The Shadow Queen
By Sandra Gulland
Hello fellow readers I hope everyone is staying warm. We have been having record-breaking below zero temperatures here in Ohio. It feels like the North pole. I am waiting for the arrival of the polar bears, penguins and seals. I think it is too cold to go to work, but hospitals never close!!!
This is a brand new book that will be released on April 8, 2014 by Doubleday books. I have to confess that I am already a fan of Sandra Gulland. I have read all three of her books about Josephine Bonaparte. I remember that I enjoyed that series of novels, even if I did read them out-of-order!! I obtained this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
As Athénaïs begins to lose her grip on the Sun King, her plots and fascination with the magical arts take a dark turn that makes Claudette question her allegiance to this mercurial figure-and puts the young maid’s very life in jeopardy. Set against the gilded opulence of a newly constructed Versailles and the blood-stained fields of the Franco-Dutch War, The Shadow Queen is a seductive, gripping novel about lust, power, loyalty and the increasingly uneasy relationship between two strong-willed women whose actions have the ability to shape the future of France (Synopsis from NetGalley).
I found this book to be easy to read and understand. It went quickly for me. I think that I read it in 2 days. There are some great characters in this book. You have the scandal and sex at court, the high and mighty church and the ups and downs of theater life. The court of Louis XIV held my interest. It was refreshing to read a historical fiction book that was not about the Tudors! One thing that I found as I finished this book is that the title seems to be a bit of a misnomer. The main character Claudette is the handmaiden to the king’s secret concubine. The story is about Claudette. Claudette spends most of her time in action behind the scenes and in disguise. Maybe a good title would have been Maid of the Shadows or The Maid of Loyalty and Secrets? I am still going to give this one a 5 out 5 stars.