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Publisher Description

The riveting true story of mother-and-daughter queens Catherine de' Medici and Marguerite de Valois, whose wildly divergent personalities and turbulent relationship changed the shape of their tempestuous and dangerous century.

Set in magnificent Renaissance France, this is the story of two remarkable women, a mother and daughter driven into opposition by a terrible betrayal that threatened to destroy the realm.

Catherine de' Medici was a ruthless pragmatist and powerbroker who dominated the throne for thirty years. Her youngest daughter Marguerite, the glamorous "Queen Margot," was a passionate free spirit, the only adversary whom her mother could neither intimidate nor control.

When Catherine forces the Catholic Marguerite to marry her Protestant cousin Henry of Navarre against her will, and then uses her opulent Parisian wedding as a means of luring his followers to their deaths, she creates not only savage conflict within France but also a potent rival within her own family.

Rich in detail and vivid prose, Goldstone's narrative unfolds as a thrilling historical epic. Treacherous court politics, poisonings, inter-national espionage, and adultery form the background to a story that includes such celebrated figures as Elizabeth I, Mary, Queen of Scots, and Nostradamus. The Rival Queens is a dangerous tale of love, betrayal, ambition, and the true nature of courage, the echoes of which still resonate.

June 23
Little, Brown and Company
Hachette Digital, Inc.

Customer Reviews

Peg1gy ,

The Rival Queens

I enjoyed this book! I know very little of this era of history so I learned a lot. The book is written as a history book but with a touch of modern humor, just enough to lighten dark times. If you like the Tudor histories, the Rival Queens is a good match.

Citygirl31 ,


While I have read books from this time period in England, this was my first foray into French history. It's a fascinating tale and has really furthered my understanding of what was at play in the royal family in France and other parts of Europe. Extremely well researched and the writing moves the story along. The intrigue, dishonor and war/murder makes this a heavier read but I highly recommend it. Thankful that Marguerite, and others in positions close to her, kept such diaries, as hearing all their 'voices' really brought it all to life.

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