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Their bond of sisterhood unites unlikely allies, bringing about remarkable political change over the course of their lifetimes. Well written and meticulously researched, this is a fascinating look at the lasting influences these women had on kings, countries, and history.


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For those interested in European history, this is a must read! Leave a Reply Cancel reply. The Sister Queens is historical fiction at its most compelling, and is an unforgettable first novel. She is an active member of the Historical Novel Society and lives in Virginia. Join Reader Rewards and earn your way to a free book!

Join Reader Rewards and earn points when you purchase this book from your favorite retailer. Paperback —. Add to Cart. Product Details. Inspired by Your Browsing History. But I think I know what may have happened. Any writer can tell you that there comes a time where one character grabs your attention. You find yourself compelled to write this character and sometimes other characters suffer.

I believe that may have happened--Marguerite's story was more compelling and Eleanor suffered. But once things start moving, Ms. Perinot can engage the reader. I was quite taken with how she wrote Marguerite and Jean's relationship. Normally, I wouldn't condone an affair. But she wrote it in such a way I couldn't help but root for those two to be together. The two had some of the best sex scenes in the book as well. It is really within these chapters that Perinot begins to delve into Marguerite's feelings and allows the reader to connect with her. Perinot chose to write the story in first person, which makes it more baffling about how long it took me to connect with the characters.

Perhaps I was briefly distracted by the fact the story was written in present tense. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though most writers are cautioned to stick with the past tense. And in some ways, I feel perhaps Perinot should've done so as well. There are times where Marguerite or Eleanor slide into remembering something that happened either during her girlhood or prior to the chapter.

These are written in past tense and it is jarring when the story returns to present tense. But going back to the narrator, it may not be entirely baffling why my connection took so long. The beginning of the book is more reporting than storytelling. Descriptions aren't the best until it comes to clothes.

Then Perinot almost crosses into costume porn. But if she had stopped to describe a bit more, things may have been a little different in my opinion. I do recommend it--just be patient with the beginning. It gets better, I promise. Oct 06, Crystal rated it it was amazing Shelves: , for-review , read-oct I have been on more of an historical fiction reading kick for awhile now especially since reading Sandra Byrd's novel To Die For last year so I am fascinated by the Queens that stand behind the Kings. I think we so often hear the tales of the Kings that I love the authors that are telling the tales of the queens.

Yes I know they are fiction, but I feel the authors are doing the research and telling the stories with an authenticity that at least rings true to me. Of course as I have stated before I am not a history buff, so please if you are and your read this book and come to a completely different take remember 1 I am not a history buff, I love history, but I am not one who remembers lots of historical facts or periods and 2 I read fiction purely for enjoyement. So that said I will continue with my review. Sometimes even after being completely intrigued by a synopsis I get scared when sitting down to a page historical novel.

I think nothing of reading the unabridged version of The Stand, but that is a typical genre for me.

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Historical Fiction is still new to me and I still fear I will be bored by facts and what bored me in history class. So I will admit to putting this one off. Wow am I sorry I did that. I was honestly captivated from the very first page as I read the tale of Marguerite and Eleanor, sisters who were in competition at home and then were wed off one-by-one to Kings. Now I knew absolutely nothing of these kings and not much of this time frame but it did not matter.

Perinot wove the scenery, the courts and the characters together beautifully. I felt like I was there with Marguerite and Eleanor as they became use to life in distant lands and use to life without each other and without their close family. Especially Marguerite who was not even allowed to keep her servants. As Ms. Perinot set the story I felt more and more drawn in and began to not even notice the time passing away on Saturday afternoon, nor the over pages that quickly passed.

Not only is there great character development because we get to know the girls when they are mere teenagers. But there is the intrigue of court. There are the intracies of marriage. One marriage starts off beautifully only to be thwarted by her mother-in-law. The other while the husband seems less than ideal ends up being a more than ideal match. However I think the thing I liked most besides the romance was watching each Queen observe all that went on around her and manipulate things for the good of herself not in a selfish way, usually for her husband and children and her country.

