The Sister Queens by Sophie Perinot
Reviewed as a part of Historical Fiction Book Tours
Twitter Event Hashtag: #SisterQueensVirtualBookTour
I don't know about you guys, but I don't have a sister. Three older brothers, yes, but the friendship and closeness of a sister, no. This is one reason why I was so anxious to read The Sister Queens! I was eager to experience what it was like to have a sister all through the eyes of our two heroines.
As you probably guessed, Marguerite and Eleanor are sisters as well as queens. Marguerite, the older sister, becomes the Queen of France in 1234 when she marries Louis IX. Louis is young, handsome, and an excellent king, but he denies Marguerite affection and trust. A few years later, Eleanor marries Henry III of England and initially finds her new husband and king to be extremely old (he's 28!) and less than handsome. Henry's rule is not the most effective, but he is a deeply kind and caring man that she grows to love passionately. Over the next 20 years, Marguerite and Eleanor never meet in person, but they still remain close and confidantes though separated.
The tagline of this books is something along the lines of "Like most sisters, Marguerite and Eleanor were rivals...," and let's just say this could not be more true! While they were best friends, they were also each others greatest enemies. They tried to oust each other and win their battles vicariously through their husbands. Children, war, money, and power were all ways they could triumph over the other. Still, through all this, they were completely and truly devoted to each other. Almost the entire was through, I was so envious of their sisterly bonds, something I've never known.
This is an excellent slice of an extremely interesting period of time. We get the politics and social aspects of not one but two countries (always a bonus!) as well as in the the latter part of the book, Louis' crusade to the Holy Land. I felt very connected to them and their personalities were extremely opposite and varied. I enjoyed watching the sisters grow from young teenagers to mature mothers, queens, and friends. Recommended to all historical fiction lovers!
One of you readers has a chance to win a copy of this fabulous book! The giveaway is open to US residents only and will run until March 28th. Enter HERE, good luck!