'The White Queen 'by Philippa Gregory.
Set in the time of the Wars of the Roses this novel follows the life of Elizabeth Woodville. Elizabeth is widowed when her husband is killed in battle, with two young sons she relies on her parents for help. Richard and Jacquetta Woodville were supporters of the house of Lancaster at this time , therefore when they were entertaining Edward IV , the reigning King of the house of York, Elizabeth questioned their loyalty. In answer to her daughter Jacquetta used her usual mix of legends and witchcraft.
However when Elizabeth met the reigning monarch she was completely captivated and soon the pair marry in secret, so begins a marriage to try and unite the two powerful houses in England, Lancaster and York.
The book continues with the story of their marriage , their children and the rise of Richard III, the reigning King's brother. Members of each family seemed to swap sides as on a whim and the climax of the book follows the tragic tale of two of Elizabeth's children ----- the princes in the tower.
An excellent novel, how I kept this book on my shelf unread for so long is a mystery. Thoroughly enjoyed it, Elizabeth appears to have been a very strong character certainly a 'force to be reckoned with'.
This is the first book in a series 'The Cousins' War'. The next book is 'The Red Queen' which is published in August (U.K.)