Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Atria Books (September 1, 2015)
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.
The Sisters of Versailles centers on the (relatively, at least for the genre) overlooked period of early 18th century France.
The French Revolution and Marie Antoinette have been extensively written about; it’s time for fans of that time period to step further back in time and to explore the reign of Louis XV (1715 – 1774) a time of increasing social turbulence and change that sets the stage neatly for the Revolution that follows.
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. Telling the story of 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.
“Sally Christie’s The Sisters of Versailles is an intriguing romp through Louis XV’s France. Filled with lush backdrops, rich detail, and colorful characters, fans of historical fiction will enjoy this glimpse into the lost golden era of the French monarchy.” (Allison Pataki, author of THE ACCIDENTAL EMPRESS)
“A stunning breadth of period detail, offered in a fresh, contemporary voice.” (Juliet Grey, author of the acclaimed Marie Antoinette trilogy)
“Such an extraordinary tale makes for compelling reading and, as the lead book in a planned trilogy, will draw in readers who are interested in royal lives before the French Revolution…. Historical fiction fans, unfamiliar with the history of the Nesle sisters, will be intrigued.” (Library Journal)
“Tantalizing descriptions and cliff-hangers will leave the reader rapidly turning the pages in anticipation… A wickedly delightful read.” (New York Daily News)
My Thoughts:Fans of historical fiction are going to absolutely love this new series from author Sally Christie! "The Sisters of Versailles" is the first book, and it sets the stage for the intrigue, the suspense, and all the machinations that the sisters Nesle are subjected to as they grow up in eighteenth century France.
Christie has a wonderfully rich style of narration and description that makes this novel fast moving and captivating. Her cast of characters are many, but all are necessary to make this tale work, and each are fascinating! I especially enjoyed the relationships between the five sisters, and Christie includes letters between each chapters, from one sister to another, that further the tale along.
I loved this first book, and look forward to the next book, The Rivals of Versailles, coming soon! I highly recommend this book!
About Sally ChristieSally Christie was born in England of British parents but grew up mostly in Canada. As a child she moved around with her family and then continued her wandering as she pursued a career in international development; she’s lived in 14 different countries and worked in many more. She’s now settled in Toronto and loving it.
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.
Connect with Sally
Sally Christie’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:Monday, February 29th: BookNAround
Tuesday, March 1st: Time 2 Read
Wednesday, March 2nd: Luxury Reading
Thursday, March 3rd: Worth Getting in Bed For
Monday, March 7th: Reading Reality
Wednesday, March 9th: Bewitched Bookworms
Thursday, March 10th: Rinn Reads
Monday, March 14th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Tuesday, March 15th: Puddletown Reviews
Wednesday, March 16th: Dreams, Etc.
Friday, March 18th: Mom in Love with Fiction
Monday, March 21st: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Monday, March 21st: Dreams, Etc. – author guest post
Wednesday, March 23rd: Books & Tea
My thanks to TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour and to Simon and Schuster for providing the review copy of the book. I was not compensated for my opinion.