By Sally Christie
Series: The Mistresses of Versailles #1
Source Received from the publisher
Published by Atria Books
on September 1, 2015
Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
A sumptuous and sensual tale of power, romance, family, and betrayal centered around four sisters and one King. Carefully researched and ornately detailed, The Sisters of Versailles is the first book in an exciting new historical fiction trilogy about King Louis XV, France's most "well-beloved" monarch, and the women who shared his heart and his bed.
Goodness, but sisters are a thing to fear.
Set against the lavish backdrop of the French Court in the early years of the 18th century, The Sisters of Versailles is the extraordinary tale of the five Nesle sisters: Louise, Pauline, Diane, Hortense, and Marie-Anne, four of whom became mistresses to King Louis XV. Their scandalous story is stranger than fiction but true in every shocking, amusing, and heartbreaking detail.
Court intriguers are beginning to sense that young King Louis XV, after seven years of marriage, is tiring of his Polish wife. The race is on to find a mistress for the royal bed as various factions put their best foot - and women - forward. The King's scheming ministers push Louise, the eldest of the aristocratic Nesle sisters, into the arms of the King. Over the following decade, the four sisters:sweet, naive Louise; ambitious Pauline; complacent Diane, and cunning Marie Anne, will conspire, betray, suffer, and triumph in a desperate fight for both love and power.
In the tradition of The Other Boleyn Girl, The Sisters of Versailles is a clever, intelligent, and absorbing novel that historical fiction fans will devour. Based on meticulous research on a group of women never before written about in English, Sally Christie's stunning debut is a complex exploration of power and sisterhood; of the admiration, competition, and even hatred that can coexist within a family when the stakes are high enough.
I love historical fiction, particularly stories set in the 1700s. When I had the opportunity to read an ARC of this book, I said yes!
Read on for my review, and then check out the giveaway at the end!
Part of what intrigued me about this story was that the sisters were real. The story in this book is based on real people and real events, and I’m always fascinated by historical fiction that is mixed with fact.
I love reading about daily life in a historical setting. Things that were commonplace and ways of life can seem so strange or fascinating compared with present day. And on top of that, much of the story in this book takes place at Versailles – a place that I find endlessly interesting – where daily life for courtiers and royals was full of intrigue, gossip, scandal, decadence, double entendres, and a complex set of unspoken social rules that had to be adhered to.
Against this lavish backdrop, author Sally Christie presents a story about five sisters (Louise, Pauline, Diane, Hortense, and Marie-Anne) and their relationships with each other, and with Louis XV, King of France.
I often say that I love reading stories featuring siblings. Sibling relationships are complex, and relationships between the sisters in this book are no exception! There is love, hate, anger, sorrow, resentment, and perhaps regret. Sally Christie brought these women to life and I found myself captivated by their lives.
The detail that went in to describing the lives of the characters and setting, including fashion, food, politics, and art of the time was impressive, and I felt immersed in the world. Part of what I want when I read historical fiction is to feel as though I am really there, and I certainly got that feeling while reading this book.
If you are a historical fiction fan, I definitely recommend The Sisters of Versailles! And if, like me, you enjoyed it, there appear to be two more books in this series on the horizon!
Check out the links below to learn more about the book, about Sally Christie, and to purchase a copy:
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