THE SISTERS OF VERSAILLES
by SALLY CHRISTIE
A sumptuous and sensual tale of power, romance, family, and betrayal centered around four sisters and one King. 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.
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, naive Louise; ambitious Pauline; complacent Diane, and cunning Marie Anne, will conspire, betray, suffer, and triumph in a desperate fight for both love and power.
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What Phillippa Gregory has done for the Tudor Court, Sally Christie has done Louis XV’s Versailles. The sisters – Marie-Anne, Louise, Pauline, Diane, and Hortense – all feel whole and fully-realized, each with her own personality and ambitions. This is a novel packed with court drama, secrets, back-stabbing, tragedy, and a bit of romance. There are also a few romance-novel-esque scenes, but nothing long or raunchy (ha). Nearly every chapter ends with a letter or two from the sisters, which are fun to read. For the first quarter of the novel they are increasingly pleading letters to Louise from Pauline who begs in not-so-subtle ways to be invited to Versailles, which made me actually laugh out loud. The sisters and others are very funny; there are some hilarious, unsubtle double entendres sprinkled throughout. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I am interested to see what the rest of the trilogy has in store!
Disclaimer: I received an e-ARC for free in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.
Read my review on The Enemies of Versailles, book 2 in the Mistresses of Versailles trilogy.
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My name is Alex, and I’m a twenty-something queer girl from the midwest with a hardcore fiction addiction. I don’t care for romance in books, but I love my cat and cute video games.
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