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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Sisters of Versailles by Sally Christie

The Sisters of Versailles (Mistresses of Versailles, Book One) by Sally Christie
Publication Date: September 1, 2015 Publisher: Atria Books/Simon & Schuster Formats: Ebook, Paperback 
Pages: 432
ISBN-10: 1501102966 
Genre: Historical Fiction 

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A sumptuous and sensual tale of power, romance, family, and betrayal centered around four sisters and one King. Carefully researched and ornately detailed, The Sisters of Versailles is the first book in an exciting new historical fiction trilogy about King Louis XV, France's most "well-beloved" monarch, and the women who shared his heart and his bed. Goodness, but sisters are a thing to fear. Set against the lavish backdrop of the French Court in the early years of the 18th century, The Sisters of Versailles is the extraordinary tale of the five Nesle sisters: Louise, Pauline, Diane, Hortense, and Marie-Anne, four of whom became mistresses to King Louis XV. Their scandalous story is stranger than fiction but true in every shocking, amusing, and heartbreaking detail. Court intriguers are beginning to sense that young King Louis XV, after seven years of marriage, is tiring of his Polish wife. The race is on to find a mistress for the royal bed as various factions put their best foot - and women - forward. 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. In the tradition of The Other Boleyn Girl, The Sisters of Versailles is a clever, intelligent, and absorbing novel that historical fiction fans will devour. Based on meticulous research on a group of women never before written about in English, Sally Christie's stunning debut is a complex exploration of power and sisterhood; of the admiration, competition, and even hatred that can coexist within a family when the stakes are high enough.

But when one is surrounded by vice, that which shocks quickly becomes normal. 
I do not sit, for I am only a countess and Mademoiselle de Charolais is a princess of the blood and one cannot sit before one's better unless invited. 
As I leave I curtsy and greet those I know but don't tarry on talk. let them guess what the audience was about. I get in the waiting carriage and leave. I don't even visit Louise. I want to send a message,from the beginning there will be no coexistence. 

Louis XV is the king that gets skipped over most of the time when writers tell the stories of the past kings. However, Sally Christie tells his story so well, I find myself wanting to find more about this king.

The story begins with Hortense, the only one of five sisters who did not become mistress to the king, as she reflects back on a lifetime of memories. Through her, we get a glimpse of what's to come before moving on to Louise, the first and longest-reigning of the sister mistresses. The story is told from each sisters point of view, from their isolated childhood to their separation after the death of their mother, to their reunion at court and all of the pleasure and heartache that come with it.The author did an amazing job at letting the reader hear each sister's "voice" within the story so you are not wondering how one of the other sisters is thinking. I believe the depth of each sisters character was evident in the text and the reader was able to take away the anger, the envy and the control as the story quickly unfolds.

Louise, the eldest, was a loving, sweet yet gullible young woman until the court intrigue and betrayal of her sisters broke her spirit; She seemed to be the sister that wanted to do good but fell into the trap of living at court and wanting to fit in with the other ladies in waiting. Pauline was the most controlling and evil sister betrayed in a light of envy and anger. The youngest sister Marie-Anne, was beautiful and manipulative. Her story was the most shocking of them all. Hortense, was the loving and caring sister,as she seemed to escape the court and the allure of King XV. I found each sisters story surprising and fascinating to read. A king that is rarely talked about and the sister mistresses story, that seemed like it ought to be told.

Each chapter ended with the letters that each sister wrote to one another. Even though the chapters switched back and forth between each sister, the letters seem to bring each sisters story together. The writing and way the story was told was flawless and one I would definitely recommend especially those of you who adore historical fiction like I do!


“A stunning breadth of period detail, offered in a fresh, contemporary voice.” —Juliet Grey, author of the acclaimed Marie Antoinette trilogy

"Sally Christie's The Sisters of Versailles is an intriguing romp through Louis XV's France. Filled with lush backdrops, rich detail, and colorful characters, fans of historical fiction will enjoy this glimpse into the lost golden era of the French monarchy." – Allison Pataki, author of The Accidental Empress

04_Sally Christie_Author
I'm a life-long history buff - and I mean life-long. One of the first adult books I read was Antonia Fraser's masterful Mary, Queen of Scots. Wow! That book just blew my little ten year old mind: something about the way it brought the past right back to life, made it live again on the page. I date my obsession with history to that time, but I'd been writing ("writing") ever since I was able to hold a pencil. If you'd told my 12-year old self that I'd not be a writer when I grew up, I would have laughed you out of the tree house. With a few detours along the way, to work overseas in consulting and development, as well as to go to business school, I've finally come full circle to where I think I should be. I currently live in Toronto and when I'm not writing, I'm playing lots of tennis; doing random historical research (old census records are my favorite); playing Scrabble, and squirrel-watching (the room where I write has French doors leading out to a deck; I avidly follow, and feed, a scruffy gang). For more information please visit Sally Christie's website. You can also find her on Goodreads and Pinterest.


Monday, September 14 Review at Reading the Past
Tuesday, September 15 Review at Book Lovers Paradise Interview & Giveaway at Mina's Bookshelf
Wednesday, September 16 Review at Bookish
Thursday, September 17 Review at The Book Binder's Daughter
Friday, September 18 Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict Review at History From a Woman's Perspective
Saturday, September 19 Spotlight at Romantic Historical Reviews
Monday, September 21 Review at
Tuesday, September 22 Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection
Wednesday, September 23 Review & Giveaway at History Undressed
Thursday, September 24 Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
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
Thursday, October 1 Review at Genre Queen Review at bookramblings
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
Friday, October 9 Review & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Obsession

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