Sunday, 22 January 2012


Release Date: 10/11/11


A compelling tale of love, lust and murder which traces the evolution of Catherine de Medici ? the great-granddaughter of Lorenzo the Magnificent ? from an unloved, timid orphan to France's most cunning monarch A cold, ruthless murderess and occultist, or a loyal wife and mother, and the most competent monarch France ever knew? In The Devil?s Queen, Jeanne Kalogridis examines Catherine de'Medici?s attraction to astrology and the dark arts, as well as the political, religious and personal forces that converged during her life. Catherine de'Medici was one of France's most notorious and blood thirsty monarchs, feared by some as an occultist, seen to be consorting with the likes of Nostradamus and thought to have been responsible for the brutal St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre. For many she was loved as a monarch devoted to bringing about peace during the Wars of Religion. Others saw her as an unfortunate victim of circumstances, struggling to come to terms with the death of her own husband whom she loved dearly, as well as the tragic death of her own parents at an early age. In Kalogridis' most passionate and thought-provoking novel yet, we follow in the footsteps of France's orphan queen and her rise to power in the tumultuous climate of sixteenth century France.


Having been attracted to Jeanne’s writing with The Borgia Bride, I was more than interested to see what she’d come up with for this, her version of the life of Catherine De Medici which is not only fascinating but also one of intrigue double dealing, murder and of course politics. Yet what would Jeanne bring to the fore and having recently enjoyed CW Gortner’s version (The Confession of Catherine De Medici) how would this author change the facts to generate not only a story of interest but one of history.

What this tale brought to the fore was the age to which it all pertains, its lively, it has a great level of understanding for the principle character (especially when dealing with her husband’s infidelity) as well as delving in the mysticism alongside witchcraft with people of interest like Nostradamus. But perhaps most importantly it brought a character to the fore that the reader can associate with and understand whilst viewing all the intrigues of the era where rumour never lost anything in the telling. All in this story is well written, the author maintains the reader’s interest and apart from a few places where the pace lulls, it’s a very tight tale of love, romance and of course the darker aspects that haunted the principle characters life. Great stuff.

No comments: