The Shadow Queen

The Shadow Queen

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
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Paris, 1660. As the daughter of itinerant actors who once lit up the Parisian stages, Claudette always thought her future lay in the theatre. But a series of chance encounters pull her into the alluring orbit of the most powerful woman in France, Athenais de Montespan, the unofficial mistress to Louis XIV and reigning “Shadow Queen.” Impetuous by nature, Athenais wields a disconcerting amount of power in court, a fact that has ruffled many of the Sun King's key advisors. Claudette leaves the world of theatre to serve Athenais, only to find that court is very much like a stage, with outward shows of loyalty masking more devious intentions. This parallel is not lost on Athenais, who fears political enemies are plotting her ruin while young courtesans are scheming to take her place in the king's bed. As Athenais begins to lose her grip on the Sun King, the charms she has been using take on a sinister character, making Claudette question her allegiance to this mercurial figure, and putting her life and the lives of her loved ones in jeopardy.
Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollinsPublishersLtd., c2014
Edition: 1st Canadian ed
ISBN: 9781554687817
Branch Call Number: GUL
Characteristics: 321 p. :,geneal. table ;,24 cm

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m
missm113
Dec 16, 2015

I listened to this on audio cd, such a wonderful and unique story.

k
kittypetersen
Nov 23, 2015

A good read. Realistic historical details of court life of Louis XIV.

b
Blabbermouth
Jul 05, 2015

This was a good book, not brilliant but good. I would try at least one more of Sandra Gulland's writings.

Although the novel is very well researched, the writer misses the mark, walking the line between chick-lit and a significant historical novel with complex characters living amongst forces vying for power at the expense of the poor. There were significant gaps in the plot development, especially in the end. Where did Claudette's mother get the money to invest and turn a profit? Why was there just one monestry who would take the disabled brother and who were its progressive leaders? This author missed her opportunity to write a great book, it is merely a good book.

ChristchurchLib May 25, 2014

"Born into a family of actors, Claudette leaves her parents' theater troupe to become the companion of King Louis XIV's mistress Athénaïs de Rochechouart, Madame de Montespan, also known as The Shadow Queen for her influence over the king. Serving as both confidante and spy, Claudette employs her theatrical talents to keep her mistress informed about friends and rivals alike. However, Athénaïs' increasing fascination with dark magic troubles Claudette, forcing her to question their arrangement and reevaluate her own precarious position at court. Royal intrigue writ large against an atmospheric backdrop distinguishes this 2nd book in the Sun Court Duet, after Mistress of the Sun." Historical Fiction May 2014 newsletter http://www.libraryaware.com/996/NewsletterIssues/ViewIssue/e50d3b6d-378e-4915-9d8d-81d97c403015?postId=c0b70f16-386e-48a4-b591-361bd05d1065

ehbooklover May 05, 2014

Another wonderfully engrossing and well-researched historical novel by Sandra Gulland. This particular title focuses on the life of Claude des Oeillets, who evolves from a lowly player in the Parisian theatre community to become the attendant and confidante of one of Louis XIV’s most powerful and influential mistresses.

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