As always, Gregory turns history into herstory with pageantry, passion and magic. The latest in the Cousin’s War series centers on the rise of the Woodvilles through Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford, mother of the White Queen. Gregory portrays a strong woman making a place in a man’s world. She forces us to see, hear and feel every emotion and event; she is a true magician.

As a child Jacquette meets Joan of Arc and finds a kindred spirit in the prisoner accused of witchcraft. Jacqetta spends time with Joan, reading Tarot and learning of her powers, until Joan is executed. Seeing what happens to powerful women, Jacquetta buries her true self until she marries the Duke of Bedford and is introduced to magic and alchemy. After husband’s death she turns to her husband’s squire, Richard Woodville, for help. Jacquetta does not need magic to realize the Lancasters cannot hold onto the throne when Henry dies. Jacquetta struggles to help her friend the queen and her daughter Elizabeth, who has married their neighbor Edward, and who will lead the country into a new era. (TOUCHSTONE, Oct., 448 pp., $27.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin