Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Confession of Catherine de Medici by C. W. Gortner

The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C.W. Gortner

From Goodreads: The truth is, none of us are innocent. We all have sins to confess.

So reveals Catherine de Medici in this brilliantly imagined novel about one of history’s most powerful and controversial women. To some she was the ruthless queen who led France into an era of savage violence. To others she was the passionate savior of the French monarchy. Acclaimed author C. W. Gortner brings Catherine to life in her own voice, allowing us to enter into the intimate world of a woman whose determination to protect her family’s throne and realm plunged her into a lethal struggle for power.

The last legitimate descendant of the illustrious Medici line, Catherine suffers the expulsion of her family from her native Florence and narrowly escapes death at the hands of an enraged mob. While still a teenager, she is betrothed to Henri, son of François I of France, and sent from Italy to an unfamiliar realm where she is overshadowed and humiliated by her husband’s lifelong mistress. Ever resilient, 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 as regent of a kingdom torn apart by religious discord and 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. She allies herself with the enigmatic Protestant leader Coligny, with whom she shares an intimate secret, and implacably carves a path toward peace, unaware that her own dark fate looms before her—a fate that, if she is to save France, will demand the sacrifice of her ideals, her reputation, and the passion of her embattled heart.

From the fairy-tale châteaux of the Loire Valley to the battlefields of the wars of religion to the mob-filled streets of Paris, The Confessions of Catherine de Medici is the extraordinary untold journey of one of the most maligned and misunderstood women ever to be queen.

My Take:  I really like historical fiction when it is done right and C. W. Gortner does it right in this novel.  From the first page I felt like I was right there with Catherine as the events of her life unfold.  This book once again reminded me of how women were used as pawns in the treaties between nations.  How the daughters of the royalty were married off to sons of the royalty of other countries to secure peace between the two countries.  How much the fairy tales that we as little children read about the prince and princess living happily everafter hardly every happened in real life and that they really were just fairy tales. 

If you like historical fiction this is a book that I think you would enjoy.  I give it :

I received a copy of this book from Cheryl at Pump up Your book for review purposes.


  1. Thanks for the great review of Christopher's latest. I just finished this one, and I loved it at least as much as his, "The Last Queen".

    Readers can go out to his website to read an excerpt from the book or to view the video trailer--which is totally amazing. There's also a video interview with Christopher, where he talks about Catherine de Medici.

    Thanks again. Congratulations on the 100 followers!


  2. I have had this on my maybe wish list and have been watching for reviews of it. Great review! Now I can move it to my need to read wish list! It sounds good!

  3. WAO its totally indifferent i'm so impressed the way you presented this


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