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The Rivals of Versailles

The Rivals of Versailles, April 2016
Mistresses of Versailles #2
by Sally Christie

Atria Books
ISBN: 1501102990
EAN: 9781501102998
Kindle: B0112OOQX4
Paperback / e-Book
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"A truly great portrait of one of the most famous women in history"

Fresh Fiction Review

The Rivals of Versailles
Sally Christie

Reviewed by Magdalena Johansson
Posted March 26, 2016

Fiction | Historical

THE RIVALS OF VERSAILLES is the sequel to THE SISTERS OF VERSAILLES, Sally Christie's debut novel. In this book, we get to follow Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson also known as Marquise de Pompadour or Madame de Pompadour. Young Jeanne was told as a child by a gypsy fortune-teller that she would one day become the lover of a king and be the most powerful women in the land. And she became, by scheming and some luck, the mistress of King Louis XV. But, being the mistress of the king also means she gathers a lot of enemies who would do anything to see her thrown out of the king's bed and Versailles. And, she has to be vigilant to all those younger women who would do anything to take her place.

I was eager to read THE RIVALS OF VERSAILLES after reading THE SISTERS OF VERSAILLES a while ago. The first book was enthralling to read, and I was looking forward to reading about Madame de Pompadour, a woman who I heard much about but did not really know more than the basic facts about her life. I had some problem really warming up to Jeanne in the beginning, for a while I thought I wouldn't care so much about her as I did the sisters in THE SISTERS OF VERSAILLES. But, when other women started to make their moves to become the king's mistress did I realize that I'd become quite attached to Jeanne. I liked her, and I wanted her to be at the king's side. It was quite amusing to read about some of the women who tried to take her place. The story shifts a couple of times from Jeanne's point-of-view to some women who thought they could be the new mistress. But, they really didn't have her shrewdness.

Christie has a wonderful way of describing the court life, but I also like that she manages to write about the injustice against the bourgeois, the middle class. You can in the story see the shift in how the people view of the king, how the once beloved king becomes hated and there is even an attempt on his life. One can see the roots to the revolution that would one day change France forever.

THE RIVALS OF VERSAILLES is a wonderful book, a truly great portrait of one of the most famous women in history. You don't have to read THE SISTERS OF VERSAILLES to enjoy this book. But, the first book is just as interesting as this one. I think THE RIVALS OF VERSAILLES would really suit anyone who likes reading historical fiction, and especially those who like to read about a strong woman.

Learn more about The Rivals of Versailles


And you thought sisters were a thing to fear. In this captivating 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 King 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 told young 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.

Told in Christie's celebrated witty and modern style, The Rivals of Versailles will delight and entrance fans as it brings to life the court of Louis XV in all its pride, pestilence, and glory.

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