A rich and very believable retelling of internecine power struggles in Renaissance France, as told by Catherine de Medici, one of history's more controversial women. No great beauty, no great romantic figure, Catherine found it necessary to rely on her shrewd intelligence to survive a licencious and malicious court...and navigate the political and religious upheavals of the late 16th Century. She is determined to prevail, to prove her worth to France, and do her utmost to protect the Valois throne. Was she a witch, a murderess, a mastermind of the infamous St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, a fiercely protective matriarch...? She's been described as all of the above.
If your knowledge of Renaissance French history is weak, let Gortner's Catherine de Medici guide you through the maze. She's smart, she's shrewed....she's tough. Author C. W. Gortner has done a wonderful job of recreating a well-rounded, authentic personality for one of history's perennially intriguing women.