Book Review: Medicis Daughter

Medicis Daughter
Published By: Thomas Dunne Books
Publication Date: December 1, 2015
Page Count: 384
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Audience: Adult - Historical Fiction

Princess Margot, aka Marguerite of Valois, lives in France in the mid-1500's. She is descended from a long line of illustrious nobles. Margot lives to make her mother, Catherine de Medicis, proud, but often feels that she falls short of her goal. Once she arrives at court, she realizes that pleasing her mother requires a delicate ballet of manners. I was fascinated by the details of court life and loved learning through Margot's eyes as she comes of age in a society vastly different from my own. There are also subtle mystical elements about young Margot that fascinated me. 

I also found the political intrigues taking place in this one to be riveting. Margot is merely a pawn in a political game and she is forced to marry not for love, but in order to further her mother's goals. Margot's life is typical of noble women of the time period who were not allowed to live as they chose, but rather as their family chose. She also finds herself overshadowed by her brothers and later her husband.

French history has never been my forte so I was fascinated to learn as I read. I was ignorant concerning Marguerite of Valois before I picked this novel up. I had no idea such a fascinating and infamous young woman even existed; I have been inspired to research more about her. In addition, I learned more about the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre which is a heart wrenching event. The events that have occurred throughout history in the name of religion astound and sadden me.

All in all, this is a tale of overcoming obstacles and fighting for your place in the world. There is plenty of romance, drama, and political intrigue to keep even the most reluctant historical fiction reader entertained. Perinot has brought to life the vibrant and tumultuous history of France during the 1500's. I want to reread this one when I have more time to linger within the story.

One Last Gripe: I had trouble losing myself in this one at times. I fully admit this could have been due to a stressful work week and is not necessarily a flaw with the novel. Sometimes books need the right time to speak to us.

Favorite Thing About This Book: The attention to historical detail and the research that the author put in to crafting this novel

First Sentence: In my dreams the birds are always black.

Favorite Character: Marguerite

Least Favorite Character: Catherine

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.


Advance Praise

ìThis 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!î --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, MÈdicis 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

About the Author

SP Small

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 groupís 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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