By now you know that historical fiction is my favorite genre of book. When I was offered the chance to read Medicis Daughter by Sophie Perinot it was an easy decision to accept the free book for an honest review.
About The Medicis Daughter:
Publication Date: December 1, 2015
Thomas Dunne Books
Hardcover & eBook; 384 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Winter, 1564. Beautiful young Princess Margot is summoned to the court of France, where nothing is what it seems and a wrong word can lead to ruin. Known across Europe as Madame la Serpente, Margot’s intimidating mother, Queen Catherine de Médicis, is a powerful force in a country devastated by religious war. Among the crafty nobility of the royal court, Margot learns the intriguing and unspoken rules she must live by to please her poisonous family.
Eager to be an obedient daughter, Margot accepts her role as a marriage pawn, even as she is charmed by the powerful, charismatic Duc de Guise. Though Margot’s heart belongs to Guise, her hand will be offered to Henri of Navarre, a Huguenot leader and a notorious heretic looking to seal a tenuous truce. But the promised peace is a mirage: her mother’s schemes are endless, and her brothers plot vengeance in the streets of Paris. When Margot’s wedding devolves into the bloodshed of the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, she will be forced to choose between her family and her soul.
About the Author:
SOPHIE PERINOT is the author of The Sister Queens and one of six contributing authors of A Day of Fire: A Novel of Pompeii. A former attorney, Perinot is now a full-time writer. She lives in Great Falls, Virginia with her three children, three cats, one dog and one husband.
An active member of the Historical Novel Society, Sophie has attended all of the group’s North American Conferences and served as a panelist multiple times. Find her among the literary twitterati as @Lit_gal or on Facebook.
I’ve read many a book about Catherine de Medici – she is, of course, one of the more memorable women of history. But I must admit to knowing little about her daughter, Marguerite. Were France a country that allowed women on her throne Marguerite would have been Queen but that was not to be her fate. Margot was not kindly remembered by history for as we know – history is written by the victors and the Valois were not fondly remembered. Nor was Catherine de Medici. How much of it was true and how much of it was a smear campaign – who knows? Charles IX was not the strongest of Kings.
But this is the story of young Marguerite. It cannot be told without her famous mother but it is her story. It opens when Margot is just a young girl and we learn how the relationship with her mother is not a warm and fuzzy one. She wants only to please her mother and be noticed. Her brother Henry is obviously her mother’s favorite and he and Margot have a very special and close relationship. Too close.
Thanks to her brother’s support her mother eventually comes to trust her and Margot joins the life at court. While there she falls in love with the Duc de Guise – the son of one the great families of France but she cannot marry as she will. She will be married as a political consideration. This does not sit well with either the Duc or Margot but that is the life of princess of France.
The book takes us from Margot’s childhood through her marriage to her cousin, Henry of Navarre. He would become Henry IV and be remembered as one of France’s better Kings. Their marriage was not one that anyone could call happy. I don’t think that much of her life was happy.
The book was fascinating. I love when I discover new aspects of history. Ms. Perinot really brought the time period to life. The characters became real to me; at times I felt sorry for Margot, at times I really liked her at other times I really despised her. Some were not quite as rounded as others, Charles IX for example – he was a bit one note. He didn’t play an overly large role in the story but he was pretty predictable. The other main characters were far better developed. All in all I really enjoyed the book and would certainly look forward to further tales from the author.
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