Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Review: Medici's 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.

Publication Date: December 1, 2015
Thomas Dunne Books
Hardcover & eBook; 384 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
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This is my second book by Sophie Perinot, the first being her debut The Sisters Queen (which I really enjoyed).  I know that I have said this many times, most of my reading of HF takes place outside of France England. There seems to be more of an increase these days in books involving the French - or  maybe I am just noticing that trend.  With books like Medicis Daughter it is difficult not to take notice of the vast and wonderful history that country has to offer.

Introduced when Marguerite (Margot/Margaret) is young it was her desire to please her mother which is no easy feat when mom happens to be Catherine de Medici.  Told in first person the author made me connect with Margot.  It wasn't hard to feel the struggles she faced at court, how she was used and gossiped about.  First person narrative has always been a favorite of mine, getting inside the head of the character, feeling their emotions, when done right there is depth bringing much to the story.  I was not disappointed at all, Sophie Perinot writes with rich details, her descriptions made it so easy to visualize what was taking place - I was totally absorbed in her story.  It didn't take long to comprehend the amount of research that went into Medicis Daughter, as well at the authors passion for the time period.

There is more to this story than Margot's relationship with her mother, her brother is King Charles and another one Anjou. This is a story about a love that is forbidden, made all the harder when all eyes seem to be watching every move you make. I can't imagine the frustration of growing up and knowing your life is not your own, but watching Margot mature and coming to grips with life at court was an interesting process and one I enjoyed tremedously.  It's about discovering herself, though a political pawn in the hands of family.

All in all a great book that will appeal to those interested in HF taking place in France, those that love the political ambitions of the de Medicis, those that like relatively unknowns and those that just want a book to get lost in, trust me you won't be disappointed..

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.
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Advance Praise

“This is Renaissance France meets Game of Thrones: dark, sumptuous historical fiction that coils religious strife, court intrigue, passionate love, family hatred, and betrayed innocence like a nest of poisonous snakes. Beautiful Princess Margot acts as our guide to the heart of her violent family, as she blossoms from naive court pawn to woman of conscience and renown. A highly recommended coming-of-age tale where the princess learns to slay her own dragons!” –Kate Quinn, Bestselling author of LADY OF THE ETERNAL CITY

“The riveting story of a 16th century French princess caught in the throes of royal intrigue and religious war. From the arms of the charismatic Duke of Guise to the blood-soaked streets of Paris, Princess Marguerite runs a dangerous gauntlet, taking the reader with her. An absolutely gripping read!” –Michelle Moran, bestselling author of THE REBEL QUEEN

“Rising above the chorus of historical drama is Perinot’s epic tale of the fascinating, lascivious, ruthless House of Valois, as told through the eyes of the complicated and intelligent Princess Marguerite. Burdened by her unscrupulous family and desperate for meaningful relationships, Margot is forced to navigate her own path in sixteenth century France. Amid wars of nation and heart, Médicis Daughter brilliantly demonstrates how one unique woman beats staggering odds to find the strength and power that is her birthright.” –Erika Robuck, bestselling author of HEMINGWAY’S GIRL

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