The Sister Queens

( 13 )

Overview

Patient, perfect, and used to being first, Marguerite becomes Queen of France. But Louis IX is a religious zealot who denies himself the love and companionship his wife craves. Can she borrow enough of her sister's boldness to grasp her chance for happiness in a forbidden love?

Passionate, strong-willed, and stubborn, Eleanor becomes Queen of England. Henry III is a good man, but not a good king. Can Eleanor stop competing with her sister and ...

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The Sister Queens

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Overview

Patient, perfect, and used to being first, Marguerite becomes Queen of France. But Louis IX is a religious zealot who denies himself the love and companionship his wife craves. Can she borrow enough of her sister's boldness to grasp her chance for happiness in a forbidden love?

Passionate, strong-willed, and stubborn, Eleanor becomes Queen of England. Henry III is a good man, but not a good king. Can Eleanor stop competing with her sister and value what she has, or will she let it slip away?

The Sister Queens is historical fiction at its most compelling, and is an unforgettable first novel.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Marguerite and Eleanor of Provence, 13th-century sister queens, exchange frequent letters of friendship and encouragement as they both attempt to make successes of their politically motivated marriages. Marguerite struggles to gain and hold the attention of the fanatically religious King Louis IX of France, first as a competitor with his strong-willed mother and then sharing with her husband the hardships of life on crusade. Eleanor enters into a passionate but tempestuous relationship with Henry III of England and must learn to control her emotions so she can protect the interests of her children. Perinot focuses primarily on the evolution of the sisters' romantic relationships with their husbands rather than on their political or social roles within the royal courts. She depicts each sibling using the other's marriage as a source of inspiration while they ultimately travel very different paths in search of happiness. VERDICT Perinot does not interweave the sisters' stories as seamlessly as she could have—the two plotlines feel largely disconnected at times. Still, her debut novel should please Philippa Gregory fans and other readers who enjoy historical fiction with a strong emphasis on romance.—Mara Bandy, Champaign P.L., IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451235701
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/6/2012
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 342,571
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Sophie Perinot received her BA in History from the College of Wooster and her law degree from Northwestern University. She is an active member of the Historical Novel Society and lives in Virginia.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2012

    Sisters Queen by Sophie Perinot is a beautifully written histori

    Sisters Queen by Sophie Perinot is a beautifully written historical fiction novel. The book tells the tale of two stunning heiress sisters -- from a rich and powerful family, known for also being very good looking – very much like the Kennedys. They do not lack admirers, and both girls marry kings. Marguerite marries Louis IX and becomes the Queen of France, while Eleanor marries Henry III and becomes Queen of England. Although the tensions between the two kingdoms are high, the sisters communicate through letters, sharing their joys and failures, happiness and despair, and remain close. Although this richly painted novel revolves around these two captivating women, their husband Kings are both very well developed characters as well. King Henry is quite devoted to Eleanor, and a good father, but prone to political missteps. Louis is a religious fanatic, a good politician, but a cold husband. I enjoyed the book so much I was sad to finish it. I would highly recommend it!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 18, 2012

    Two daughters of the Count of Provence, Eleanor and Marguerite,

    Two daughters of the Count of Provence, Eleanor and Marguerite, are separated as children so that one can marry the King of France, one can marry the King of England. It will be twenty years before they see each other again. The Sister Queens is the story of that separation.

    Readers, take note! This is NOT a pretty little tale about court intrigue, pretty gowns, tournaments and feasts. We're talking war, shipwrecks, crusades, battles in the desert, disease, nomadic encampments, forbidden love, and death. This is a book that begs for a screen adaptation -- the action sprawls across Europe into Egypt and beyond, as the sisters adventures take them out of court and into the dangers of the world.

    Perinot brilliantly portrays the perils and powers of these women who have been used as political pawns, but refuse to be mere possessions. What does it really mean to be the mother of a prince? What is a Queen worth to her King, and how dependent is she really on his mercy? What did a woman have to give up in order to be politically important?

    I knew I would be entertained, but I was also educated while being relentlessly engaged. Brava!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2012

    Great read!

    Marvelous book! I love the evolution of Marguerite as innocent, naive, to ambitious and becoming from initially being a pawn to a player, and I absolutely loved Eleanor.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 28, 2012

    This is a beautifully written novel that carries readers from t


    This is a beautifully written novel that carries readers from the medieval courts of England and France to the heat and hell of the crusades. As a Brit and a history major, I loved the subject matter, and the settings and character voices felt very authentic to me.

