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The Rivals of Versailles: A Novel (The…
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The Rivals of Versailles: A Novel (The Mistresses of Versailles Trilogy)

by Sally Christie

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My review of The Rivals of Versailles is now up on Fresh Fiction!

"A truly great portrait of one of the most famous women in history"

Read the whole review here! ( )
  MaraBlaise | Apr 14, 2017 |
Louis XV's most famous mistress, the Marquise de Pompadour, takes center-stage in this volume of the Mistress of Versailles trilogy. As a young girl, she is given a sense of her destiny and develops a strong sense of determination to become the French king's mistress. The ensuing rivalries and politics as she gained influence are presented here in a compelling narrative. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy 18th-century historical fiction and especially those interested in a picture of France before the revolution. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Aug 20, 2016 |
The Rivals of Versailles by Sally Christie is about one of history's most influential women, Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson a.k.a. the infamous Marquise de Pompadour, lover of Louis XV. This novel is told in the first person by Jeanne, also known as Reinette, when she first learns of her fate to be loved by a king. Reinette is but a girl at this point, but already embraces the prophesy told by a fortuneteller to do what is necessary to fulfill her destiny.

Louis is immediately taken with her, but her optimism soon dwindles when she learns how many rivals she has at court. Not just other women, but also politicians, and people who would see her leave in disgrace. However Reinette is a force to be reckoned with. Though this novel also tells of other of Louis' loves, told in first person as well, Reniette is never out of the picture.

I enjoyed this novel immensely. This is without a doubt a female-driven novel. So many strong--and not so strong--female characters moved around like chess pieces. It really made me think about the women of the past and what they had to endure. But it also made me think about women of today and the similarities of the past and present.

The only thing that bothered me was Louis' love for younger girls. I know this was probably the norm way back then, but today he would have been labeled a pedophile. I do appreciate the way Christie handled most of the writing of this sensitive topic. Though, it might be too much for some.

Overall, this book was entertaining. Even though I didn't read the first book in the trilogy, I didn't feel at all lost in the story. The Marquise de Pompadour led an interesting life, and I'm glad I got to read Christie's fictional version of it. I want to continue on with the story and go back to read the first book, The Sisters of Versailles, and finish the series with the last book, The Enemies of Versailles, set to release the fall.
Read more at http://www.toreadornottoread.net/2016/05/review-rivals-of-versailles.html#U6Aer4... ( )
  mt256 | May 4, 2016 |
The Rivals of Versailles once again sweeps readers into the enchanting palace of Versailles where life is never dull and intrigue is merely second nature. First, there was The Sisters of Versailles. The talented, but infamous Nesle sisters who ruled Louis XV’s heart have come and gone, leaving the position of official mistress open. The Rivals of Versailles introduces us to the woman who later becomes one of the most influential women in France. Never before had a mistress, especially of the bourgeois, reigned as though a queen’s crown was placed upon her head. Marquise de Pompadour was called many things within her life and even her death, but none can deny what she accomplished.

The Marquise was an interesting woman to read about and even though the book is a sizeable one, the end comes much too soon. Pompadour is a name that has remained recognizable beyond her time, marking that her life, her achievements, and how important she truly was to the king, as a friend and an advisor, still captivate people. To come from seemingly nowhere and to then rule France for nearly twenty years, while young, beautiful rivals sprang up like dandelions was not a small achievement.

I’m eagerly awaiting The Enemies of Versailles. Sally Christie knows how to write historical fiction that are like candies, delicious to the very last taste. ( )
  CinaChilders | Apr 20, 2016 |
This book is a continuation from the first book in the series: The Sisters of Versailles. I really liked that this book picked up right where the other one left off. The author does her research as it shows in the descriptions. I have not read anything about Madame de Pompdaur before so I felt as if I was learning a piece of history along with enjoying a captivating story. That is always a plus for me. I also enjoyed the letters that were included. They made the story even more real to read. Sally Christie has a way of making her characters really come off the pages. If you love French history then you will enjoy this book. I can't wait until the final book in this trilogy comes out. It will be interesting to see how it all ends. ( )
  bookaunt72 | Apr 20, 2016 |
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