Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace


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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Historical Fiction Review & Giveaway: The Sisters of Versailles by Sally Christie

01_The Sisters of Versailles
The Sisters of Versailles (Mistresses of Versailles, Book One) by Sally Christie

Publication Date: September 1, 2015 Publisher: Atria Books/Simon & Schuster Formats: Ebook, Paperback
Pages: 432 ISBN-10: 1501102966
Genre: Historical Fiction


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 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.

In the tradition of The Other Boleyn Girl, The Sisters of Versailles is a clever, intelligent, and absorbing novel that historical fiction fans will devour. Based on meticulous research on a group of women never before written about in English, Sally Christie's stunning debut is a complex exploration of power and sisterhood; of the admiration, competition, and even hatred that can coexist within a family when the stakes are high enough.


"A stunning breadth of period detail, offered in a fresh, contemporary voice."  ~ Juliet Grey, author of the acclaimed Marie Antoinette trilogy

"Sally Christie's The Sisters of Versailles is an intriguing romp through Louis XV's France. Filled with lush backdrops, rich detail, and colorful characters, fans of historical fiction will enjoy this glimpse into the lost golden era of the French monarchy."~ Allison Pataki, author of The Accidental Empress



Okay, first off, I just have to say, "Oh my God, this book!"

When I was growing up, my grandparents lived in Paris, France. My first time visiting Versailles, I was nine years old, and it was that moment, standing in the grand courtyard and looking at the opulence of the grand palace, gold and flowers and carvings and statues everywhere, that I fell in love with history. I'd already been in love with royalty and castles as an avid fairy tale lover.

Every year that I went back, I visited Versailles, I ran through the marbled halls, twirled through the mirrored hall, smelled the flowers in the vast gardens, ran my fingers through the fountains, and I dreamed. Dreamed of what it was like to live there. Its been about a dozen years since my last trip, and I miss it terribly.

So... back to The Sisters of Versailles... This book allowed me to relive the castle. Full of scandal, intrigue, love--sororal love, treachery, sibling rivalry, I was completely riveted. Ms. Christie is not only a master story-teller, but she is a master at creating characters and staying true to them. Louise, Pauline, Marie-Anne, Diane, Hortense, they were ALL strongly alive in the novel. When I say "strongly alive", I mean that they literally popped off the page and played out before me in my living room. Each one of them was so different, and so fascinating, I was completely addicted.

I have two sisters, and I have three daughters, and one thing I've always remarked on is how so many different personalities can come from the same parentage. Well done, Ms. Christie!

But beyond all this, the actual telling of these five sisters is intriguing and fascinating in itself, especially because they were once real-life people. I know for a fact that the Mailly-Nesle will stay in my mind for a long time, and the next time I'm at Versailles, I will see their little smiles, and curtsies and their laughter and tears, their fears and excitement, dancing around me like ghosts of the past.

The author has a list of her research and resources on her website, which includes memoirs, and because I'm such a fan of reading historical non-fiction, I can't wait to dig into those, too!

Can't wait for more of Ms. Christie's work! Well done! Highly recommend!!!


Leave a comment for your chance to win a paperback copy of this book from the publisher! (Sorry, open to U.S. only). But because, I loved this book so much, I'm going to give away an ebook copy to TWO readers, open internationally.


04_Sally Christie_AuthorI'm a life-long history buff - and I mean life-long. One of the first adult books I read was Antonia Fraser's masterful Mary, Queen of Scots. Wow! That book just blew my little ten year old mind: something about the way it brought the past right back to life, made it live again on the page. I date my obsession with history to that time, but I'd been writing ("writing") ever since I was able to hold a pencil.

If you'd told my 12-year old self that I'd not be a writer when I grew up, I would have laughed you out of the tree house. With a few detours along the way, to work overseas in consulting and development, as well as to go to business school, I've finally come full circle to where I think I should be.

 I currently live in Toronto and when I'm not writing, I'm playing lots of tennis; doing random historical research (old census records are my favorite); playing Scrabble, and squirrel-watching (the room where I write has French doors leading out to a deck; I avidly follow, and feed, a scruffy gang).

For more information please visit Sally Christie's website. You can also find her on Goodreads and Pinterest.


Monday, September 14
Review at Reading the Past

Tuesday, September 15
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Interview & Giveaway at Mina's Bookshelf

Wednesday, September 16
Review at Bookish

Thursday, September 17
Review at The Book Binder's Daughter

Friday, September 18
Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective

Saturday, September 19
Spotlight at Romantic Historical Reviews

Monday, September 21
Review at Leeanna.me

Tuesday, September 22
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection

Wednesday, September 23
Review & Giveaway at History Undressed

Thursday, September 24
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Friday, September 25
Spotlight at Historical Readings & Views

Monday, September 28
Review & Giveaway at View From the Birdhouse

Tuesday, September 29
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Thursday, October 1
Review at Genre Queen
Review at book ramblings

Friday, October 2
Review at Curling Up By the Fire

Monday, October 5
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

Tuesday, October 6
Review at Just One More Chapter

Wednesday, October 7
Review at The Lit Bitch

Thursday, October 8
Interview & Giveaway at Reading Lark

Friday, October 9
Review & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Obsession

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Unknown said...

I'd love to win a copy!

Unknown said...

I need to read this book!! I'm quite obsessed with Paris. Thanks for the giveaway!


Unknown said...

I would love to read this book,

Laura said...

Sounds like a fabulous book!

Letty James said...

Sounds like a great read. Your enthusiasm is infectious!

Unknown said...

I would love to read this! Thank for the chance!!

- Kristen

Cathy Nguyen said...

Very interesting. Would really love this book. I love everything historical.

Michele Kallio said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. Louis XV fascinates me.

Eliza Knight said...

And the winners are...

Print Copy: Jena Lang

Ebook copies: Kristen Austerman & Michele Kallio

Please email me so I can get your prizes out to you!

Unknown said...

Thank you so much! Email sent :)

Unknown said...

Thank you so much! Email sent :)