Proving that women have always moved in the background and while Ms. Clinton may have been one of the first First Ladies to do it in this country, but she hasn't been the only woman working to strengthen her man in leadership. Granted in the 13th century is was much more behind the scenes. Of course there are problems each must work through or there would not be a plot, but each problem keeps the reader and kept me turning the pages. I was so enthralled by both Marguerite and Eleanor that I had to know how they would fair, would they come out okay, would they live happily or at least satisfactorily through the end?

And where would Ms. Perinot take them next? For me that is some great company. I will be highly recommending The Sister Queens to all of my friends, even ones who don't read historical fiction. I think it's just a wonderful novel that can appeal to anyone who loves to read.

It has the intrigue of a suspense novel, the romance of a romance novel, the family story of a general fiction or family saga though not through the generations , it could be a sister novel. I even think through the historical aspect alone it could appeal to men, though the romance and sister aspect make it more of an appeal to women, but my husband seemed pretty interested when I told him about it last night.

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I just can't say enough. Perinot has crafted a well-written and well-plotted novel in The Sister Queens and I will definitely be on the look out for her novels in the future. Apr 01, Arleigh rated it it was amazing. In the thirteenth century the Count and Countess of Provence produced four beautiful daughters.

Though all married into either France or England and became Queens, the two eldest—Marguerite and Eleanor—were noted for their sisterly devotion, which would ultimately lead to the Treaty of Paris in later years. Marguerite, the eldest and first to marry, set forth to France with pleasant reports of King Louis IX, her betrothed, but unwittingly walked into a court where the Queen Mother, Blanche of Cas In the thirteenth century the Count and Countess of Provence produced four beautiful daughters.

Louis was exceptionally devoted to first religion and second to his mother, the White Queen. At first the marriage was successful and Marguerite excelled at swallowing her pride and conforming to his wishes, but as time passed and she found she had neither influence nor the affectionate devotion she so desired, her feelings began to stray to a certain courtier, Jean de Joinville, Seneschal of Champagne. Henry, like his father King John before him, was not the most apt of rulers and faced many conflicts with the powerful barons. There were storms in the marriage, which made for interesting correspondence between the sisters, and it was pleasant to witness the growing maturity and life lessons as the years went by.

Before the Treaty of Paris, France and England were pitted against each other is a dispute for power over vassal states in which Marguerite and Eleanor were in opposing camps, and the matter of their youngest sister, Beatrice, marrying into France caused a temporary rift between the sisters. Through everything the sisters remained allied, though they would not set eyes on each other for nearly two decades.

Frequent letters, which are chapter headings in the novel, sustained their friendship, containing wise words and carefully crafted rebukes and advice. Both are very well crafted historical novels with exceedingly fleshed-out characters. Jan 02, Siobian rated it it was amazing Shelves: review-copy , read-in , historical-fiction.

The Count of Provence has much to be proud of and top on the list are his beautiful daughters. Marguerite has beauty to spare on the outside and within. Being the eldest as well as the most patient and calm of the sisters, Marguerite is married to Louis IX and becomes Queen of France. Along with her crown, her marriage brings her a handsome man who Marguerite finds herself drawn to. In the early days of their marriage, Louis and she spend as much time as they can together and seem as though they The Count of Provence has much to be proud of and top on the list are his beautiful daughters.

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In the early days of their marriage, Louis and she spend as much time as they can together and seem as though they will have a compatible and wonderful match, however as Louis's mother increases her hold on him, Louis soon begins to forgo his marriage duties in order to better serve the church.

Eleanor, equally beautiful but more strong-willed and outspoken than her sister, marries Henry III to become Queen of England. Though Henry is several years her elder and not as handsome as she would have hoped, he dotes on her and is determined to make her every wish his command. They strike up a well-knit marriage that allows Eleanor to speak her mind but keep Henry close. In the midst of their reign, Eleanor soon discovers that while Henry tries his best and is a very good man, he is not a very good king and she must decide to either overlook this or try to use her influence to change him.

