In the final installment of Sally Christie’s “tantalizing” (New York Daily News) Mistresses of Versailles trilogy, Jeanne Becu, a woman of astounding beauty but humble birth, works her way from the grimy back streets of Paris to the palace of Versailles, where the aging King Louis XV has become a jaded and bitter old philanderer. Jeanne bursts into his life and, as the Comtesse du Barry, quickly becomes his official mistress.
“That beastly bourgeois Pompadour was one thing; a common prostitute is quite another kettle of fish.”
After decades of suffering the King’s endless stream of Royal Favorites, the princesses of the Court have reached a breaking point. Horrified that he would bring the lowborn Comtesse du Barry into the hallowed halls of Versailles, Louis XV’s daughters, led by the indomitable Madame Adelaide, vow eternal enmity and enlist the young dauphiness Marie Antoinette in their fight against the new mistress. But as tensions rise and the French Revolution draws closer, a prostitute in the palace soon becomes the least of the nobility’s concerns.
Told in Christie’s witty and engaging style, the final book in The Mistresses of Versailles trilogy will delight and entrance fans as it once again brings to life the sumptuous and cruel world of eighteenth century Versailles, and France as it approaches irrevocable change.
Normally I am one of those people that has to read trilogies in the correct order, but here lately I’ve read two series out of order. I don’t know what has come over me. I will go back and read The Rivals of Versailles, really I will.
The Enemies of Versailles is a great blend of history and fiction, just like The Sisters of Versailles. I love the way Sally Christie writes from the different characters viewpoints. I especially liked Madame Adelaide’s. It is interesting that Louis XV’s daughters were allowed to stay unmarried, the wars they waged on his favorite mistresses, and the influence they had on Marie Antoinette. At first, I found that du Barry was a much more compelling character than Adelaide. Adelaide was very pompous about her nobility while du Barry was, at first, doing what she could to survive and eventually coming to love Louis.
When you open this book it is like entering a time machine, and being there to enjoy every aspect of Versailles…the food, jewels, attire. It is almost like you are there, which made me dread the book coming to an end.
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
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