About The Rivals of Versailles
Series: The Mistresses of Versailles Trilogy
Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Atria Books (April 5, 2016)
And you thought sisters were a thing to fear! In this compelling follow-up to Sally Christie’s clever and absorbing debut, we meet none other than the Marquise de Pompadour, one of the greatest beauties of her generation and the first bourgeois mistress ever to grace the hallowed halls of Versailles.
The year is 1745 and Louis XV’s bed is once again empty. Enter Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, a beautiful girl from the middle classes. As a child, a fortune teller had mapped out Jeanne’s destiny: she would become the lover of a king and the most powerful woman in the land. Eventually connections, luck, and a little scheming pave her way to Versailles and into the King’s arms.
All too soon, conniving politicians and hopeful beauties seek to replace the bourgeois interloper with a more suitable mistress. As Jeanne, now the Marquise de Pompadour, takes on her many rivals—including a lustful lady-in-waiting; a precocious fourteen-year-old prostitute, and even a cousin of the notorious Nesle sisters—she helps the king give himself over to a life of luxury and depravity. Around them, war rages, discontent grows, and France inches ever closer to the Revolution.
Enigmatic beauty, social climber, actress, trendsetter, patron of the arts, spendthrift, whoremonger, friend, lover, foe: history books may say many things about the famous Marquise de Pompadour. Alongside Catherine the Great of Russia and Maria Theresa of Austria, she is considered one of the three most powerful women of the 18th century, and one of the most influential royal mistresses of all time.
In The Rivals of Versailles, Christie gets to the heart of Pompadour’s legendary relationship with Louis XV, France’s most “well-beloved” king. Pompadour was not only his mistress, but his confidante and influential political adviser for close to twenty years. Full of historical insight, decadence, wit and scandal, The Rivals of Versailles is about one woman’s trials and triumphs, her love for a kind, and her role in shaping a nation.
Told in Christie’s witty and modern style, this second book in the Mistresses of Versailles trilogy will delight and entrance fans as it once again brings to life the world of eighteenth century Versailles in all its pride, pestilence and glory.
Praise for The Sisters of Versailles:
“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)
I will have to say that this is the spring of Sally Christie, as far as great reading goes! I was privileged to read Sally's first book, The Sisters of Versailles, earlier this spring, and now have devoured Sally's second book in her Mistresses of Versailles series, The Rivals of Versailles, and I can honestly say that it has to be one of my favorite books of the year so far!
The Rivals of Versailles is the story of Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, better known as Madame Pompadour, the mistress of King Louis XV, and the many rivals to the king's affections. Pompadour was unusual as she managed to stay friends with the kings long after their trysts were over, and even arranged for some of her own replacements. She was a fascinating character to get to known!
Sally Christie has a magical storytelling style that takes her readers right into the court of Louis the XV, and right into the boudoirs of the many women he loved. She also includes the machinations and behind-the-scenes activities that always seem to seep and ooze through any monarchy, but are always fascinating to read about!
I highly recommend both of Sally Christie's novels, and I am looking forward to the final book in this series to come!
About Sally Christie
Sally 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, April 4th: Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, April 5th: Let Them Read Books
Friday, April 8th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Monday, April 11th: Broken Teepee
Tuesday, April 12th: Books Without Any Pictures
Wednesday, April 13th: Scandalous Women
Thursday, April 14th: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, April 14th: BookNAround
Thursday, April 14th: Worth Getting In Bed For
Friday, April 15th: A Chick Who Reads
Friday, April 15th: Bewitched Bookworms
Monday, April 18th: A Literary Vacation
Monday, April 18th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Tuesday, April 19th: Historical-Fiction.com
Wednesday, April 20th: Raven Haired Girl
Thursday, April 21st: The Maiden’s Court
Friday, April 22nd: A Bookish Affair
Monday, April 25th: Reading Reality
Tuesday, April 26th: Ace and Hoser Blog
Wednesday, April 27th: Dreams, Etc.
Wednesday, April 27th: Luxury Reading
Thursday, April 28th: Mom in Love with Fiction
Friday, April 29th: Books & Tea
Monday, May 2nd: Time 2 Read
My thanks to TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour and to Simon & Schuster for providing the review copy of the book. I was not compensated for my opinions.