The Sister Queens

The Sister Queens Patient, Perfect, And Used To Being First, Marguerite Becomes Queen Of France But Louis IX Is A Religious Zealot Who Denies Himself The Love And Companionship His Wife Craves Can She Borrow Enough Of Her Sister S Boldness To Grasp Her Chance For Happiness In A Forbidden Love Passionate, Strong Willed, And Stubborn, Eleanor Becomes Queen Of England Henry III Is A Good Man, But Not A Good King Can Eleanor Stop Competing With Her Sister And Value What She Has, Or Will She Let It Slip Away The Sister Queens Is Historical Fiction At Its Most Compelling, And Is An Unforgettable First Novel , Sophie is a regular contributor to the group writers blog From the Write Angle

[Ebook] ➮ The Sister Queens  ➭ Sophie Perinot –
  • Paperback
  • 503 pages
  • The Sister Queens
  • Sophie Perinot
  • English
  • 26 September 2019
  • 9780451235701

10 thoughts on “The Sister Queens

  1. says:

    As a disclaimer, I will admit that Sophie Perinot is a friend of mine, and I very much hope that her debut novel The Sister Queens hits the New York Times list and is then made into a blockbuster film starring Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lawrence in fabulous silk dresses But I do not post false reviews, even for my friends had I read The Sister Queens and disliked it, I would have called Sophie up and lied like a rug, saying that I hadn t had a chance to read it yet and blah blah blah I would certainly not post a glowing review, since I only review books I genuinely like I read The Sister Queens, I loved The Sister Queens, and I would have loved it whether I knew the author or not End of disclaimer Sister drama that isn t about Anne and Mary Boleyn bliss Marguerite and Eleanor of Provence are sort of like the high medieval version of the Middleton sisters poised and gorgeous heiresses comfortable in the spotlight of the world stage Women want to be them men and importantly, kings want to marry them Demure Marguerite Kate Middleton will wed Louis IX and become queen of France, and fiery Eleanor Pippa Middleton will marry Henry III and become Queen of England Through the next twenty years their letters cross the channel, telling of husbands and children and crusades and bitchy mothers in law, and their closeness never fades Sister drama is at the heart of this novel, but true sister drama, not the soap opera rivalry of less subtle novels Eleanor may feel competitive with Marguerite, and Marguerite may lecture Eleanor, but their closeness transcends both petty cat fighting and national politics In a refreshing change for a female driven novel, the men here are not just paper doll accessories to the women, but complex and fully rounded characters in their own right Henry of England is a flawed and impulsive ruler but a doting husband and a loving father Louis of France is an able administrator but also a religious fanatic who sees no evil in burning the lips off a man who takes the name of the Lord in vain The sisters face opposing problems in their marriages Eleanor struggling to guide her husband away from political mistakes but reveling in their mutual love Marguerite admiring Louis s political acumen but withering slowly under his coldness The writing is polished and easy, the voices natural and distinct The expert use of present tense brings immediacy to what might be a very foreign setting I rooted especially for Marguerite, and I longed to drop an anvil on King Louis s smug head The Sister Queens is an accomplished debut for Sophie Perinot, and I will be pleased to read anything else she publishes without the inward fear of Oh no, what if I hate my friend s book

  2. says:

