The Red Queen: A Novel Audiobook [Free Download by Trial]

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The Red Queen: A Novel

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The second book in The Cousins' War series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory, The Red Queen moves to the Lancaster side, in a story of a determined woman who believes she is destined to shape the course of history. Believing that her piety and lineage has destined her for greatness beyond her ordinary looks and expedient marriage, Margaret Beaufort is determined to see her son Henry on the throne of England-regardless of the cost. And after constant battles kill any other claimants, the little boy is the last Lancaster male to bear a claim to the throne.Sending her son out of the country to keep him safe and betrothing him to her enemy Queen Elizabeth Woodville's daughter, Margaret feigns loyalty to King Richard III and marries one of his faithful supporters-all while laying secret plans for the battle between the houses of York and Lancaster that will see her son the King of England.When King Richard's only son dies, Margaret launches her plan with a deadly command that strikes to the heart of the White Queen. Henry Tudor invades from France and with the support of Margaret's husband, defeats the King's army, gaining the throne and sealing his marriage to the White Rose princess. The ultimate triumph belongs to Lady Margaret; she has founded the greatest dynasty that England will ever know: the Tudors.



  • I really regret not checking out the reviews before buying this book. I had the same issue with Margaret, finding her to be insufferably self-righteous and complainy. It seems like Gregory struggled with this one, maybe because Margaret Beaufort didn't provide much material to work with. What I do find fascinating is that Margaret's son, Henry VII, didn't rush into marrying Elizabeth of York after becoming king. In fact, he not only delayed their marriage but also delayed crowning her as queen. It makes me wonder if his mother's influence played a role in that decision.
  • After finishing The White Queen, I found it intriguing to witness the conflict unfold from the perspectives of both sides in The Red Queen. Margaret, without a doubt, radiates a persona of iciness, shrewdness, manipulation, and self-centeredness. Immersing oneself in the world of British royalty can feel quite similar to being tossed into a den of venomous snakes! Furthermore, the narrative of the story was executed skillfully and the narration was top-notch.
  • I'm a big fan of Gregory's writing and I've thoroughly enjoyed The Cousins War series. The Red Queen provides insightful answers about Henry VII's background and his quest to claim the English crown. I found all of this incredibly fascinating, and of course, the narration is spot on. Margaret Beaufort, the mother of Henry VII, was excessively determined to see her son on the throne. Her every move and thought revolved around this goal. What's difficult to accept is the hypocrisy in her belief that she was carrying out God's will, always aligning with her own desires. She's so consumed by her perception of God's will that she fails to see her own hypocrisy and wrongdoing. Her pride and desperate need to be recognized as "My Lady, the King's Mother" regardless of the harm caused is truly remarkable. This makes her a rare main character that is almost impossible to like or sympathize with. However, it's a testament to Phillipa Gregory's skill that the story remains captivating and highly entertaining. Gregory's extensive research aligns with my own findings, and many of the royal traditions in present-day England are a direct result of Margaret Beaufort's commands to legitimize her son's reign. I highly recommend the book, but be prepared not to develop a fondness for the main character.
  • 2 1/2 stars is good for this, for the author did create some engagement with her characters and her story. But I could not finish it because she is a whiner! Yes, I realize that some of her experiences and her being "done to" all her life would be hard to take, but find something positive in there somewhere! I just couldn't listen to the nonstop whining anymore!
  • There are a few negative reviews, but I didn't think this book was bad. It does take about an hour of listening to get past the exposition & initial character development to become involved in the real conflict, but then I was hooked! The main character is NOT likable; that might make it hard for people to feel they enjoyed the story. At the end, you (almost?) don't want Margaret Beaufort to win- but that is part of Gregory's ability to create such a believable character. You have to appreciate the portrayal of Margaret's religious fanaticism, ironic juxtapositions, & obsessive nature. It's good writing! My only complaint is in the brief, monotone male narration. The mostly female narration, on the other hand, completely embodies the spirit of the main character so that I will probably hear that voice as I read other books about Margaret Beaufort. Don't pass this one up because of the other reviews. If you like Gregory & you like historical fiction, give it a try & decide for yourself.
  • girl is a pretentious b****! but an interesting read as the main character is an antihero, except that you really never like her. interesting read when you compare it to the white queen and hear things from differing perspectives. not my favorite philipa gregory book, but still good. bet it is a better read than listen though, thus the 4 stars...
  • I usually like Philippa Gregory novels. This is the first time I've been disappointed. Not only was the change in narrators for two sections of the book very disconcerting, the male reader was annoying. My major complaint, though, concerns the main character. By the middle of the novel, I wanted to just slap her silly and tell her to shut up and sit down. She made all these professions of faith and of "knowing" her son was to be King, but then said or did the most stupid things that contradicted everything she said she believed in. But most of all, I just found Margaret to be so pathetic as a character that I was almost hoping Henry never made it to the throne.
  • I love how this book made the hisotory of the English War of Roses era come to life. Not that I've ever heard of the era before listening to this book. (-: But I was so intrigued by the characters I went on line and further researched the historical accounts, and sure enough, Phillipa Gregory provided a very accurate account of what happened. Love listening to books that entertain AND teach at the same time. Fascinating!