Thursday, May 26, 2011

Book Review: The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C.W. Gortner

Publish Date: May 24th 2011
Format: Paperback 432pp

Synopsis: (From the Publisher):

"The truth is, not one of us is innocent. We all have sins to confess. So reveals Catherine de Medici, the last legitimate descendant of her family’s illustrious line. Expelled from her native Florence, Catherine is betrothed to Henri, son of Fran├žois I of France. In an unfamiliar realm, Catherine strives to create a role for herself through her patronage of the famous clairvoyant Nostradamus and her own innate gift as a seer. But in her fortieth year, Catherine is widowed, left alone with six young children in a kingdom torn apart by the ambitions of a treacherous nobility. Relying on her tenacity, wit, and uncanny gift for compromise, Catherine seizes power, intent on securing the throne for her sons, unaware that if she is to save France, she may have to sacrifice her ideals, her reputation, and the secret of her embattled heart."

My Review:

To bring a historical figure to life within the pages of a book takes talent, but to bring to life a historical figure who has been viewed by history as a ruthless and un-compassionate person, and then to be able to portray them in an understandable, convincing and sympathetic light takes brilliance... and that is just what C.W. Gortner has delivered in his latest novel, The Confessions of Catherine de Medici.

Following Catherine’s life from the age of ten until her death, we are given an intimate look into what battles, both political and emotional, she had to face. As her life unfolds we have the privilege of witnessing an uncertain girl gain confidence, ingenuity and the power necessary to become a true defender of France. Although she reigned as Queen for a mere twelve years, she continued to influence the reign of all her children until her death, using whatever means necessary to keep the lineage of the Medici secure and the throne of France away from the treacherous Guise family.

Once again C.W. Gortner has captivated me with a fast paced and heart-wrenching piece of historical fiction; after the first few pages I knew that the book I held in my hands would hold me until the last page was turned. All of the characters are well developed and fully three dimensional; I found it fascinating that not one character ever overshadowed another, yet there was never a question that the main focus was always on Catherine. Having read little of Catherine de Medici before, I was intrigued to learn what this woman was really like, and I could not have requested a better introduction to her life. After reading this book Catherine has become more than a shadowy figure who meddled with the dark arts for personal gain, she has become a woman of feeling, passion and strength, one whose voice has much to tell… a voice that C.W. Gortner has illuminated in such a touching and compelling way. The Confessions of Catherine de Medici is definitely going on my list of favorite reads for 2011, I highly recommend it!

To order: AmazonBarnes and NobleBook Depository


Tuesday, May 24

Author Guest Post & Giveaway at Broken Teepee

Wednesday, May 25

Review at Rundpinne

Thursday, May 26

Author Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Friday, May 27

Monday, May 30

Review at Broken Teepee
Author Guest Post & Giveaway at Queen of Happy Endings

Tuesday, May 31

Wednesday, June 1

Author Guest Post & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time

Thursday, June 2

Review at Luxury Reading
Author Guest Post (Books of a Lifetime) & Giveaway at Historical Tapestry

Friday, June 3

Author Interview & Giveaway at Confessions and Ramblings of a Muse in the Fog

Monday, June 6

Review at A Bookish Affair
Author Interview at Luxury Reading

Copyright © 2011 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.
FTC: I received this book from the publisher. As always, these are my own honest opinions.


Melissa @ Confessions of an Avid Reader said...

Great review, Svea. I loved Gortner's The Last Queen and am very much looking forward to reading this one.

Daphne said...

This was one of my favorites from last year!

Unknown said...

I too loved this book. It is truly amazing how some writers can take deep rooted stereotypes and bias about historical figures and flip them on their head. Great review!

C.W. Gortner said...

Thank you for this lovely review, Svea!

Unknown said...

I ADORED this book. I can't wait for Gortner's next novel!