    Read This Review More Like It On My Blog This is the type of book I am constantly looking for in the historical fiction genre, and rarely seem to stumble across it s very engaging from the outset, it s lively to read with actualized characters in stead of cardboard historical cutouts, and it s mostly, somewhat accurate Sophie Perinot may indeed be a first time author, but you certainly wouldn t know that from reading her debut novel The Sister Queens tells the captivating and contrasting stories of two proud sisters from Savoy and I was never bored reading about these two fascinating and strong women This novel is an impressive and lengthy addition to the Tudor heavy historical fiction genre, and miraculously, one that despite its nearly 530 page length, never bores I personally read a lot of Tudor era historical fiction, but this was just the right palate cleanser for all the Howards, Boleyns and Stuarts I usually see re imagined Thus, I may not have known as much about or been as familiar with the facts and history of the times the novel takes place during 1234 1255 going into this, but the characters were so vivid and alive that I felt compelled to research the actual personages upon finishing Ms Perinot s creation is indelibly her own, but I appreciate the factually influenced way she presented both her story and her characters.Marguerite and Eleanor are both sisters and, eventually, Queens, but it is the first bond than anything that defines them the most They are each others touchstone, especially once they are separated with Marguerite in France and Eleanor in England Especially since each country viewed their foreign Savoyard Queens as less than appealing, their dependent relationship with the other is realistic and sympathetic The Sister Queens interjects epistolary fabricated letters between the two before every chapter and each missive between the two reinforces just how close these women remained, though separated by years, wars, religion, distance The POV shifts back and forth between the two, usually at the chapter breaks While this could ve been easily confusing, the voices of each respective Queen is very distinctive and identifiable I didn t even really notice the use of present tense for the first few chapters I just felt that everything in the novel very immediate, in a good way I could tell when I was reading Eleanor and when I was reading Marguerite before names places popped up in their thoughts The relationship between Marguerite and Eleanor, proud daughters of Savoy is the most compelling and emotional of the entire novel unlike the relationships with their respective husbands, the relationship between the pair is as close to equals as the two can find in their lives Their is an obvious amount of love between the two, but Perinot early on creatively slides in subtle hints of discord and strife that mar every sisterhood and that will eventually come to affect their bond Eleanor is the younger, covetous and strident of the two, and my personal favorite of the novel She is a woman very concerned with fairness and what s right, at least what s right according to her character traits that will cause her unforeseen problems with both her husband and sister later in life While I liked the personal evolution that both women undertake during the events of the book, I felt that Eleanor was personally identifiable for me as a reader Marguerite, especially as her marriage and happiness in that marriage, waned was trouble for me to invest within Perinot s deft foreshadowing on the troublesome piety of Louis IX sets the scene for Marguerite s woes early, but I only cared when she finally took some happiness for herself, rather than sit and pine and wait for her husband to extend some to her Eleanor grows from an imperious, headstrong girl mostly concerned with what she possesses and controls into a gracious, intelligent queen that is both capable of reigning solely unheard of at that time in history and tampering her less able King and husband s governing impulses While neither husband King of either sister could be rightly termed a good king Henry is very ignorant of the feelings of the populace Barons that control his country, Louis IX abandons his France for the Holy Land for SEVEN YEARS , both women show their ability to step up and make hard decisions when the menfolk can t seem to get the job done right.While Eleanor was my self professed favorite character, I do love a good villain Blanche of Castile comprises that role for the bulk of the novel for Marguerite, and the Dragon of Castile made a malicious and well mannered antagonist The t te t tes between Blanche and her daughter in law show a different side to the usually meek and accepting Marguerite the first hints of future independence are shown clearly in her lack of deference to the dowager Queen While later duties of antagonism were ably handled by her bumbling and ascetic son, Blanche commands attention even when not on the page Her tussles with her daughter in love over her son Marguerite s husband illustrate perfectly how alone and powerless Marguerite was in France Not for her was her sister Eleanor s life of mutual love and respect, which itself was far from typical of the Royal couples of the day Because of Blanche, Marguerite is a nonentity at the court of which she is Queen This disparate use of power and control contrasts tidily with the life of Eleanor who schemes and manipulates her own court outright The difference between the sisters is that Eleanor makes things happen, whereas view spoiler until Jean hide spoiler

  3. says:

    Marguerite and Eleanor of Provence both have the famed beauty of the Savoyard family, and the connections to win them crowns Marguerite s comes first, when she is married to Louis IX, the King of France The two sisters, still very much children, tearfully part from each other in the shared bedroom of their father s castle on the night before Marguerite s departure, destined not to meet again for twenty years.But their letters to each other bridge the distance between them, even when Eleanor becomes the bride of Henry III, King of England Though the two Kings clash over land, the sisters continue to send missives as family members rather than Queens of rival countries.The letters may be able to bridge the gap between their homes, but the dichotomies of their lives are not so easily conquered Marguerite finds Louis to be a capable and admirable King, yet he is domineered by his mother, and his passion for God far outweighs any interest in his wife Henry III is a compassionate and loving husband, a true father to his children and companion to his wife Yet his kingship leaves much to be desired, and Eleanor can t help but compare his shortcomings with those of Marguerite s husband, especially when Louis takes the cross to go on Crusade.As the years pass the sisters learn to set aside their rivalry and learn from each other instead, as Marguerite borrows Eleanor s fiery fortitude in an attempt to win back her husband s affection and ends up falling into the arms of another man instead Meanwhile, after a political clash with Henry, Eleanor adopts Marguerite s calmer demeanor and sets aside her pride in order to restore her marriage to what it had been.Spanning twenty years and an array of countries, THE SISTER QUEENS takes the reader to the courts of England and France, the warm and welcoming countryside of Provence, and the bloody crush of the Crusades Politics and family, Kingly ambitions and sibling rivalry, love and lust all come into play between the pages, unfolding in a mesmerizing story about two Queens who were sisters above all else.

