Title: Three Sisters, Three Queens
Author: Phillipa Gregory
Publisher: Touchstone; First Edition
Copyright: August 9, 2016
Format: E-Book, 576 Pages, $16.79 [Amazon Hardcover], $14.99 [Kindle], $24.49 [Audible], $17.12 [Barnes & Noble Hardcover], $14.99 [Nook], $14.99 [Google Play], $14.99 [iBooks]
When Katherine of Aragon is brought to the Tudor court as a young bride, the oldest princess, Margaret, takes her measure. With one look, each knows the other for a rival, an ally, a pawn, destined—with Margaret’s younger sister Mary—to a sisterhood unique in all the world. The three sisters will become the queens of England, Scotland, and France.
United by family loyalties and affections, the three queens find themselves set against each other. Katherine commands an army against Margaret and kills her husband James IV of Scotland. But Margaret’s boy becomes heir to the Tudor throne when Katherine loses her son. Mary steals the widowed Margaret’s proposed husband, but when Mary is widowed it is her secret marriage for love that is the envy of the others. As they experience betrayals, dangers, loss, and passion, the three sisters find that the only constant in their perilous lives is their special bond, more powerful than any man, even a king.
If you enjoy self-important princesses who are so full of themselves that they have little room for anything of substance, then this is your book.
Whenever I hear that Philippa Gregory has released a real book, I am as excited as a little kid during the Holiday season. With each Philippa Gregory masterpiece, I know that it will be well-written, the characters engaging, the story line fascinating, and I always feel like I learn something new about English history. While her books are by no means works of historical accuracy, they still cause me to think and research.
Unfortunately, I found Three Sisters, Three Queens positively unbearable. I am a fan of Ms. Gregory and her plethora of books but this has to be one book that did nothing for me. While the descriptions of Scotland and even the character of King James were interesting, I found the heroine to be insufferably annoying. For all of her good fortune to be Queen of Scotland, all she can do is complain, complain, complain. She spends all of her time looking upon her sister Mary and her sister-in-law, Katherine of Aragon with jealousy. Half the time she’s rambling on about how important she is and how everyone has their own place within the established hierarchy. Every time she hears that Mary or Katherine have come into some sort of good fortune, she gets green with envy. She can’t stand the idea of the other two women thriving. Ms. Gregory’s Margaret Tudor is so self-obsessed that prattles on often about how she is the mightiest of all three sisters. I found Margaret to be a petty, small-minded character, and not at all enjoyable. On the other hand, I found King James to be a fascinating character. He was patient and loving with Margaret where she only acts like a spoiled brat with him.
The descriptions were captivating and I really felt like I was in the Tudor Era. Ms. Gregory is renowned for her extensive history on royalty as well as all of the pomp and pageantry that would have occurred. She writes all of this so very well and it truly added to the book. The whole plot line with the curse, which was an underlying theme in the Cousins’ War series, was present in this book and added an overall mystical feel.
I firmly feel that if the main character had had more depth, this story would have been a truly enjoyable read. The only thing lacking was a good protagonist and for that reason, I give this book 2 Crowns. It was so disappointing that I actually had to put the book down at one point. As ever, I look forward to Ms. Gregory’s next book.
Join us next time as we see what it is like to live as a Jewish U Boat during the Second World War in Alex Rosenberg’s The Girl from Krakow.