by Juliet Grey
Publication Date: August 9, 2011
Publisher: Ballantine Books
This enthralling confection of a novel, the first in a new trilogy, follows the transformation of a coddled Austrian archduchess into the reckless, powerful, beautiful queen Marie Antoinette.
Why must it be me? I wondered. When I am so clearly inadequate to my destiny?
Raised alongside her numerous brothers and sisters by the formidable empress of Austria, ten-year-old Maria Antonia knew that her idyllic existence would one day be sacrificed to her mother’s political ambitions. What she never anticipated was that the day in question would come so soon.
Before she can journey from sunlit picnics with her sisters in Vienna to the glitter, glamour, and gossip of Versailles, Antonia must change everything about herself in order to be accepted as dauphine of France and the wife of the awkward teenage boy who will one day be Louis XVI. Yet nothing can prepare her for the ingenuity and influence it will take to become queen.
Filled with smart history, treacherous rivalries, lavish clothes, and sparkling jewels, Becoming Marie Antoinette will utterly captivate fiction and history lovers alike.
Two words come to mind when I think of Becoming Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey… c’est magnifique!
The first book in Juliet Grey’s trilogy was a fascinating look at the formative years of Marie Antonia, from a young princess of Austria through her transformation into the future Queen of France. Most of the books I’ve read cover the time when she is already queen, so it was really interesting to go back to the beginning and see how it all came to be. I was quite surprised to read all that went on behind the scenes to make this marriage happen and the many obstacles that Marie had to overcome to be good enough for Louis, including a grueling dauphine “boot camp”! Yet, despite all the training, she is ill-equipped to navigate the treacherous halls of the French court and as such, is easy pickings for those eager to exploit her naiveté for their own means.
I found Becoming Marie Antoinette to be a very entertaining read, one that I was hard pressed to put down and am waiting (ever so impatiently) for book two in the trilogy, Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow. Very highly recommended!
FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.