Told from the perspectives of Marguerite and Eleanor, this is a novel that I quickly lost myself in. It was written beautifully and Perinot does an amazing job of bringing these two characters to life. The sisters were well balanced in their personalities and I found myself vacillating between admiration and favor of one sister to the other sister and then back again as I progressed in the story. There were times when I found myself thinking, "Oh, well Eleanor would have handled that better" or "You should have done what Marguerite would have done" as though I were thinking and weighing the actions of people I had known for years.

In addition to the sisters, Perinot gives readers a different perspective of Henry and Louis beyond what they did for their countries during their reigns. Instead, it focuses on the relationships they have with their wives and children and shows that even if they might have been one of the most favored kings, they were not necessarily the best husband or father.

It was a wonderful book and I cannot recommend it enough because of its realistic characters and the historical setting that it was obvious Perinot took years researching to create. Sep 15, Jenny Q rated it it was amazing Shelves: review-copy , historical-fiction-faves , best-of Sophie Perinot has crafted a fantastic tale of two sisters who were born and raised to greatness, and managed to remain true to each other even though their husbands were adversaries.

Not to say they didn't have some ups and downs and arguments and rivalries as sisters will have, and though they both ascend to the same lofty position, they each have their own path to take, with vastly different results. The story alternates between the sisters as they begin their marriages and take up their role Sophie Perinot has crafted a fantastic tale of two sisters who were born and raised to greatness, and managed to remain true to each other even though their husbands were adversaries. The story alternates between the sisters as they begin their marriages and take up their roles as queens, seamlessly interweaving the histories of both kingdoms with their personal stories, and taking the reader on a journey throughout 13th century Provence, Paris, London, and the Holy Land.

The sisters keep up a regular correspondence, confiding their hopes and fears to each other as Eleanor strives to support her husband's largely ineffectual rule, and as Marguerite endures her husband's lack of interest and her overbearing mother-in-law's cruelty, and their stories are as full of glamour, passion, and high drama as queen's lives should be. I took my time savoring this exceptional historical fiction debut.

Sophie Perinot's writing style is simple and honest and all the more eloquent for it. Although Ms. Perinot's style is deliciously more sexy : There's not a word out of place, and I must have marked a dozen beautiful passages of description and observation.


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  • Whether the emotion is grief, anger, or love, Perinot gives it life and evokes it from the reader. She gives her queens the freedom to be real women, with all of their hopes and dreams and triumphs and disappointments, yet she keeps them within the constraints of their time. Though they are both wise and passionate women, they are also subservient to their husbands and defined by their roles as consorts.

    The story is well-crafted and perfectly paced, culminating in the coming together of the English and French courts and a long-awaited reunion of the sisters that has a few surprises in store, and that will leave a lasting mark on history. I couldn't put it down and relished the poignant ending.

    And Perinot has included a great author's note explaining the choices she made and how she arrived at some of her conclusions. Historical fiction lovers rejoice! A new and true talent has arrived on the scene! Oct 04, Natasa rated it really liked it Shelves: french-history , plantagenets , medieval-england , marguerite-ofprovence , eleanor-of-provence. The pages of this book absolutely flew by, it is a testimony to just how well written these characters were and how invested in their lives I became.

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    You are simply sucked into all the hardships that these women face. It is hard not to connect to their relationship. A superb read. Dec 10, Stephanie rated it really liked it Shelves: historical-fiction , to-read. The two sisters grew up together at their father's-Count Raymond of Provence-court. They are separated at an early age to marry, they find their life as they know it completely changed and become two extraordinary women who face many challenges. Marguerite marries King Louis of France and is often neglected by him.

