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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Becoming Marie Antoinette...Review and Giveaway

About the book:
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.

Marie Antoinette has always fascinated me.  I was fortunate years ago, to visit Versailles and it was amazing.  The lavish excesses were simply beyond my understanding, but the castle and its grounds were gorgeous.

This story begins with young Austrian archduchess, Maria Antonia as a child.  As was often the case among European royalty, her purpose in life was simply to be a political pawn and marry a king.  When her mother arranges a marriage with the young dauphin of France, she must undergo a tremendous makeover that included 18th century braces and learning how to walk properly in ridiculous skirts.  Then as a young teenager, she is shipped to France and married to an equally young dauphin, Louis Auguste.

Much to her chagrin, Antoinette's life was very open: she had a public marriage and the court's knowledge of her new husband's inability to consummate their marriage.  The dauphin had no desire to be King of France and the novel ends shortly after Louis XVI's ascension to the throne of France.  As it's part of a trilogy, I can't wait for the next installment!

The royal court of France was a hostile, contentious place.  More emphasis was placed on the rules of court than actual political issues themselves.  Life was about who you knew and who you had in your favor.  The young royals were used and manipulated by those who ranked above them, even their own family members.  As Antoinette began to exert her own personality and influence, it was not well received.

Juliet Grey has done her research well and the result is an enthralling, fictionalized account about the Queen of France.  She has captured the essence of the young queen and even though you know the end result of Marie Antoinette's saga, the novel is engrossing.  Narrated in first person through Marie Antoinette's voice, this is a captivating story and one I can easily recommend. 

First in a trilogy, I look forward to the remaining books.

Thanks to Lisa at TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Juliet Grey here.  You can purchase your own copy here.  You can see other reviews on the book tour here.

Monday, August 1st:  Diary of an Eccentric
Wednesday, August 3rd:  Well Read Wife
Thursday, August 4th:  Broken Teepee
Monday, August 8th:  Coffee and a Book Chick
Tuesday, August 9th:  The Maiden’s Court
Wednesday, August 10th:  A Library of My Own
Thursday, August 11th:  Stiletto Storytime
Monday, August 15th:  In the Hammock
Tuesday, August 16th:  Peeking Between the Pages
Wednesday, August 17th:  Laura’s Reviews
Thursday, August 18th:  Unabridged Chick
Monday, August 22nd:  The Broke and the Bookish
Tuesday, August 23rd:  Stephanie’s Written Word
Wednesday, August 24th:  2 Kids and Tired Book Reviews
Monday, August 29th:  Book Reviews by Molly
Wednesday, August 31st:  So Many Precious Books, So Little Time

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GIVEAWAY:
Because I liked Becoming Marie Antoinette, thanks to the publisher, I'm offering a giveaway. It really bugs me when you have to jump through tons of hoops in order to enter giveaways, so your email address will suffice.

However:
If you change your profile to have your email address visible, if it isn't already, you will gain an additional entry.

I ask this because it's so annoying to have someone leave a comment you would like to respond to, but can't, because their email is hidden. This is especially annoying if a question is asked in said comment.

If you choose to become a follower or tell me you already are, you can gain an additional entry too.

If you wanted to blog or tweet about it, that's great too, and you'd get an extra entry for that.

Just fill out the form.  A comment would be nice too, but isn't required!

U.S. or Canada addresses only and no P.O. Boxes. Sorry!

This giveaway is now closed.

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 Read 7/11

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4/5 Stars



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7 comments:

bermudaonion said...

I know next to nothing about Marie Antoinette, so this book sounds fascinating to me. Thanks for the giveaway.

Rissi said...

This looks like a really interesting novel. I too enjoy the history surrouding this woman.

Thanks for reviewing it, Holly.

Crystal said...

I have been eying this one and now I know I want to read it! And I didn't know it was part of a trilogy so that was good to know. Thanks for the giveaway.

heathertlc said...

I'm so excited to see a book about Marie Antoinette - I find her life heartbreaking yet fascinating.

Thanks for being a part of the tour.

Lisa said...

LOVE books about Marie Antoinette! I'm so excited for this novel to come out :)

Ruthi aka abitosunshine said...

Great review and book giveaway! Thank you for adding it to the B-Y-G-B list at Ruthi Reads!

Alena Belleque said...

I would love to read this book - my favorite genre! :) a.belleque@live.com