So, after I finished “The White Queen” on Amazon video, I, of course, had to continue the story and watch “The White Princess.” This was not the first time I have seen the show, but as a Philippa Gregory fan, I had to watch it again.

My first reaction was that I wish they had kept some of the same cast. I understand that they’re all older, but “Princess” happened right after “Queen.” Like, literally right after. “The White Queen” ends with Richard III dying at the battle of Bosworth and Henry Tudor being crowned king. “The White Princess” starts off with Elizabeth of York (Lizzie) finding out that Henry was now king. Now, I understand that making the parents of the main cast older, as they are much older than they were at the start of “The White Queen.” Still, they could have used the same actress for Lizzie and Henry. The only person who was played by the same actress was Lizzie’s grandmother, Duchess Cecily. I know this shouldn’t have bothered me, but it did.

Another thing that bothered me was that Lizzie went from hating Henry to loving him in such a quick fashion. I realize that after a few years you grow to love someone, but Henry had done so many bad things to her. He practically raped her. He locked up her cousin, who was a very innocent, mentally challenged young boy. He even ordered that, when the soldiers went to fetch her at the end of the battle of Bosworth, the soldiers should kill “any boy they find there.” So, he essentially ordered the death of her brother. He also killed Richard III, who was supposedly Lizzie’s love and lover. I don’t understand how she is able to forgive him all of that, let alone love him.

The book goes a little more into Lizzie’s feelings towards Henry. He’s very suspicious about those around him and is always thinking that there is a plot going on. He often accuses Lizzie of conspiring against him, and she resents him for it. While the book does say that they love each other, it seems more plausible to have them dislike each other.

Don’t get me wrong, this is an amazing series. It follows the book fairly well, minus the animosity between Lizzie and Henry at times. Lizzie is a very relatable character. I felt very sorry for her, since her mother seemed to care more for her son than she did Lizzie and Lizzie’s children. She was constantly plotting to get Henry off the throne, even though she had married Lizzie to him for her to be queen. I realize that Elizabeth’s son Richard would have been the rightful king, but she is basically plotting against her own daughter in favor of her son. I felt so bad for Lizzie because she is forced into the marriage against her will and then has her mother going against her.

I would have liked to have the series continue until Elizabeth’s death. A big part of the story was the curse that Elizabeth and Lizzie cast upon the people who killed the princes in the tower. It’s revealed that Henry’s mother ordered the deaths, but since the youngest boy, Richard, got away, the curse was not complete. With Henry ordering the death of the “pretender,” who Lizzie believes is her brother, the curse would be completely upon the house of Tudor. The curse said that the male line would die out. Lizzie is constantly telling Henry that they cannot kill the “pretender” because it would be the death of her boys. If the story continued, we would see Lizzie’s reaction to her oldest Arthur’s death, which is part of the fulfillment of the curse. However, the story ended almost abruptly after Lizzie witnessed the death of her cousin Teddy and her supposed brother. It just felt incomplete.

Anyway, don’t think I’m too harsh on this series. Is it as good as “The White Queen”? No, I don’t think so. That seemed to be a more complete story. However, if you watched that, you really should continue the story.



To purchase the season of “The White Princess,” go here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

If you could not tell by my past reviews, I’m a big fan of Philippa Gregory’s books. The basis of this review is the Starz channel mini-series “The White Queen,” which was adapted for television from three of Philippa Gregory’s “Cousin’s War” novels. The books that the show is based on are “The White Queen,” “The Red Queen,” and “The Kingmaker’s Daughter.” Now, this TV series is a few years old, having aired in 2013. However, it is still such a good series that it’s worth the watch.



Warning: Contains historical spoilers! (If you wish to skip the spoilers, look for the all caps text)



The series starts off with Elizabeth Grey, daughter of Baron Rivers and Jacquetta Rivers, waiting for King Edward of York. Her family had been loyal Lancastrians for most of their lives. However, with the death of her husband in battle against the Yorks, Elizabeth was forced to live with her parents, having had her dower lands taken from her by her mother-in-law. She intends to beg the king to intercede on her behalf and get her and her son’s inheritance back. Little did she know that this would set off a chain of events that would eventually lead to the tyrant Henry VIII.

This chance meeting by the roadside grew into the love of the century. Edward and Elizabeth immediately fall in love with each other. They marry in secret, much to the fury of Edward’s main advisor, the Earl of Warwick. Edward declares his marriage and makes Elizabeth Queen of England.

