Elizabeth’s future was practically assured. Once they were wed, Henry was kind and her dreams were realized. Their first child was a prince whom they named Arthur. Although Elizabeth’s life with Henry VII was not totally idyllic, she was happy and satisfied. She loved Henry and he loved her. This book is a much needed examination of Elizabeth of York’s life. It is filled with colorful people, good and bad. There were many players to keep straight, but it was not very difficult. I had read a little about her, but this wonderful book really filled out her life. I watched her grow from a child to a woman. I met her brothers and sisters, as well as her other relatives and those who would do them wrong. It is a book that I will read again. It is both well written and plotted, as are all of Ms. Weir’s books. She has a very real talent for bringing historical figures to life with all their positive and negative attributes. Well done, Ms. Weir! I want to thank NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group/Ballantine/Ballantine Books for forwarding to me a copy of this most remarkable book for me to read, enjoy and review. The opinions expressed here are solely my own.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    WOW! This book is phenomenal! It is gripping, intriguing, full of history, emotional, and so much more! Whenever I picked up "The Last White Rose", I was whisked back in time, and went on such a journey with this story. Alison Weir is one of my absolute favorite authors, and her books are must-reads for me! In her historical fiction novels, she seamlessly blends history and fiction, brings to life historical figures in such a unique and dimensional way, and her storytelling and world-building is WOW! This book is phenomenal! It is gripping, intriguing, full of history, emotional, and so much more! Whenever I picked up "The Last White Rose", I was whisked back in time, and went on such a journey with this story. Alison Weir is one of my absolute favorite authors, and her books are must-reads for me! In her historical fiction novels, she seamlessly blends history and fiction, brings to life historical figures in such a unique and dimensional way, and her storytelling and world-building is spectacular. From the first page to the last, I always feel immersed in the world of the book, and "The Last White Rose" is no different! This book centers around the life of Elizabeth of York, who became the first Tudor Queen. Throughout, you really feel what Elizabeth is feeling, and come to understand her relationships with those around her. She truly was such a strong and incredible woman. If you enjoy historical fiction novels, I highly recommend this book! It kept me turning the pages late into the night, and I can't wait to read what Ms. Weir writes next. Thank you so much to Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine and NetGalley for the ARC of this book, it is unputdownable! All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Julie Howard

    A fascinating read and well-researched book, I thoroughly enjoyed The Last White Rose by Alison Weir. In The Last White Rose, the story of Elizabeth of York is told, from about the age of ten until her death. This part of history is covered in many books and movies as it was a particularly contentious time in the struggle for power in England. There were wars and uprisings throughout Elizabeth’s life in attempts to wrest the throne away by another contender. Elizabeth’s marriage to Henry Tudor, w A fascinating read and well-researched book, I thoroughly enjoyed The Last White Rose by Alison Weir. In The Last White Rose, the story of Elizabeth of York is told, from about the age of ten until her death. This part of history is covered in many books and movies as it was a particularly contentious time in the struggle for power in England. There were wars and uprisings throughout Elizabeth’s life in attempts to wrest the throne away by another contender. Elizabeth’s marriage to Henry Tudor, who would become King Henry VII, helped solidify the crown by uniting the red and white roses – the houses of Lancaster and York. The marriage was political but was by all accounts a successful and loving marriage. Interesting as well in this history is that Elizabeth was the mother of King Henry VIII, a powerful leader who also challenged the Catholic Church with his desire to be head of the Church of England. This is the first book I’ve read by this author and am pleased to see she has written other historical fiction novels – I will check them out!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I thought The Last White Rose was a great start to Alison Weir's new Tudor trilogy! Going into the novel, I had very little knowledge of Elizabeth of York. I knew a bit about the War of the Roses, the Princes in the Tower and of course the infamous Henry the Eighth but never realized how central Elizabeth was to all of that. Even though the book is non-fiction, I came out of it knowing a LOT more about the English monarchy. Did you know that Elizabeth was one of the most important figures, male I thought The Last White Rose was a great start to Alison Weir's new Tudor trilogy! Going into the novel, I had very little knowledge of Elizabeth of York. I knew a bit about the War of the Roses, the Princes in the Tower and of course the infamous Henry the Eighth but never realized how central Elizabeth was to all of that. Even though the book is non-fiction, I came out of it knowing a LOT more about the English monarchy. Did you know that Elizabeth was one of the most important figures, male or female, in British royalty history? Make sure you read Weir's Author's Note at the end. Wow! I knocked off a star because chapters tended to get a bit repetitive. There were so many scenes where Henry the Seventh gets upset, worries about usurpers, Elizabeth worries, the mothers worry, etc. I do believe this book could have been cut down a bit which would have helped the monotony. If you listen to audiobooks, Rosalyn Landor narrates this one and as always she's excellent! I find her voice so soothing and she does a great variety of characters.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Elyse (ElyseReadsandSpeaks)

