Friday, October 12, 2012

The Sister Queens - Blog Tour and Review

The Sister Queens by Sophie Perinot
Review copy provided by publicist

Like most sisters, Marguerite and Eleanor were rivals.  They were also queens.

Raised at the court of their father, Raymond Berenger, Count of Provence, Marguerite and Eleanor are separated by royal marriages--but never truly parted.

Patient, perfect, and used to being first, Marguerite becomes Queen of France. But Louis IX is a religious zealot who denies himself the love and companionship his wife craves. Can she borrow enough of her sister's boldness to grasp her chance for happiness in a forbidden love?

Passionate, strong-willed, and stubborn, Eleanor becomes Queen of England. Henry III is a good man, but not a good king. Can Eleanor stop competing with her sister and value what she has, or will she let it slip away?

The Sister Queens is historical fiction at its most compelling, and is an unforgettable first novel.

My Take:
It has been a long time since I've read  an historical fiction novel. I used to read them all the time, but then for a while it seemed like they were all about the same people. The Sister Queens sounded a little different and I thought it would be fun to get back into the genre. I am happy to say that I was not disappointed. 

Sophie Perinot manages to bring the world of Marguerite and Eleanor to life with all the usual sibling rivalry, marriage issues, parenting worries, mother-in-law issues, plus the not-so-usual worries about marrying a better king than your sister, making sure your son keeps his land holdings, war, crusade, you know, all those royal concerns. 

I really love an historical novel that makes me rush to the computer to do a quick search on this or that person - which are real and which have been added to spice up the story. I was so thankful that the author detailed in the Author's Note at the end of the novel exactly what changes she made in the timeline (minor ones) and why. She also gave the sources for some of the more interesting and possibly controversial plot twists. I was quite impressed with her attention to detail. I have added The Life of Saint Louis to my kindle for future reading because it is listed as a source. Any novel that makes me want to do further research is a winner in my book. 

All the historical accuracy aside, I enjoyed The Sister Queens so much because Perinot brings both Marguerite and Eleanor out of the dry history books and makes them feel like the actual human beings they were in life with all their worries, fears, ambitions, competitiveness, loves, and problems that we, as readers, can relate to.  The reader gets to follow along on the sisters' journeys of marriage, parenthood, being queens, their changing relationship with each other and with their husbands. We get to see them become strong women each in her own way. 

I would strongly recommend The Sister Queens to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, history, romance and, actually, fiction in general. This story really pulled me in quickly and I stayed up late reading because I completely lost track of time. This is Sophie Perinot's first novel, which is a bit hard to believe, but I will be keeping my eye out for her next one. I hope there will be many more.

About Sophie Perinot

Sophie Perinot writes historical fiction. In Spring 2012 her debut novel, The Sister Queens, will be released by NAL. Set in 13th century France and England, The Sister Queens weaves the captivating story of medieval sisters, Marguerite and Eleanor of Provence, who both became queens – their lifelong friendship, their rivalry, and their reigns

Ms. Perinot has both a BA in History and a law degree. She left the law to pursue artistic interests, including writing. An avid reader, especially of classic literature, and life-long student of history, it seemed only natural that Sophie should write historical fiction. As someone who studied French abroad and a devotee of Alexandre Dumas, French history was a logical starting point. An active member of the Historical Novel Society, she has attended all of the group’s North American Conferences.

Active among the literary twitterati as @Lit_gal (a moniker she also uses at Agent Query Connect, Sophie is a regular contributor to the group writers' blog "From the Write Angle" Find her on facebook at
For more information, please visit Sophie Perinot's WEBSITE.
 The Sister Queens Virtual Book Tour Schedule 

Monday, October 8
Review at My Reading Room
Author Guest Post & Giveaway at In the Hammock Blog

Tuesday, October 9
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Thursday, October 11
Author Guest Post & Giveaway at A Chick Who Reads
Feature & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time

Friday, October 12
Review at A Book Geek

Monday, October 15
Review at Enchanted by Josephine

Tuesday, October 16
Author Interview & Giveaway at Enchanted by Josephine

1 comment:

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