Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Medicis Daughter by Sophie Perinot

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.
Médicis Daughter is historical fiction at its finest, weaving a unique coming-of-age story and a forbidden love with one of the most dramatic and violent events in French history.

This is a story of love, passion, intrigue, betrayal, and cruel violence - a true representation of this turbulent time in history. Plenty has been written about Catherine de Medici, so I found it incredibly fascinating to read about her daughter and the struggles she would have had living under her mother's controlling thumb. I quite enjoyed learning some of the machinations and descriptions of the The St Bartholemew's Day Massacre. The author did an outstanding job in bringing this turbulence to life in a very realistic and easy to understand fashion. 

Although Margaret de Valois has been much maligned throughout history, I liked how her motivations were presented and it helped to understand some of the hard choices Margaret had to make to survive in the tumultuous French and Italian courts. 

Everything about this story appealed to me - the era, the political climate, and the religious difficulties facing France and the French people. This fictional account of her life was well rendered and magically delivered. Definitely recommended!

Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.