Monday, October 12, 2015

Review: Médicis Daughter: A Novel of Marguerite de Valois by Sophie Perinot

Advanced review copy from publisher via NetGalley. My opinions are my own.

Release Date: December 1, 2015

So many novels focus so much on Catherine de Medici, Queen of France, that it was good to see something paying more attention to her daughter, Margot.

It is well written, even if it is in present tense which isn't my favorite. It's also written from Margot's first person point of view, beginning with her as a child. Over the first half of the book, we see her growing up, which is great for character development, but also means that much of it is about her teenage crush on the Duc de Guise. While it is not a one dimensional romance, it's also not hugely multi-dimensional either. There were many political events going on but we only saw them from Margot's perspective, which was mostly in how it related to the Duc de Guise or Margot's marriage/prospects. I suppose this is to be expected of a teenage princess in the 16th century though but what annoyed me was Margot desire for power and influence such as her mother has, yet she does nothing to gain it because she's so obsessed with Guise and therefore winds up as nothing but a pawn.

None of this is to say it wasn't an enjoyable read though. It's easy to read, the characters are engaging and it was interesting to watch Margot grow and learn. The last quarter of the book in particular was the highlight, as Margot developed a more worldly perspective in the face of the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre and finally came into her own. I am hoping there will be a sequel because I know Margot's life after the massacre was also very eventful and I think Perinot could tell it well.

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