Title: The Sisters of Versailles (The Mistresses of Versailles Trilogy #1)
Author: Sally Christie
Publisher: Atria (Simon & Schuster)
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Acquired Via: TLC Book Tours
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, naïve 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.
As most of you know, I love and adore, and love some more, historical fiction. The Sisters of Versailles is my very favorite sort of historical fiction because it's about real people and has a little bit of romance. It reads more like a diary than a fictionalized account (though I'm sure it is) similar to what Philippa Gregory writes.
The writing style was a little difficult to get into at first. It's written in first person present*, except for the prologue and epilogue, so that's where I got the diary comparison. Each sister gets their own chapters with their POV, and they were different enough that it was easy to tell them apart. I think each sister's personality was a little exaggerated, but that is necessary to be able to tell them apart with the author's writing style.
I don't really have a favorite of the sisters from reading The Sisters of Versailles, but I will say that I liked Pauline the most. She and Marie-Anne were a bit vilified, but Marie-Anne was just psychotic. Pauline was devious, but her love of Diane was redeeming. With the other two sisters, the majority of what we see is Diane thinking about her favorite foods and speaking out of turn, Hortense praying for her sisters' souls, and Louise moping about how she is being treated by everyone.
Since The Sisters of Versailles was more about the Nesle sisters, not too much about the political unrest or bourgeoisie was mentioned. There were hints at political intrigue, but as I said, it was more about the sisterly interactions. I enjoyed the set-up for the most part, but I tend to get a little bored when a story is purely character-driven without much else.
Despite my complaints, I enjoyed The Sisters of Versailles a great deal, and I can't wait until the next book in the trilogy comes out next spring. If you're into historical fiction, this is the book for you.
*I'm very rusty on my grammar, so I can't promise the accuracy of whether or not I know what I'm talking about here.
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million
About the Author
Sally lives and breathes history; ever since she read Antonia Fraser’s masterful Mary, Queen of Scots when she was 10, she’s been an avid history junkie. She wishes more attention and technical innovation was devoted to time travel, because there is nothing she would rather do than travel back in time! Writing historical fiction is a poor substitute, but it’s the best one we have at the moment.
When not reading and writing history, she’s a tennis and Scrabble fanatic.
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Follow the Tour
The Sisters of Versailles Tour Schedule
Monday, August 17th
Tuesday, August 18th
The Reading Date
Wednesday, August 19th
Wednesday, August 19th
Raven Haired Girl
Monday, August 24th
Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, August 25th
Curling Up With A Good Book – “Sister” Bio **
Wednesday, August 26th
Stephanie’s Reviews… 100 Pages a Day
Thursday, August 27th
Friday, August 28th
Monday, August 31st
The Maiden’s Court
Monday, August 31st
Peeking Between the Pages “Sister” Bio**
Tuesday, September 1st
Let Them Read Books
Tuesday, September 1st
Books a la Mode – author guest post & giveaway
Wednesday, September 2nd
Life is Story
Thursday, September 3rd
Friday, September 4th
Books Without Any Pictures
Monday, September 7th
A Bookish Affair
Tuesday, September 8th
A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, September 9th
Read. Write. Repeat.
Thursday, September 10th
Friday, September 11th
A Literary Vacation
Monday, September 14th
Ace and Hoser Blog – Review and “Sister” Bio **
Tuesday, September 15th
Living in the Kitchen With Puppies **
Wednesday, September 16th
The Baking Bookworm **
Thursday, September 17th
#redhead.with.book – Review and “Sister” Bio **
Monday, September 21st
Snowdrop Dreams of Books – Review and “Sister” Bio **
Monday, September 28th
Pingwing’s Bookshelf **
** denotes Canadian bloggers
Thanks to our friends at Simon & Schuster, I have a finished copy of The Sisters of Versailles by Sally Christie up for grabs for one lucky winner.
US & Canada Addresses Only
Ends at 12:01am CST on September 29th
a Rafflecopter giveaway
To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance copy of the novel from the publisher through TLC Book Tours in exchange for an unbiased review. It has in no way affected the outcome. All expressed opinions are awesome, honest, and courtesy of me.
sounds like a book I would enjoy!!ReplyDelete
thank you for the giveaway!!
I like that the story is told from each of the sisters' POV - I enjoy getting to see different sides of history like that.ReplyDelete
Thanks for being a part of the tour.
I absolutely love historical fiction and this time period in France.ReplyDelete