[Book Review] The Confessions of Catherine De Medici by C. W. Gortner

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About the Book:

At the age of fourteen, Catherine de Medici, last legitimate descendant of the Medici blood, finds herself betrothed to the King Francois I’s son, Henri. Sent from her native Florence to France, humiliated and overshadowed by her husband’s life-long devotion to his mistress, when tragedy strikes her family Catherine rises from obscurity to become one of 16th century Europe’s most powerful women.

Patroness of Nostradamus and a seer in her own right, accused of witchcraft and murder by her foes, Catherine fights to save France and her children from savage religious conflict, unaware that her own fate looms before her—a fate that will demand the sacrifice of her ideals, reputation, and the passion of her own embattled heart. . .
From the splendors of the Loire palaces to the blood-soaked battles of the Wars of Religion and haunted halls of the Louvre, this is the story of Catherine’s dramatic life, told by the queen herself.

About the Author:

C.W. GORTNER holds an MFA in Writing with an emphasis in Renaissance Studies from the New College of California.

In his extensive travels to research his books, he has danced a galliard in a Tudor great hall and experienced life in a Spanish castle. His novels have garnered international praise and been translated into thirteen languages to date. He is also a dedicated advocate for animal rights and enviornmental issues.

He’s currently at work on his third novel, about Isabella of Castile, and the second novel in his Tudor series,The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles (US) or Elizabeth’s Spymaster (UK).

Half-Spanish by birth, C.W. lives in Northern California.


My Review:
It seems that each novel of this particular type (Queens, Kings, Tudors…) that I read, I fall a little more in love with History. Never really one for loving History or English classes in school, I am now a HUGE fan! C. W. Gortner is a new to me author and one that will be a favorite for a long time to come. His writing style is amazing, bringing History to life before the reader.

This Historical hovel of the Queen of France, Catherine De Medici, is absolutely above and beyond phenomenal. The secrets, the royalties, the heartache, the truth……all of it became me as I sat reading this novel, turning page after page, waiting for the confession. Gortner blended fact and fiction together so outstandingly that I had a truly hard time differentiating between the two. Being pulled completely into the story is a fabulous, unforgettable  experience.

Gortner’s research of the evil, scandalous Queen of France, brought new meaning to me about the 16th century. His descriptive detail about the actions and the life of Catherine made it seem as if he, Gortner himself, was actually there, beside this truly misunderstood and much hated woman. For an author to write that great, that his reader feels as if he was telling of his own actual witnessing, is beyond words.

It’s novels like this that have the most meaning. To give it anything less than 5 stars, would be degrading. I am looking forward to going back and getting his first novel, The Last Queen, as well as keeping up with all his future works. If you are a fan of History, then this book is perfect for you. If you love books about Queens, this is the one you want to read. And, if you’ve never a book like this before, then please start here with Gortner’s beautiful work!

The Trailer:

You can purchase your copy here.

*This book was given to me by a friend*

17 January, 2011
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