About the Book:
About the Author:
Ms. Perinot has both a BA in History and a law degree. She left the law to pursue artistic interests, including writing. An avid reader, especially of classic literature, and life-long student of history, it seemed only natural that Sophie should write historical fiction. As someone who studied French abroad and a devotee of Alexandre Dumas, French history was a logical starting point. An active member of the Historical Novel Society, she has attended all of the group’s North American Conferences.
Active among the literary twitterati as @Lit_gal (a moniker she also uses at Agent Query Connect www.agentqueryconnect.com), Sophie is a regular contributor to the group writers’ blog “From the Write Angle” http://www.fromthewriteangle.c
Most historical fiction books tend to focus on the men. I think that this is because far more information comes down through history about them. Particularly the further back in time you go. Women were little more than chattel in the time period of The Sister Queens – oh and brood mares. They were pretty much worthless if they didn’t provide an heir; especially noble women. This is why I truly enjoy books told from the viewpoint of the wives – and I really like them when I have read books from the same time period from the point of view of the men.
The Sister Queens fills that bill perfectly. It tells the tale of two daughters of Provence who went on to become the queens of France and England in the thirteenth century. Marguerite marries Louis IX of France, a man who has come down through history as Saint Louis. Eleanor marries Henry III of England, not known as one of England’s best monarchs. The sisters are very close before they are separated and remain close for most of their lives.
The book pulled me in from the start. It alternates between the sisters with fictionalized letters between them as chapter headers. Ms. Perinot remarks in her Author’s Note that she is herself a sister so she well knows the bonds that sisters develop. Both Marguerite and Eleanor have arrogant personalities that come from being born to rule. Eleanor I think more than her sister due to being the second born. History notes she was a “virago” and she was not well loved by the English people. Marguerite had to contend with her overbearing mother in law, Blanche of Castille who ruled Louis with an iron thumb.
Ms. Perinot’s characterization of the two women is fascinating and I found it quite hard to put the book down; in fact, I read it in one sitting. I love writing that grabs you and won’t let you go like that. I want to continue with these two women and their complicated men. I hope that Ms. Perinot is considering further books on unsung women in history as she does have a magical way with words. A way that brings long dead characters to very real life.
You can purchase The Sister Queens on Amazon.com
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Disclosure: I received a copy of The Sister Queens from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. Any opinions expressed are my honest opinions and were not impacted by my receipt of the free book. I received no monetary compensation for this post.