The Rivals of Versailles
Release date: April 5, 2016
at Atria Books/Simon & Schuster
Website | Goodreads
SYNOPSISIn this scandalous 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. Marie-Anne, the youngest of the infamous Nesle sisters and King Louis XV’s most beloved mistress, is gone, making room for the next Royal Favorite.
Enter Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, a stunningly beautiful girl from the middle classes. Fifteen years prior, a fortune teller had mapped out 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.
Enigmatic beauty, social climber, actress, trendsetter, patron of the arts, spendthrift, whoremonger, friend, lover, foe. History books may say many things about the famous Marquise de Pompadour, but one thing is clear: for almost twenty years, she ruled France and the King’s heart.
Copy received from France Book Tours for an honest review
First word that comes to mind when I finished reading "The Rivals of Versailles" by Sally Christie is delicious. What a drama-driven- scandalous story! I absolutely loved it and I was intrigued by how conniving and backstabbing everyone was. There was never a dull moment in Marquise de Pompadour's life! She really had guts and seemed fearless once she had her sights set on something. Sally Christie is an amazing storyteller. She grabbed my attention in the first book "Sisters of Versaille" and kept the momentum going with "The Rivals of Versailles." Jeanne was a complex and multi-facitated person. She was so driven and ambitious that it was hard to lover her but impossible not to admire her.
Prior to reading historical fiction I had a very naivee view of what court life was like and books like "The Rivals of Versailles" really show how talented a person had to be to not only stay in the Kings favor but remain there. Jeanne was a threat to anyone in court. Other women looking for the Kings attention wanted her gone and even men in power! Really, I thought it was absolutely fascinating. I thought Jeanne was fascinating and her ambition was a driving force for her survival. Aside from how great the first book and this book were, the good news is that there is another book in the trilogy- The Enemies of Versailles-which I cannot wait for!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
is the author of The Sisters of Versailles.
She was born in England and grew up around the world,
attending eight schools in three different languages.
She spent most of her career working
in international development and currently lives in Toronto.
Learn more about the sisters and the mistresses in the Versailles trilogy on her website
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