Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C.W. Gortner

Posted by Teddyrose@1 on June 23, 2010
Posted in Books Read in 2010France  | 8 Comments

Shortly after I finished reading and reviewing The Last Queen by C.W. Gortner, I asked him if I could review The Confessions of Catherine de Medici when he was finished writing it. I loved The Last Queen and I wanted more by this talented author.

I’m so glad that he agreed!
In this fictional memoir, Catherine De Medici, the last of the Italian Medicis, is sent to France as a young woman to marry Henri, the son of King Francois. Henri has no interest in Catherine, as he has a mistress, Diane le Poithers, that he is very much in love with. After years of not having a child together due to lack of trying, Catherine is forced to bargain with Diane to have a heir and secure her future in France. They come to an understanding and Diane even stays in the room while Catherine and Henri have sex, coaching them into different positions that will help Catherine become pregnant.
They finally have heirs but what Catherine doesn’t bargain for, is that Diane raises her children. The later come to resent Catherine for that arrangement, even though it was beyond her control.
After Henri dies Catherine seizes power to secure the crown for her sons. Four of her sons became King, in succession but Catherine either served as regent or advisor to each of them.. She tried to broker peace and tolerance between the Catholics and the Protestant Huguenots again and again.
History has labelled Catherine De Medci as an evil witch, as Queen of France however, C.W. Gortner shows a different side of her. He treats her in a much more balanced view, as a mother, friend, lover, and Queen. He pulls this off smoothly and keeps the pages turning in a fury to see what happens next.
A lot of the story focused on the conflict between the Catholics and the Protestant Huguenots. Although Gortner had to do this, I thought the story got just a little bit bogged down with all of the details. This is a very minor flaw and otherwise the story seems flawless.
I don’t know what Gortner’s next book will be about but I can hardly wait! I’d love to review it Christopher.
Thanks to Cheryl C. Malandrinos of Pump Up Your Book and C.W. Gortner for this book and for letting me part of the tour.

See the Trailer:

Also reviewed by:

The Blue Stocking Society
Devour of Books
A Girl Walks into a Bookstore

The Maiden’s Court
Passages to the Past
The Burton Review

If you reviewed this book, be sure to leave your link in the comments.

Copyright 2007-2010: All the posts within this blog were originally posted by Teddy Rose and should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Mistress of the Sun by Sandra Gulland

Posted by Teddyrose@1 on June 2, 2008
Posted in Books Read 2008CanadaFranceHistorical FictionSandra Gulland  | 20 Comments

Rich Details and Decadence of 17th-Century Court

This is the story of real life Louise de la Vallière, mistress to France’s King Louis XIV, also known as the Sun King. At a young age, Louise, lovingly nicknamed Petite by her father, uses bone magic to tame a wild stallion.

Though of minor nobility, her family doesn’t have enough money for her dowry to marry, let along to get into a convent. Thus she starts a new chapter in her life, that of maid in waiting to a princess of a bit higher nobility than herself. After the princess moves away, Louise moves to the court of the Sun King and is maid of honour to a high nobility princess. Soon after she becomes mistress to the king.
Set against the breathtaking background of France, this enchanting piece of historical fiction displays the extravagant opulence of the time of King Louis XIV’s reign.
Sandra Gulland has made me crave more of King Louis XIV. She must have suspected that this would be the case with some readers, as she suggests a book to learn more ‘Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King’ by Antonia Fraser. I have added this to my TBR (to be read).
This is the first book I have read by Sandra Gulland but it won’t be the last! I look forward, with great anticipation to reading her Josephine B. trilogy.
For more information on Sandra Gulland and her work including this book and her Josphine B Trilogy, see her Official Website.
Thanks to Harper Collins Canada for sending me this advance reader’s copy!
Note: If you have also reviewed this book, please feel free to post you link in the comments. I will then add it to the end of my review.

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Copyright 2007-2010: All the posts within this blog were originally posted by Teddy Rose and should not be reproduced without express written permission.