#BookReview: Medicis Daughter by Sophie Perinot

Reviewer: Mary

I received a review copy

medicis daughterSummary:

It’s the winter of 1564 and the beautiful young Princess Margot is summoned to her mother’s household, where her true education begins in earnest. Known across Europe as Madame la Serpente, Queen Catherine is an intimidating and unmoving presence in France, even as her country recovers from the first of many devastating religious wars. Among the crafty nobility of Queen Catherine’s royal court, Margot learns the intriguing and unspoken rules she must live by to please her manipulative family.

Eager to be an obedient daughter, Margot embraces her role as a pawn to be married off to the most convenient bidder. Despite her loyalty, Margot finds herself charmed by the powerful and charismatic Duc de Guise and falls for him even as she is promised to another. Finally setting aside her happiness for duty, Margot leaves the man she loves for Henri of Navarre, a Huguenot leader and a notorious heretic. Yet Queen Catherine’s schemes are endless, and Margot’s brother plots vengeance in the streets of Paris. Forced to choose between her family and what’s right, Margot at last finds the strength within herself to forge her own destiny.

Médicis Daughter is historical fiction at its finest, weaving a unique coming-of-age story and a forbidden love with one of the most dramatic and violent events in French history.


Medicis Daughter is a historical novel filled with passion, greed, murder and deceit. Set in the French courts during the 16th century, the reader meets a young and eager Princess Margot who wants nothing more than to return to court with her mother, Catherine de Medicis, Queen of France. Her sole purpose in life is to marry a prince that will leverage her family’s power in the religious wars—the one thing she believes will win the love and approval of her cold and frigid mother. Yet, Margot can’t seem to fulfill her duty after she is denied by not one, but two men! She soon learns that life in the palace is a cruel game of manipulation and lies, and in order to please her family she must play along. Her feelings, morals and even the love of her life are pushed aside as Margot is betrothed to the last person she would choose as her husband. It isn’t until the end of the book that she is faced with a choice that grants her the one thing she never had: power. Unfortunately, it’s a choice she never wanted to make.

While the author’s note reveals some tweaks in historical accuracy, this novel provides a unique perspective of the French Wars of Religion, as told by the daughter of Catherine, Queen of France. From Duchesse de Valois to Queen Navarre, Margot’s life is a scandalous drama of royal duty, treachery and forbidden love. Vying for the approval of her mother and brothers, she becomes nothing more than a pawn in her family’s twisted scheme. With incestuous scandal, mental and physical abuse at the hands of her own mother, and a marriage that distances her from her first love, Margot recognizes her life is not her own. This is a story you won’t want to end, as you follow a determined princess on a journey of self-discovery that concludes with her decision to follow her heart or her mind. One choice leads to the life she’s always wanted; the other provides a freedom she never knew she needed.

5 stars

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