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The Sister Queens

The Sister Queens, March 2012
by Sophie Perinot

NAL
Featuring: Eleanor; Marguerite
432 pages
ISBN: 0451235703
EAN: 9780451235701
Kindle: B006LU1RR8
Trade Size / e-Book
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"The must read historical fiction novel of the summer"

Fresh Fiction Review

The Sister Queens
Sophie Perinot

Reviewed by Elizabeth Crowley
Posted May 28, 2012

Fiction | Historical

In this stunning debut novel, Sophie Perinot unravels the complicated, but enchanting story of two medieval queens overlooked by history. Marguerite and Eleanor are the two eldest daughters of the Count of Provence and Beatrice of Savoy. Beatrice is renown for her beauty, but more so for her royal Savoy blood. The Savoyards are a wealthy and ancient family considered prizes for the kings of Europe. When the King of France, Louis IX and the King Henry III of England seek a bride, they look no further than the beauties of Savoy.

Marguerite is the eldest daughter of the Count of Provence. She is considered the most beautiful and sweet tempered. Marguerite is matched with King Louis IX and is immediately enchanted with the handsome French King. Although Marguerite is separated from her family, she finds comfort in the unexpected and passionate love she feels for her husband. But Marguerite and Louis' fortunate love match must withstand Louis' overzealous devotion to the church and the overbearing influence of his mother, Blanche of Castile, the Dowager Queen.

Eleanor, the second eldest daughter of the Count of Provence, is married to King Henry III of England. While her sister is docile, Eleanor is headstrong and opinionated. Although Eleanor is disappointed that the English king is not as handsome as the King of France, Eleanor finds a rare love with the English king. However, their marriage is threatened by the instability growing in the heart of England. Although a generous king, the unruly barons threaten the future of Eleanor's son, Prince Edward. When Eleanor attempts to fight for the future of her son, she threatens the peace and happiness she has found with King Henry.

THE SISTER QUEENS follows the lives of two queens who take turns narrating the book. Marguerite's story begins with the girlish excitement of marrying the most handsome king in Europe, but her letters soon reveal a queen desperate to produce an heir in order to save her marriage. Eleanor's letters initially provide a comfort to a queen who must compete with the affection of her mother-in-law and her husband's growing obsession with the church. However, over the years, the sisters roles are reversed as Marguerite experiences love for the first time. Eleanor, on the other hand, begins to accept that her husband cannot provide the leadership England needs to ensure the future of her son.

Sophie Perinot's magical storytelling transforms history into a page-turner medieval saga. Although the novel is nearly 500 pages long, readers will crave for more of Marguerite and Eleanor's story. Perinot really does an amazing job that brings two obscure historical figures to life and evolving them from young girls into powerhouse queens who rival the power of kings. THE SISTER QUEENS brings the majesty of the French and English court in the thirteenth century to life in every page. History buffs will love how Perinot mixes fact with fiction to create this enthralling story of two queens. This is the must read novel of the summer for anyone with a passion for historical fiction.

Learn more about The Sister Queens

SUMMARY

Patient, perfect, and used to being first, Marguerite becomes Queen of France. But Louis IX is a religious zealot who denies himself the love and companionship his wife craves. Can she borrow enough of her sister's boldness to grasp her chance for happiness in a forbidden love?

Passionate, strong-willed, and stubborn, Eleanor becomes Queen of England. Henry III is a good man, but not a good king. Can Eleanor stop competing with her sister and value what she has, or will she let it slip away?

The Sister Queens is historical fiction at its most compelling, and is an unforgettable first novel.


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