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The Sister Queens
The Sister Queens
The Sister Queens chronicles the lives of two sisters, Marguerite and Eleanor, daughters of the Count of Provence, who each take a different path to become queens of two countries.
Marguerite, the elder, is a stunning and whip-smart woman who comes to the French royal court as a child of thirteen. She marries her blond king, Louis XI, and embarks with him on a life of increasing piety, both of them controlled by his dragon of a mother, the Dowager Queen Blanche. Marguerite thinks that all of her dreams have come true, but as her once-attentive husband grows increasingly obsessed with religion, events beyond their control transpire and they find their very reign threatened.
Young Eleanor is married off as well, to a man not quite as young or handsome as the husband of her sister, but King Henry values his bride for more than her body alone. They fit together, this savvy young woman and her passionate older husband, in ways that cannot be expressed. Through challenges, wars, children and the staggering pomp and circumstance that characterizes England's royal house, Eleanor must make her way across a veritable minefield of learning who to trust and playing the role fate has set down for her.
The Sister Queens is a simply stunning debut novel that will transport readers into the very minds and thoughts of Marguerite and Eleanor, two of the most powerful and influential woman of their time. Expertly detailed and superbly narrated, this tale of two very different women sharing a destiny that shaped the world was incredibly well written. Characters fairly jumped off the page with realism, and the passions, peccadilloes and problems of the royals are honestly and baldly portrayed without preference for their exalted positions. Of the two queens, I much prefer Eleanor's sharp, in-your-face personality rather than that of the more subtle Marguerite, but each of these women possess traits that are admirable. As far as villains go, the Dowager Blanche gives us a perfect example of a mother-in-law from Hades, with her controlling and sanctimonious ways. My day would be made perfect should the author decide to pen a continuation of this novel that details the duo's latter days. Five Angels and a Recommended Read for The Sister Queens by Sophie Perinot! More, please!
Reviewed by: Michelle B.