Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Historical Fiction Book Tours Book Review:The Sister Queens

Like most sisters, Marguerite and Eleanor were rivals.  They were also queens.
Raised at the court of their father, Raymond Berenger, Count of Provence, Marguerite and Eleanor are separated by royal marriages--but never truly parted.
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.

Review: Before I start reviewing the book, I have to say, this is one cover that really pulled me in to the book. It is simply stunning.

This is Sophie's first novel and if it is any indication of what's to come, well, move over Phillipa Gregory.

It was nice to read a novel about royals that didn't involve one of Henry VIII's wives or offspring or Marie Antoinette. Now don't get me wrong, I love Tudor novels and Marie, but it is nice to read about another group of royals ever now and then.

In this story you get a queen of France and England. By the end you feel like you've not only read a great book, but you've learned something about these two women, two sisters who are vastly different and how their marriages shaped their lives.

Marguerite and Eleanor are very competitive, or rather Eleanor is very competitive and in a way they both have something the other wants. Marguerite would like the attentive husband that Eleanor has in Henry III and and Eleanor wished her husband was a better king, much like Marguerite's husband Louis IX.

Sophie writes this more as a love story than as a picture of the political climate at the time. Eleanor was not well liked because of her families involvement in English government. She also writes that Marguerite has an affair and one of the royal brood of children does not belong to her husband.

I liked how each chapter started with a letter from one sister to the other and then continued on with the story. It really allowed you to get both sister's stories without feeling partial to either Eleanor or Marguerite.

Definitely a must read for anyone looking for something a little different when it comes to historical fiction.

Rating: 4 flowers


Sophie Perinot writes historical fiction. In Spring 2012 her debut novel, The Sister Queens, will be released by NAL. Set in 13th century France and England, The Sister Queens weaves the captivating story of medieval sisters, Marguerite and Eleanor of Provence, who both became queens – their lifelong friendship, their rivalry, and their reigns

Ms. Perinot has both a BA in History and a law degree. She left the law to pursue artistic interests, including writing. An avid reader, especially of classic literature, and life-long student of history, it seemed only natural that Sophie should write historical fiction. As someone who studied French abroad and a devotee of Alexandre Dumas, French history was a logical starting point. An active member of the Historical Novel Society, she has attended all of the group’s North American Conferences.

Active among the literary twitterati as @Lit_gal (a moniker she also uses at Agent Query Connect www.agentqueryconnect.com), Sophie is a regular contributor to the group writers' blog "From the Write Angle" http://www.fromthewriteangle.com. Find her on facebook at www.facebook.com/sophie.perinot.author.
For more information, please visit Sophie Perinot's WEBSITE.  You can also find Sophie on her blog, Facebook and Twitter.


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