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The Devil's Queen: A Novel of Catherine de Medici    by Jeanne Kalogridis order for
Devil's Queen
by Jeanne Kalogridis
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

A gripping tale, this is the story of Catherine of Medici, who has the good fortune to be a very intelligent and direct descendent of Lorenzo, Il Magnifico, and the misfortune to be rather plain in appearance. We follow her from childhood to the end of her son Charles' reign in France, and throughout she is surrounded by conflict and violence.

Released from confinement in Italy at a very young age, she is quickly married off to Prince Henry of France, who has no interest in her whatever. Her position is worsened over the years because she is childless, and so she resorts to sorcery - a long-held interest. The price she, her husband, whom she truly loves, and the children she finally does conceive must pay is well documented in this novel. Catherine's determination to keep the Valois name on the French throne, a promise she makes to her dying husband, is pivotal and becomes the source of the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre.

Author Kalogridis writes with a sure hand. This first-person account describes in vivid detail both the intrigue in the French court and its decadence. We are caught up in the day-to-day life of a woman quick to learn that the people she loves most just might be the ones who will most successfully betray her.

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