Historical Fiction; Inspirational
1st in Trilogy
Summary: Rachelle is a "daughter of silk," part of a famous couturiere family, who has been assigned to dress Princess Marguerite. While ensnared in court life, she flirts with the dashing Marquis Fabien and struggles to maintain her Huguenot faith in the face of court corruption and Catholic fanatics.
Likes: I may be confused but I thought Rachelle was the main character and she hardly makes an appearance in the last pages. I'm not complaining because they were really gripping and were my favorite part.
The history is fascinating to me. The political struggles of Bourbon, Valois, and Guise, and Protestant vs Catholic are super interesting although not the most clearly delineated in this story. I'm not familiar with this time period so I don't know about the accuracy of everything although it's very interesting so that's good. It's also interesting because Chaikin seems to be Protestant and would thus support the Huguenots but has to walk a tightrope between the extremists of the sides.
Dislikes: I didn't understand the appeal of Fabien who is apparently one of the most sought after men at court; I prefer a man whose appeal isn't so blatant.
I'm not a fan of the portrayal of Catherine de Medici. I feel like it fits in to the history of demonizing powerful women who worked the patriarchal system. I would prefer a more sympathetic depiction.
I didn't like that this did not have the year in which it occurs prominently displayed. It must be about 1558/59. I also don't like the sprinkling of French words: either use all French or all English, please! For example, oncles is consistently used throughout the text instead uncles. This is not necessary and it doesn't add anything to my enjoyment or ease of reading.
And why do they all have to have the same names?! Louis this, Louis that; the relationships and roles of the minor characters were confusing.
Overall: 4/5. I'm excited for the rest of the trilogy, reviews of which are coming.
Cover: I like the cover; that is what first attracted me to the series.