The riveting true story of mother-and-daughter queens Catherine de' Medici and Marguerite de Valois, whose wildly divergent personalities and turbulent relationship changed the shape of their tempestuous and dangerous century.
Set in magnificent Renaissance France, this is the story of two remarkable women, a mother and daughter driven into opposition by a terrible betrayal that threatened to destroy the realm.
Catherine de' Medici was a ruthless pragmatist and powerbroker who dominated the throne for 30 years. Her youngest daughter, Marguerite, the glamorous "Queen Margot," was a passionate free spirit, the only adversary whom her mother could neither intimidate nor control.
When Catherine forces the Catholic Marguerite to marry her Protestant cousin Henry of Navarre against her will and then uses her opulent Parisian wedding as a means of luring his followers to their deaths, she creates not only savage conflict within France but also a potent rival within her own family.
Rich in detail and vivid prose, Goldstone's narrative unfolds as a thrilling historical epic. Treacherous court politics, poisonings, inter-national espionage, and adultery form the background to a story that includes such celebrated figures as Elizabeth I; Mary, Queen of Scots; and Nostradamus. The Rival Queens is a dangerous tale of love, betrayal, ambition, and the true nature of courage, the echoes of which still resonate.
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"With compelling storytelling, Goldstone colorfully weaves together the tales of these two women...whose powerful personalities and deep allegiance to France helped shape the country's future." (
"[Goldstone] spins a tangled tale of rivalry, ambition, and, especially - for the rare women leaders of the time - sheer self-preservation...Goldstone has a remarkable handle on these often Byzantine royal machinations. History brought to vivid life in the characters of these women of purpose." ( Kirkus Reviews)
"Attention, Game of Thrones fans: The most enjoyably sensational aspects of medieval politics - double-crosses, ambushes, bizarre personal obsessions, lunacy and naked self-interest - are in abundant evidence." (Laura Miller, Salon)
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