Book Review: Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory

February 10, 2018 Book review 3 ★★★★

Relationships between sisters can swing intensely from a loving sister bond to driving you crazy, often within the same hour.  But the sisters in Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory bring that love/hate relationship to a whole new level.  Fraught with tension, and full of human frailties, I found it a gripping read.

Book Review: Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa GregoryThree Sisters, Three Queens (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #8) by Philippa Gregory
Published by Touchstone on August 9th 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 556
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library

As sisters they share an everlasting bond; As queens they can break each other’s hearts.

“There is only one bond that I trust: between a woman and her sisters. We never take our eyes off each other. In love and in rivalry, we always think of each other.”

When Katherine of Aragón 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.

!@#$ AUDIOBOOK Historical Page-Turner

My Thoughts on Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory

This book centres around Henry VIII’s older sister, Margaret, and her relationships with her sister Mary Tudor, and her sister-in-law Catherine of Aragon.  First thing I have to point out is that disappointingly, even thought it’s titled three sisters, we only get Margaret’s point of view.  I would have liked more about the other two women, as each is interesting in their own right.  Especially Catherine who married King Henry’s older brother, and then Henry after her first husband died.  Big mistake, as she then became the first casualty in the notorious rhyme “divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived”.  I’m hoping I’ll get more of her story in another book in the series.

Margaret confused me.  I never knew what I thought about her.  I scorned her sense of Tudor importance, hated her selfishness and arrogance, her desire to score points off her sisters.  But I loved how she made the best of the many dire circumstances she found herself in. My heart plummeted when she suffered the loss of her children, soared when she fell in love, cheered when she instigated rebellions.  She was a complicated women, but I was enthralled by her life.  And the Scottish setting added an atmosphere of wildness and unpredictability.

Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory features three sisters whose sisterly bond seesaws between loving, confusing, supportive, deceptive and bat-shit crazy! Click To Tweet

Her relationship with her sisters was very ambitious.  They shared a bond that never severed.  But committed atrocious acts against each other.  Complicated.  That’s the best way to describe their relationship.  And at times bat shit crazy!

“When men have authority over women, women can be brought very low—and they will be brought very low. We spent our time admiring and envying each other and we should have been guiding and protecting each other”

I didn’t flat out love this book as much as I did The Last Tudor, but I’m as engaged as ever in the setting.  The plotting, the obsession for power, and the volatile relationships are everything.  So I won’t be abandoning this series anytime soon.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: four-stars


Who should read Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory?

I’d recommend to fans of historical fiction, especially if you like the Tudor Era, books set in Scotland, and complicated women with twisted relationships.  Fans of previous books by this author should also enjoy.  Or if you enjoyed Outlander, then this is a must read for you.


Never miss a bookish post! Plus you get a free download - Note to Book - to document your own bookish thoughts.

Signup now and receive blog posts by email.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

3 Responses to “Book Review: Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory”

  1. Angela

    I love the Tudor era, and this is an interesting take on it that I haven’t seen before. Love the focus on these three women!

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.