  4. says:

    Sophie Perinot brings to life the story of two sisters, Marguerite, and Eleanor, the two eldest daughters of the Count of Provence and granddaughters of the Count of Savoy, who became the Queens of France and England during the 13th century The book follows these two women as they begin their married lives and covers many years of their adulthood as they navigate the politics at both court and with each other It is hard enough to be sisters, but when you are Queens of two countries that are ancient rivals, that is going to be tough The story is told to us in first person, present tense and alternates in narration between the two women This could be considered to be difficult because both Marguerite and Eleanor really led such interesting lives and there were certain events that could have been fleshed out ie Simon de Montfort However,Perinot makes it work by creating pretend letters between the two sisters at the beginning of each chapter As a result, each voice is distinct without one queen overshadowing the other Although the focus is primarily on the lives of the sisters, I found myself really enjoying King Louis of France and King Henry of England even when their wives didn t.They were not cookie cutter stereotypes either, Perinot really tried to flesh out their good points and the flaws that each man had Henry was a wonderful father and husband, but made some poor choices as ruler of England On the contrast, Louis was a determined ruler and defender of his faith,but lacked understanding when it came to his wife and children I feel that my favorite moment between Louis and Marguerite was on the ship back to France after the Crusade when he makes it known that he is aware of her deceit Oh the crackling tension If you like this book, check out Four Sisters, All Queens and Falls the Shadow

  5. says:

    Despite my boredom with the Tudors, I still have a thing for royals, and I just couldn t pass up a novel about Eleanor of Provence not to be confused with Eleanor of Aquitaine At nearly 500 pages, I started salivating when I began the novel if I liked Perinot s articulation of Eleanor of Provence and her sister Marguerite, I wanted to be able to hang with them and happily, Perinot doesn t disappoint.Beginning in 1234, the novel follows Marguerite and Eleanor as they enter in to royal marriages Marguerite to Louis IX of France and Eleanor to Henry III of England and the novel alternates chapters between the two sisters Unusually, Perinot uses present tense, which normally aggravates me, but for whatever reason, worked in this novel I felt present in the activity and never confused about the dual story lines, despite the piles of intrigue, drama, marital sexiness and familial angst Perinot s writing style is casual and modern, but not anachronistic, and I raced through the book Her characters felt real, especially those problematic kings, and I appreciated the way she tried to keep everyone human save for, perhaps, Marguerite s vile mother in law.In her Author s Note, Perinot explains what changes she made to the historical timeline but interestingly enough, I don t think she aged up the heroines Eleanor is married at 13 to a 28 year old and Marguerite marries at 14, and both women are sexual with their husbands rather immediately It was discomforting for me but handled well by Perinot, and the sex in the book felt sexy and plotty in equal part I wouldn t describe this as a YA novel despite the teenaged heroines What I also liked about this book was the focus on the mundane aspects of these two royal sisters While they were competitive, in a way, they were also outsiders at their respective courts, viewed suspiciously, and I enjoyed Perinot s articulation of their relationship.A winning debut I can t wait for Perinot s next offering

  6. says:

    The Sister Queens is one of the most beautifully written books I have ever had the pleasure of reading I found myself rereading passages several times, in awe of the way Sophie Perinot s mind works Not only is the writing captivating, but the story of two sisters who became queens and spent many years apart brought me to tears on than on occasion This sweeping epic takes us from royal births in the queens bedchambers to gripping adventures on the high seas with exquisite, fascinating detail I cannot wait for the author s next book

  7. says:

    Great read Thank God for Goodreads I probably would not have bothered with this book and several other historical fiction novels because the covers of the books look like those found on cheap romantic novels How wrong This book is historical fiction at its best and all the positive reviews I found on Goodreads tempted me to read it Glad I did.

  8. says:

    My first Sophie Perinot novel and I really enjoyed this historical fiction book It was about strong female queens who really lived and had a big impact in a male dominated world Medieval fiction at its best and no it was not about Henry VIII It is great to find an author who can write about the medieval period and kings and queens without it being about Henry VIII or one of his wives.

  9. says:

    In interest of full disclosure, I received an advanced copy of this book through first reads.This delightful little gem has turned out to be one of my favorite reads of the year The story is told through the eyes of Eleanor and Marguerite, using alternating chapters to give each woman her voice.This format is something I traditionally do not like as I find that it usually interrupts the story for me However, here it was done so well, it actually enhances the story.Sophie Perinot does a fantastic job of fleshing out the characters All of the characters are so alive and real, each complete with their own flaws and their own voices.The story line itself moves at a relatively quick pace, but always had me wanting to know what was going to happen next.The only complaint I have is that the book ended entirely too soon I wanted it to keep going I wanted to read about the lives of these two women and their Kings until their lives were over This debut novel is absolutely fantastic Any fan of historical fiction would enjoy it I look forward to seeing what else this author publishes

  10. says:

    I tried to read The Other Boleyn Girl many years ago, but I never got around to finishing it I don t remember why, but somehow I lost interest in the medieval setting, the neverending intrigues, etc However, The Sister Queens proved to be a compelling read it was realistic and nuanced and melodious without being too grating Looking forward to of this author s works.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *