Buggy’s Review of The Devil’s Queen by Jeanne Kalogridis

Book Description from Goodreads

From Jeanne Kalogridis, the bestselling author of I, Mona Lisa and The Borgia Bride, comes a new novel that tells the passionate story of a queen who loved not wisely . . . but all too well.

Confidante of Nostradamus, scheming mother-in-law to Mary, Queen of Scots, and architect of the bloody St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, Catherine de Medici is one of the most maligned monarchs in history. In her latest historical fiction, Jeanne Kalogridis tells Catherine’s story—that of a tender young girl, destined to be a pawn in Machiavellian games.

Born into one of Florence’s most powerful families, Catherine was soon left a fabulously rich heiress by the early deaths of her parents. Violent conflict rent the city state and she found herself imprisoned and threatened by her family’s enemies before finally being released and married off to the handsome Prince Henry of France.

Overshadowed by her husband’s mistress, the gorgeous, conniving Diane de Poitiers, and unable to bear children, Catherine resorted to the dark arts of sorcery to win Henry’s love and enhance her fertility—for which she would pay a price. Against the lavish and decadent backdrop of the French court, and Catherine’s blood-soaked visions of the future, Kalogridis reveals the great love and desire Catherine bore for her husband, Henry, and her stark determination to keep her sons on the throne.


Are you a feline who enjoys court intrigue? Love historical fiction and are in need of a book to read? Might I suggest Jeanne Kalogridis’s The Devil’s Queen: A Novel of Catherine de Medici. I guarantee that this book has something for everyone.

Told by Catherine de Medici herself, the book focuses on her life beginning with her family’s surrendering of their control over Florence and Catherine’s subsequent imprisonment to the events leading up to the bloody St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre.

Kalogridis does a superb job of blending historical facts with fictional dialogue. Her attention to detail, the general pace of the story, and her expansion on what could have happened to result in important historical moments in Catherine’s life, creates a well told story which is both informative and intriguing. A feline has to wonder whether events really played out as Kalogridis depicts.

I found Catherine de Medici to be a strong female character. From the very start you can see how calculating and mature she is even as a child. It was very hard for me to not like Catherine, though at times I felt pity for her because the life she was born into was not an easy one and it is a shame she had to face so much grief and trauma at such a young age.

Overall, I give this book four paws and you can be sure that I will be reading Kalogridis’s other historical fiction novels.

Posted on October 7, 2011, in Book Reviews. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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