The Rivals of Versailles
Release date: April 5, 2016
at Atria Books/Simon & Schuster
In 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.
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.
Visit her Facebook Page
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The Rivals of Versailles is an easy and enjoyable read.
Christie does a great job of writing as the character of Reinette, who tells her own story, in her own voice, from the first chapter. It is a particularly effective tool when it comes to introducing Reinette to the otherworld of Versailles.
I enjoyed the use of letters because they contain so many details about life at Versailles, about French culture, and about life throughout Europe, in wartime and in peace, that could have been awkwardly forced into the first person narrative. The voices of the various characters in their letters are convincing.
I enjoyed, and recommend, The Rivals of Versailles. It’s an entertaining read about real life characters who interest me, but, unlike a great deal of historical fiction, the research stands up in the novel.
The author does her research as it shows in the descriptions. I have not read anything about Madame de Pompdaur before so I felt as if I was learning a piece of history along with enjoying a captivating story. That is always a plus for me.
Sally Christie has a way of making her characters really come off the pages. If you love French history then you will enjoy this book. I can’t wait until the final book in this trilogy comes out.
I really enjoyed this book and had trouble setting it aside for mundane things like work and cooking dinner for my family.
Like any good historical fiction, the details are exquisite and the reader is swept into the halls of Versailles where women jockey for the king’s favor and men use the women like pawns on a chess board to gain the ear of the king.
I enjoyed this novel even more than the first and will give it five stars on Amazon and Goodreads.
Superb presentation of life at the court of Louis XV, and how a mere bourgeois mistress ended up being the famous and powerful Marquise de Pompadour, right hand of the king, defender of culture, and redoubtable to all potential rivals.
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.
Sally Christie is an amazing storyteller.
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!
This book was a very pleasant and interesting read.
The story is written really well, the author is very good at capturing the attention of the reader and to maintain it throughout the story. The pace is flowing, exciting, never boring. The setting is fabulous, we will move together with the protagonists in the beautiful rooms of the palace of Versailles. A reading really intriguing and interesting.I love this series and I look forward to reading the third book.
The Rivals of Versailles once again sweeps readers into the enchanting palace of Versailles where life is never dull and intrigue is merely second nature.
The Marquise was an interesting woman to read about and even though the book is a sizeable one, the end comes much too soon.
I’m eagerly awaiting The Enemies of Versailles. Sally Christie knows how to write historical fiction that are like candies, delicious to the very last taste.
Like with the last book, The Sisters of Versailles, I hated all of the characters but I liked the book. That surely takes some talent.
I really enjoyed this and I can’t wait for the next and final book.
I was given an education of French 18th century court life during Louis XV. The Rivals of Versailles’s strengths are the “fairy-tale” world of wealth and luxury at the bequest of the French king, and Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, the enchanting Marquise de Pompadour.