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Read Your Way Around the World – French Royalty

Read Your Way Around the World invites you to explore France’s history through the trials and tribulations, the lives and loves of France’s royal houses.

The Winter Crown by Elizabeth Chadwick

“While her husband King Henry II battles for land across the channel, Eleanor fulfils her duty as acting ruler and bearer of royal children. But she wants to be more than this – if only Henry would let her. Instead, Henry belittles and excludes her, falling for a young mistress and leaving Eleanor side-lined and angry. And as her sons become young men, frustrated at Henry’s hoarding of power, Eleanor is forced into a rebellion of devastating consequences. She knows how much Henry needs her, but does Henry know himself? Overflowing with scandal, politics, sex, triumphs and tragedies, The Winter Crown is the much-awaited new novel in this trilogy and a rich, compelling story in its own right.” publisher

The Royal Succession by Maurice Druon

“An absorbing novel of fourteenth century France – its magnificence, its dissipation. Louis X dies of poison leaving his lovely wife pregnant, his country in turmoil. Philippe of Poitiers, his brother, surrounded by dangers, must use any means to save his country from anarchy. Civil war, witchcraft, trickery, force of arms, the lechery of Queen Clemence, the murder of a royal child – all these marked his rapid ascent to the throne.” publisher

The Shadow Queen by Sandra Gulland

“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

The Queen and the Courtesan by Freda Lightfoot

“Henriette d’Entragues isn’t satisfied with simply being the mistress of Henry IV of France; she wants a crown too. Despite his promises to marry her, the King is obliged by political necessity to ally himself with a rich Italian princess. But Henriette isn’t one for giving up easily. All she has to do to achieve her ambition is to give Henry a son, and then do whatever it takes to set him on the throne.” publisher

Before Versailles: a novel of Louis XIV by Karleen Koen

“Before Versailles transports you to a world of secret passions and plots, a world of duplicity and malice…a world that created one of the best–known monarchs to grace the French throne. At the most decisive time in the young king’s life, Louis XIV can taste the danger. His court teems with greed and corruption, the wrong woman draws him into a wrenching love affair, and a mysterious boy in an iron mask haunts the woods. The untried ruler is coming into his own in 1661, and Louis XIV must face what he is willing to sacrifice for honor and for love. Meticulously researched and gorgeously brought to life by New York Times bestselling author Karleen Koen, Before Versailles offers up a sumptuous, authentic exploration of a time that forged a man into a king.” publisher

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Welcome to The Reader, a blog from the Readers' Services staff at Halifax Public Libraries. Our goal is to create a forum for book news and related discussion among leisure readers. A place for Halifax leisure readers to interact with their library and the larger community of leisure readers.

 

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