The King's Grey Mare by Rosemary Hawley Jarman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Jarman's book about Elizabeth Woodville came long before The White Queen, but they cover almost exactly the same ground. Jarman is a more lyrical and old fashioned writer; Gregory flushes out some of Jarman's ideas in a more meatier and interesting way (the witchery of the Woodvilles, for example, is more deftly written by Gregory than Jarman). This isn't a bad book by any means; if you like the Wars of the Roses, then you'll (mostly) enjoy Jarman's book. My only beef was the zig and zag of the characters, particularly that of Elizabeth Woodville herself. It's like Jarman couldn't decide if Elizabeth was a romantic heroine or a monstrous bitch, and tried to make her into both. She could have succeeded at that with some transition, but that lack of transition makes Elizabeth into a bizarre and schizo character and not completely believable. If you want to only read one novel about Elizabeth Woodville, stick to Gregory. But if you like your Wars of the Roses almost ornate and poetic, give Jarman a try.
View all my reviews