My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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Sunday, November 15, 2015

ARC Book Review: The Sisters of Versailles

First of all, I want to express my deepest condolences to those who lost loved ones during the atrocious attack on Paris on November 13.  It breaks my heart to see such a beautiful city torn apart by fear.  Whatever the reasons these criminals have, it is NEVER justifiable to take lives.  How I wish problems could be solved peacefully.

Okay, back to books...

Synopsis (From GoodReads):

 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.


I received this ARC courtesy of NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  My views are not influenced by anyone other than myself.

When I began reading The Sisters of Versailles, I was giddy with anticipation of a juicy read.  This books is filled with fashion, court intrigue, backstabbing sisters, fashion, fashion...  Oh, did I mention there's a lot of descriptions of dresses in this book?  This is obviously a well-researched depiction of court life at Versailles.  While it was fascinating, I felt like I was eating a steady diet of sweets, and not getting a full meal.

The story centers around five sisters, four of whom managed to become mistresses to King Louis XV.  That's a pretty astounding feat to be sure, but I was looking for a more well-rounded historical fiction book.  Even though the Revolution wouldn't occur until 15 years after his death, the events of King Louis XV's reign would put into motion the decadence of Versailles and the unrest of the masses.  Although the book did make vague references to a famine and the masses hatred of the King's mistresses, I didn't feel how the events in the book fit in to the larger history of the times.  I would have loved to read a few chapters from the point of view of some of the servants.  Their more simple lives would have contrasted well with the ridiculous luxury of the main characters and would have grounded the book better.

I did enjoy the letters between the sisters.  Each letter showed the characters' personality and there were many parts where one could read between the lines to understand more of what was happening than what was actually being said. 

I did like this book!  I just feel like it could have been even better with the addition of more depth.  If you like reading about the decadence of Versailles, you will enjoy this book.  This is supposed to be a trilogy about the many mistresses of King Louis XV.  I assume at least one of the books would center around the most famous of the King's women, Madame de Pompadour.  She apparently was very influential in running the country during the Kin's later years.  Perhaps then we will see a book with more history and less bedroom drama.


Release Date: September 1, 2015
Source:ARC from NetGalley

Format:  E-book

Recommendation: A fun read, but not very historical.

Will I read more from this author:  No thanks

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  1. Nicely said Ardis. I was in Paris a few weeks ago, it's such a beautiful city and to see people queuing the next day to donate blood and open their doors to strangers who can't get home breaks and warms my heart in equal measure.

  2. The people of Paris are kind and resilient. I was there many years ago. It was Easter time and we waited in a long line to get a hotel room from the train station. When we got to the front of the line, there were no more rooms available. The clerk running the kiosk offered to put us up in his apartment! We had an amazing time. He took us out and showed us around as only a Parisian could. His kindness made the trip so memorable.

  3. I got this book off Netgalley as well! I didn't end up finishing it because I thought it was kinda boring. I requested it for the juicy stuff, but after 100 pages it wasn't as juicy as I was expecting it to be and I gave up! Maybe I just didn't give it enough time, but I wasn't digging it!

    1. Well, I only gave it 3 1/2 stars because I felt it was kind of like an episode of the Kardashians: What will I wear? Who will I sleep with? Why is my sister being so mean to me? I wanted more historical context (a little more bedroom stuff wouldn't have hurt either, I mean did only the king have sex?) Thanks for commenting.


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