    She struggles to fulfill her role as Queen by his side. Eleanor, whose husband is King Henry III of England, is not considered a strong leader to his kingdom but is a good husband and adores her. But as the years go by their marriage becomes strained and Eleanor struggles to bring back that spark in their relationship. Although this story centers on Marguerite and Eleanor, they have two other sisters- Beatrice and Sanchia- who married the brothers of King Henry and King Louis.

    Their marriages help bond the relationship between the two countries. The marriages of all the sisters were obviously for political advantage and more power. Which is intriguing to read about and I find that I admire their courage, strength and their amazing resilience to adapt to any situation they encounter. At the beginning of each chapter you read a letter from Marguerite to Eleanor and vice versa- as they corresponded through the years.

    As I read their letters, I found myself enthralled with their devotion to each other. For me, the letters were the highlight of the story told. The alternating point of views told by the two sisters was well developed and easy to follow along. One can tell Perinot takes pride in her work and it shows through the pages and the characters voices as their lives unfold. The compelling interpretation of Marguerite and Eleanor is believable and admirable. Stories such as this are timeless and Perinot brings the 13th century back to life through this captivating novel.

    I hold this story in high affection and it is certainly praiseworthy! I rated this story four and a half stars. Stephanie www. Mar 24, Patty rated it really liked it. Most historical fiction books tend to focus on the men. I think that this is because far more information comes down through history about them. Particularly the further back in time you go. Women were little more than chattel in the time period of The Sister Queens - oh and brood mares.

    They were pretty much worthless if they didn't provide an heir; especially noble women. This is why I truly enjoy books told from the viewpoint of the wives - and I really like them when I have read books from t Most historical fiction books tend to focus on the men. This is why I truly enjoy books told from the viewpoint of the wives - and I really like them when I have read books from the same time period from the point of view of the men.

    The Sister Queens fills that bill perfectly. It tells the tale of two daughters of Provence who went on to become the queens of France and England in the thirteenth century. The sisters are very close before they are separated and remain close for most of their lives. The book pulled me in from the start. It alternates between the sisters with fictionalized letters between them as chapter headers. Perinot remarks in her Author's Note that she is herself a sister so she well knows the bonds that sisters develop.

    Both Marguerite and Eleanor have arrogant personalities that come from being born to rule. Eleanor I think more than her sister due to being the second born. History notes she was a "virago" and she was not well loved by the English people. Marguerite had to contend with her overbearing mother in law, Blanche of Castille who ruled Louis with an iron thumb. Perinot's characterization of the two women is fascinating and I found it quite hard to put the book down; in fact, I read it in one sitting. I love writing that grabs you and won't let you go like that. I want to continue with these two women and their complicated men.

    I hope that Ms. Perinot is considering further books on unsung women in history as she does have a magical way with words.

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    A way that brings long dead characters to very real life. Readers also enjoyed. Videos About This Book. More videos About Sophie Perinot. Sophie Perinot. Sophie Perinot writes historical fiction. The Sister Queens weaves the captivating story of medieval sisters, Marguerite and Eleanor of Provence, who both became queens — their lifelong friendship, their rivalry, and their reigns.

    Martin is Sophie Perinot writes historical fiction. Martin is set three-hundred years later--at intrigue-riven 16th century French Valois court. Medicis Daughter spins the tale of beautiful princess Marguerite who walks the knife edge between the demands of her serpentine mother, Catherine de Medicis, and those of her own conscience. With a publication date of October and already available for pre-order Ribbons offers a gutsy and sometimes gritty telling of the French Revolution from an entirely female perspective. Perinot has both a BA in History and a law degree.

    She left the law to pursue artistic interests, including writing. An avid reader, especially of classic literature, and life-long student of history, it seemed only natural that Sophie should write historical fiction. As someone who studied French abroad and a devotee of Alexandre Dumas, French history was a logical starting point. Find her on facebook at www. Books by Sophie Perinot. Trivia About The Sister Queens. Quotes from The Sister Queens. Seek God's glory in the Holy Land rather than your own, that I may see you in heaven if never again in France.

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