Four sisters all sharing one king….really?! How does that happen? Well that’s exactly what I wanted to know and that’s why I picked up THE SISTERS OF VERSAILLES. King Louis XV tends to get skipped over in popular literature because there are just so many other King Louis’ that are way more memorable than him….but come on? Four sisters and you make them all your mistress? That sounds like memorable to me!
After seven years of marriage, it’s becoming obvious that the King is growing tired of his wife. So naturally what do courtiers do? They desperately search for a new woman to warm his bed….preferably one that will help advance their position at court. Well look no further than the five Nesle sisters…..one at a time four of the five girls are thrown in the path of the King to warm his bed.
First, 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.
This story is stranger than fiction! Which is why this book was so fun to read! While it was a ‘historical fiction’ novel, there was a lot of research done at a non fictional level too and Christie blended the two together flawlessly.
The novel is told basically in the third person through the use of letters/diary entries from multiple POVs. I was kind of lukewarm about this approach. It almost made me feel like a casual observer rather than really being able to connect with a single character. Personally I would rather have it been told from one singular POV….it wasn’t poorly done by any means, for me personally I just wanted to identify with one character for a story like this. It was an interesting approach but for me it was a little bland.
The story started and ended with Hortense who was the only sister who doesn’t become one of the King’s mistresses. I thought this was an interesting touch and personally would have liked to have had her narrate the entire tale.
The research and attention to historical details was spot on! I was blown away by the details of the French court and I really loved Christie’s descriptions throughout the novel! This book is a must read simply for the amount of research and details that Christie put into her work!
I think one of the things that worked really well in this novel, besides the historic details, was the relationship dynamics between the sisters. While they all came from the same family, they were vastly different. Because they were so different from one another…..cut throat, innocent, romantic…..it made the story move along in unexpected ways!
One small criticism….I was not a fan of the cover. This novel was so vibrant and colorful and I didn’t think the cover art conveyed that. I think it attempted to have a very ‘French’ feel to the cover art with the design and font, but the partially hidden woman just didn’t work for me. I think the woman could have been eliminated from the cover all together and just left the pink cover and it would have been better…..overall, I wanted something a little more eye catching for a novel such as this.
This novel had a lot to love…..the romantic elements were tasteful and well done. Nothing over the top or awkward. I loved how the story came together and loved reading something from an untapped period. This novel is marketed to fans of Phillipa Gregory, and I would say that that’s exactly what this book reminded me of! Well written and research historical fiction with a nice helping of romance and courtly intrigue.
I am excited to see what direction the trilogy takes!
Please check out other stops on the tour for author interviews, giveaways, and guest posts as well as a number of other reviews! The schedule is listed below!
Kindle Edition, 432 pagesPublished September 1st 2015 by Atria Books
- Review copy provided by: Publisher as part of the HFVBT book tour in exchange for an honest review
This book counts toward: NA
- Hosted by: NA
- Books for Challenge Completed: NA
Recommendation: 4 out of 5
Genre: Historic fiction, romance
Memorable lines/quotes: NA
Monday, September 14
Review at Reading the Past
Wednesday, September 16
Review at Bookish
Saturday, September 19
Spotlight at Romantic Historical Reviews
Monday, September 21
Review at Leeanna.me
Wednesday, September 23
Review & Giveaway at History Undressed
Friday, September 25
Spotlight at Historical Readings & Views
Monday, September 28
Review & Giveaway at View From the Birdhouse
Tuesday, September 29
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Wednesday, September 30
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Friday, October 2
Review at Curling Up By the Fire
Monday, October 5
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Tuesday, October 6
Review at Just One More Chapter
Wednesday, October 7
Review at The Lit Bitch
Thursday, October 8
Interview & Giveaway at Reading Lark