This action causes Warwick to become bitter at his foiled plan to marry Edward to a princess of France. When Edward denies him the permission to marry his daughters Isabelle and Anne to the royal dukes George and Richard Plantagenet, Warwick plots with George and starts a war to remove Edward from the throne and put George on it. This is a battle that continues until the death of Warwick and, later, George (who had married Isabelle behind Edward’s back).

After Edward’s death, Richard declares Elizabeth and Edward’s marriage to be invalid, and thus deligitimizes Edward’s sons Edward and Richard. Richard becomes the infamous Richard III and puts the boys in the Tower of London. Supposedly, he’s the one who killed them, but the show makes it so that we don’t know who really ordered the death of the boys.

Richard’s reign doesn’t last long, for shortly after Anne’s death, Henry Tudor invades. The series ends at the Battle of Bosworth, where Richard was cut down and Henry Tudor becomes Henry VII. He eventually marries Elizabeth’s daughter Elizabeth of York, and they have many children, including the infamous Henry VIII.






First off, I’ve been reading the books in order along with the show, first starting with “The Lady of the Rivers,” then “The Red Queen,” and now “The White Queen”. I’ve been trying to read them in the order that the events happen in the timeline, but there are overlaps.

I do have to say that the show follows pretty faithfully to the books, almost down to the line. I love that they are able to pull from all three novels to create a seamless story. We get to see the viewpoint of Elizabeth, Henry’s mother Margaret Beaufort, and Warwick’s daughter Anne. Each of them was a queen in some form, with both Elizabeth and Anne both being crowned and Margaret becoming “My Lady the King’s Mother,” which was essentially calling her queen. Each of the women are strikingly different. Elizabeth is bold and determined to get exactly what she wants. Margaret is pious and certain that her young boy will be king. Anne starts off as a meek little thing but grows into her own. To be fair, as someone who isn’t really big on religion, I wasn’t a huge fan of Margaret, since I couldn’t relate to her intense piety. I felt that I connected more with Anne, feeling intense pity at her first marriage to the Lancastrian prince Edward which was doomed from the beginning. Elizabeth is someone to admire. I loved her fierce love for her children and husband, and never doubted that she would do anything it took to keep them all safe. I did disagree with her demand that her daughter Elizabeth should marry Henry Tudor, but do see that it was the only way to stop the Cousin’s War.

This show has a bit of nudity and a lot of violence, so if you do not like either, I would not recommend this show to you. However, if you do decide to watch it, it’s a very well-made look at the Cousin’s War. I’ve read many books on this era, and while these are very romanticized depictions, it’s a beautiful show that would be a great start to getting into the era.

One thing that sort of bothered me about this show was the lack of Richard’s twisted back. While I completely understand that this was made during or even before they discovered Richard’s skeleton and confirmed his severe case of scoliosis, it still slightly bothered me. I get it. I mean, they didn’t want to do the stereotype of the evil, hunchback king. Heck, most of the time I felt sympathy for Richard (minus the incest that the show portrayed, which isn’t confirmed to be true). They wanted to portray him in a good light. However, after watching the documentary about a team finding Richard’s skeleton, I wanted to see him portrayed more to what we know now is the truth.

If you are a fan of the show “The Tudors” or of this era in particular, I recommend watching this, albeit with a grain of salt. This is not a documentary. This is historical fiction. Enjoy it for what it is.

The sequel “The White Princess” is available on Amazon to rent or buy. It continues the story following Elizabeth of York, her marriage to Henry Tudor, and the constant onslaught of pretenders claiming to be one of the missing princes of the Tower. If you like “The White Queen,” definitely check out “The White Princess.” And, if you get curious, watch the documentary of the discovery of Richard III’s body.



“The White Queen” is free for Amazon Prime members here.

“The White Princess” is available to rent or buy on Amazon here.

The documentary of the discovery of Richard III’s body is available on YouTube here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“The Architect of Song” was my second foray into the realm of A.G. Howard’s writing. I had read online that if I liked “RoseBlood,” then I would also love “The Architect of Song,” and boy were they right.

The summary of the book from Amazon is this:

For most of her life, Juliet Emerline has subsisted – isolated by deafness – making hats in the solitude of her home. Now, she’s at risk to lose her sanctuary to Lord Nicolas Thornton, a mysterious and eccentric architect with designs on her humble estate. When she secretly witnesses him raging beside a grave, Juliet investigates, finding the name “Hawk” on the headstone and an unusual flower at the base. The moment Juliet touches the petals, a young English nobleman appears in ghostly form, singing a song only her deaf ears can hear. The ghost remembers nothing of his identity or death, other than the one name that haunts his afterlife: Thornton. 