    I went slightly out of my comfort zone for this book. I really love reading Tudor fiction - specifically focusing on Henry VIII and his six wives. Therefore, reading a book about Henry's mother was different for me as I wasn't as familiar with the names and the historical events. However, it was again written by Weir in a way that was easy to consume and follow so I had no trouble keeping up. I will say - this one did not grip me like the others. I didn't feel excited to pick it back up. But I th I went slightly out of my comfort zone for this book. I really love reading Tudor fiction - specifically focusing on Henry VIII and his six wives. Therefore, reading a book about Henry's mother was different for me as I wasn't as familiar with the names and the historical events. However, it was again written by Weir in a way that was easy to consume and follow so I had no trouble keeping up. I will say - this one did not grip me like the others. I didn't feel excited to pick it back up. But I think that's mainly my own bias for which period in time I prefer and nothing to do with the writing itself. This book is actually really well written (I'm an Alison Weir fangirl for a reason) and I think the emotions she imagined Elizabeth felt during certain events were completely realistic and reasonable. It might not be my favorite Weir installment, but it was another solid book that was readable and believable.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Harris

    It is the end of the Wars of the Roses and the beginning of the Tudor period. Elizabeth of York, The Last White Rose by Alison Weir is an enjoyable and fascinating account of a turbulent time in English history as seen through the eyes of Elizabeth, daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville. First as a child and latterly as an adult, Elizabeth knows, and furthermore wants, to marry a powerful man who will one day be King, so that she will become a Queen and have her family around her. This i It is the end of the Wars of the Roses and the beginning of the Tudor period. Elizabeth of York, The Last White Rose by Alison Weir is an enjoyable and fascinating account of a turbulent time in English history as seen through the eyes of Elizabeth, daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville. First as a child and latterly as an adult, Elizabeth knows, and furthermore wants, to marry a powerful man who will one day be King, so that she will become a Queen and have her family around her. This is not arrogance on Elizabeth’s part but what she has been brought up to expect as a King’s daughter. Alison Weir convincingly conveys this certainty in Elizabeth and I found I warmed to the character very much, as a woman who does not shy away from what is required of her. The narrative, which covers many years, positively races along and is an evocative illustration of court politics, family infighting and the power and importance of the church in everyday life at that time. The story is atmospheric and brings to life what it must have been like for Elizabeth. I especially liked the way that, as Elizabeth grows up she starts to regard her parents, particularly her mother, in a new light. The story of how Elizabeth survives the intrigue and battles between the feuding houses of England and abroad, illustrates how precarious the hold on the throne is during this period. All decisions made by her father and her eventual husband relate to the need to hold the throne. The most compelling aspect for me was the inspirational nature of this book. It has really made me want to learn more about the period and whilst the names of all the characters and familial connections can be a little confusing at first, it does soon becomes clearer. I really enjoyed this novel and can thoroughly recommend it. I look forward to more in the series. Thank you to Netgalley and Headline for allowing me to review this book

  30. 4 out of 5

    Haley

    I was excited to read this book about Elizabeth of York, Henry VIII's mother, since I love historical fiction from this time period. The book is obviously very well researched and covers Elizabeth's entire life, starting when she is a young princess. If you love to learn about history, with all its dates and players, then this book is for you. I already knew quite a bit of the history in this book, so I was really hoping for more of a dramatized novel. What I got read like a history lesson or a I was excited to read this book about Elizabeth of York, Henry VIII's mother, since I love historical fiction from this time period. The book is obviously very well researched and covers Elizabeth's entire life, starting when she is a young princess. If you love to learn about history, with all its dates and players, then this book is for you. I already knew quite a bit of the history in this book, so I was really hoping for more of a dramatized novel. What I got read like a history lesson or a biography. I didn't feel connected to any of the characters. The writing was very repetitive, and the book was long at over 500 pages. This definitely felt more like nonfiction to me. Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine for access to this arc.

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