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review 2017-01-09 19:37
Pleasantly Surprised
The Enemies of Versailles: A Novel (The Mistresses of Versailles Trilogy) - Sally Christie

I'm not even sure how I ended up with an ARC of this book. My reviews of the previous two novels weren't exactly glowing. After the end of the second novel, I had promised not to even bother with the final book in the trilogy. Well if I had a nickle for every broken promise, I'd own a lot more books. 

 

I was not blown away by the final installment of the Mistresses of Versailles trilogy. I was, however, pleasantly surprised. The manner in which the author handled the French revolution and the demise of the nobility was rather well done. I actually found myself feeling sorry for a character. This is quite the accomplishment since most of Christie's leading ladies have been nothing more than brainless, foot-stomping, spoiled brats. The leading ladies in this novel are not much different, especially Madame Adelaide, daughter of Louis XV. The reader is constantly beat over the head with Madame Adelaide's arrogant internal dialogues. I get it. She's a princess. She was raised to believe she's better than everyone else. When one is reading about French princesses who spend most of their time feasting in the halls of Versailles, the arrogance is implied. There's no need to keep reminding me. 

 

Countess du Barry was once again portrayed as just another one of Louis XV brainless mistresses who cares more for shiny jewels and new clothes than whatever is going on in the world around them. However, her end was excellent writing. If the writer had applied that level of emotion and insight to all three of these novels, I would be recommending them until I was blue in the face. 

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review 2017-01-06 00:00
The Enemies of Versailles
The Enemies of Versailles - Sally Chris... The Enemies of Versailles - Sally Christie I'm not even sure how I ended up with an ARC of this book. My reviews of the previous two novels weren't exactly glowing. After the end of the second novel, I had promised not to even bother with the final book in the trilogy. Well if I had a nickle for every broken promise, I'd own a lot more books.

I was not blown away by the final installment of the Mistresses of Versailles trilogy. I was, however, pleasantly surprised. The manner in which the author handled the French revolution and the demise of the nobility was rather well done. I actually found myself feeling sorry for a character. This is quite the accomplishment since most of Christie's leading ladies have been nothing more than brainless, foot-stomping, spoiled brats. The leading ladies in this novel are not much different, especially Madame Adelaide, daughter of Louis XV. The reader is constantly beat over the head with Madame Adelaide's arrogant internal dialogues. I get it. She's a princess. She was raised to believe she's better than everyone else. When one is reading about French princesses who spend most of their time feasting in the halls of Versailles, the arrogance is implied. There's no need to keep reminding me.

Countess du Barry was once again portrayed as just another one of Louis XV brainless mistresses who cares more for shiny jewels and new clothes than whatever is going on in the world around them. However, her end was excellent writing. If the writer had applied that level of emotion and insight to all three of these novels, I would be recommending them until I was blue in the face.
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text 2017-01-03 16:33
Reading progress update: I've read 35%.
The Enemies of Versailles: A Novel (The Mistresses of Versailles Trilogy) - Sally Christie I had promised myself that after the second installment of these books, I wasn't even going to look at the third novel. Write me down for another broken personal promise. So far in this novel there is a man who is making wigs out of the hairs of his conquests. That doesn't seem so weird right? It's not the kind of hair you have on your head.
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review 2016-07-28 17:38
If you can be disappointed in train wrecks......
The Rivals of Versailles: A Novel (The Mistresses of Versailles Trilogy) - Sally Christie
I received an advanced copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley. All of the opinions are my own.

I am actually kind of disappointed that this book wasn't as much of a train wreck as the previous novel, The Sisters of Versailles.

First I would just like to say that if the author had filled her books with the kind of writing talent she displayed in the last chapter of this novel, her books would be five star reads for me.

The women in this book are just as one dimensional as they were before. They are all a bunch of brainless magpies. Sex and fancy things are the greatest motivators of the 18th century apparently. Diane was back in all her moronic glory. Older doesn't always make for wiser. Ugh. Just ugh. I've never actually seen the show Reign but I imagine it watches much like this book reads. Very young adult.

The only reason I accepted a copy of this book was because I didn't think it could be any worse than the previous novel. Surely Madame de Pompadour is a much more interesting character than all of the Nesle sisters. Madame de Pompadour was a fascinating woman. All of the proof you need for that can be found here http://thehistorychicks.com/episode-1...

I will not be picking up book three. I just don't think I can subject myself to that again.
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review 2016-07-28 17:35
Mean Girls meats 18th Century France
The Sisters of Versailles: A Novel (The Mistresses of Versailles Trilogy) - Sally Christie

I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Have you ever seen the movie Mean Girls? Did you find yourself wondering what would happen if Mean girls were set in 18th century France? Wonder know more! The Nesle sisters are here to answers all your questions! Seriously, this novel read just like Mean Girls set at the French court in the 18th century. The biggest difference between Mean Girls and The Sisters of Versailles? I liked Mean Girls. I still like Mean Girls.

The story begins with Louise, who much like Mean Girls', Cady Heron, is horribly naive when it comes to the ways of the French aristocracy, as well as the world. Louise is dull. She has no voice of her own and is perfectly content being pushed around by people with their own agendas. Catty princesses and courtiers are constantly calling her names behind her back and to her face. Her own sisters are constantly scheming against her. The whole time she just accepts it as the way the world works. I'm not saying that people like Louise don't really exist. It's just that people like Louise make poor heroines.

Pauline is Versailles' Regina George, without the amazing hair. She is in charge and does not care who she has to step on (including her sisters) to get to the top. I could not stand Pauline. It took incredible amounts of willpower for me not to throw things or skip anything from Pauline's point of view. The letters from Pauline at the start of the novel were unbearable. It's not that I don't love a good villain (like Kate Quinn's Lepida in Mistress of Rome) but Pauline was just too much. Pauline's story arch by itself took two stars away from this review.

Sister Diane provided Versailles with its own Karen Smith. There were points where Diane made Karen Smith look like Einstein. I was hopeful Diane might develop some brains after spending sometime at court. Not so much. There were points where I felt Diane was actually growing dumber as the novel progressed.

Hortense, much like Gretchen Wieners, was just there to be another pretty face. Hortense just sort of sat there and watched everything going on around her. She thought her opinions were more important than they actually were. Much like Gretchen Wieners, nobody really listened to Hortense. I hardly even listened to Hortense.

To round out the sisters, Marie-Anne filled a Janis Ian type role. Her past made her bitter. Marie-Anne felt scorned and her sole purpose was revenge. By the time Marie-Anne's story became the center of the novel, I was so fed up with reading, I hardly paid attention. As hard as she tried not to be like Pauline, Marie-Anne ended up being a more destructive version of Pauline.

I was leery of this book from chapter one. At the start of the novel, the reader is presented with five teenage girls. I was a teenage girl once. I have no desire as an adult to read books told from the perspective of a teenage girl. I pushed through the first few chapters of the book hoping the girls would develop and mature as they aged. Nope. Never happened. At several points, it was painfully obvious this novel was being told by girls aged 15-18 years of age. There was little development. Much like Peter Pan, these girls never grew up.

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