To avenge her ghostly companion and save her estate, Juliet pushes aside her fear of society and travels to Lord Thornton’s secluded holiday resort, posing as a hat maker in one of his boutiques. There, she finds herself questioning who to trust: the architect of flesh and bones who can relate to her through romantic gestures, heartfelt notes, and sensual touches … or the specter who serenades her with beautiful songs and ardent words, touching her mind and soul like no other man ever can. As sinister truths behind Lord Thornton’s interest in her estate and his tie to Hawk come to light, Juliet is lured into a web of secrets. But it’s too late for escape, and the tragic love taking seed in her heart will alter her silent world forever.

I absolutely loved the romantic aspect of this story. The dynamic between Juliet and Hawk is passionate and very well-written, though I was more partial to “shipping” Juliet and Lord Thornton. As sweet as the relationship between Juliet and her ghost was, I found that I enjoyed that Thornton stood his ground. He seemed like a more believable match for Juliet. Hawk was rather clingy and jealous, though it makes sense as to why he was like that. Maybe I just prefer the brooding male character in stories.

The plot twists were intriguing, though slightly predictable. I found I had predicted a few of them about a page before they happened. However, the twists were very plausible. I did not think they were outrageous, and they made the story even better.

I did have an issue with the slow-paced beginning. I understand why a lot of the seemingly pointless parts were included since they lent to the twists, but it still felt tedious at the time. I think that it would be a better read now that I know all of the twists. A lot of things made sense after the book was finished.

All in all, I loved this book. Howard did not fail to produce a beautifully-written story that engrosses the reader. I am rarely more disappointed in a book being over than I was with this story. I’m excited to read the second book in the series, “The Hummingbird’s Heart.” If it’s anything like “The Architect of Song,” it’ll be fabulous.




You can get “The Architect of Song” by A.G. Howard here.

Tags: , , , , ,

RoseBlood by A.G. Howard is a beautiful book. That was my first reaction when I saw it. It’s just a beautiful book. You can tell extra work went into the design. The text is blood-red and the chapters have very lovely red decoration. The cover is beautiful, almost breathtakingly so. I was given this book as a gift from K. Leigh, and the second I saw the cover I wanted to read it. She had asked me if I had read a book where the Phantom was a female, to which I had responded that I have not. Then, when she surprised me with the book, I was enchanted. As soon as I had the chance, I read it.

The summary from Goodreads is:

“In this modern-day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera.

At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known”


Now, this book was good, but it wasn’t the best Phantom-based story I’ve ever read (that honor goes to Susan Kay’s “Phantom.”) My main issue with the story is that it started off rather slow. I was constantly waiting for something to happen. While the multiple attacks of Rune’s ailment were a bit tedious, I loved the idea that Rune’s ailment was temporarily cured by Thorn’s violin playing. It was a cute way to forge a connection between the two.

I was surprised to find that me and K.Leigh were wrong about the story, in that we had assumed by the cover that the story was about a female Phantom. The Phantom of the Opera is in the story, but it is not Rune, the girl on the cover. This did not affect my opinion of the story, but it was a bit confusing as to why they would show her wearing the mask rather than her holding it, as some of the other cover mockups suggest. According to an interview with the author here, they chose the final cover because it also had ties to Howard’s more popular series “Splintered.” While I understand their reasoning for choosing the cover, and it is a truly beautiful cover, it is slightly misleading.

However, once I realized that the mask wasn’t Rune’s, I expected the Phantom to pull his usual tricks and treat her as he did Christine. We don’t really get interaction between the two until a good ways into the novel, which was disappointing. Instead, the connection is between Thorn and Rune. This makes more sense, as the Phantom is quite a bit older than Rune and Thorn is closer to her in age, but still. Is a story truly a Phantom of the Opera story if he’s a minor character?

I really did like this story. It was a joy to read, especially regarding how pretty the book itself is. Heck, I just bought an autographed first-edition. Would I read it again? Heck yes. It’s a great story. Is it worth reading? Very much so. It’s very well written, minus the slow start.

If you’re a Phantom “phan,” it’s a must-read.



To get your copy of “RoseBlood” by A.G. Howard, go here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Made with love by JKC Productions. All rights Reserved.