    Despite the sweeping historical backdrop, however, THE SISTER QUEENS is really a story about two remarkable women and the power of family. As a reader, character always comes first for me, and I loved the journey I took with these sisters. They were not only shrewd queens but also devoted mothers. Marguerite and Eleanor felt so real to me from the first pages, and I cried buckets when they were reunited. The three leading men were beautifully drawn too--all heroic at times but also flawed.

    I strongly recommend this novel. It's a fabulous read that inspired me to research the real characters.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 12, 2012

    My least favorite part of this book is probably the cover. (I k

    My least favorite part of this book is probably the cover. (I know don't judge a book..) The cover is a bit misleading because it makes it look like it's fluff-. This book has well developed characters. It covers a period of history from the two sister's point of view in a realistic and historical accuracy. I enjoyed this book and will look for more from this author.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Right off the top, let me say I really liked this book. It's a f

    Right off the top, let me say I really liked this book. It's a fully engaging and thoroughly believable novel. I was swept up in the stories and interactions of the sisters of the renowned Savoy family, Marguerite and Eleanor, from the first moments of introduction. Their very different personalities are richly developed, and while they are different in temperament and life challenges, they are both so intriguing and lovable it's difficult to call one a favorite over the other. I absorbed this book as if it were a story about Diana, Princess of Wales, and Katherine of England. It's that enjoyable to read. Before I knew it, I was half way through the novel!


    Sophie Perinot is a solid writer with a good grasp of characterization. Her two sisters, as well as their two kings, the wicked mother-in-law ~ White Queen Blanche of Castille, and the sisters' children are so magnificently drawn. I could absolutely see them alive and feel their hearts' emotions and motivations. Beautifully written. Dialog was also appeared to be effortlessly rendered; it flowed and felt so natural. The intimate communications between characters were meaningful and telling.


    I've read many a historical novel, some about each of these queens and their families, so I don't think it's any small task to have compiled this book, joining both dynasties in what reads with such elegance and ease. The book flows with intelligence and clarity. I found that one of the most refreshing things about it. I didn't have to be a scholar to understand the political "cookings" behind the thrones! Thank God, Ms Perinot distilled that down for me!


    This is a romantic and absorbing historical fiction, one I found myself virtually flowing through effortlessly. It's a good read about two admirable women who birthed the foundations of world empires, and set the tones of historical manners and elegance for generations. Their life-long devotion to each other was poignant and an example that united their countries in heart and blood for generations.


    I loved the novel, and pass it on to you with a high recommendation.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 31, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A wonderful debut novel. The Sister Queen’s by Sophie Per

    A wonderful debut novel.

    The Sister Queen’s by Sophie Perinot: The Daughters of the Count of Provence, Marguerite and Eleanor are raised to be women of consequence, ambitious women from ambitious parents. They marry Kings at the center of European power. But this is no fairy tale.
    Marguerite the elder marries a golden King, Louis IX of France; she is the perfect consort for this man who unfortunately is dedicated to God, then France leaving little room for his beautiful passionate wife.
    Eleanor also marries a king; England’s Henry III is twice her age, while not as glamorous as her sister’s spouse, nor as respected by his barons. Henry gives Eleanor the adoration and affection that Marguerite craves in her own marriage. But can Eleanor overlook Henry’s ineptness as king?
    Ms. Perinot is a fine writer and I enjoyed this book, I knew some of the history of these women, having read a series of books written by Roberta Gellis I believe in the 80’s, but the sisters were supporting characters. So when I read that this book was coming out, I have to say it is one of the books I was looking most forward to this year, and I was not disappointed. For a first time novelist this is what I believe Ms. Perinot has done right.
    She has done her research, and fortunately the lives of Louis and Henry are well chronicled. One such chronicler is in fact an important character in the story. It is known that these two Queens were devoted to one another and were in constant contact with one another. She uses this in the story. Most of the chapters begin with a letter from one sister to the other. Then it settles into a first person narrative.
    She beautifully conveys the love, and also the competitive nature of the sister’s relationship.
    I felt that Marguerite story received more focus and as Ms. Perinot said recently in an interview, she identified with Marguerite more strongly; So this in understandable, and as she was on crusade with her husband, this became the focus in the last part of the book.
    She also does not sugar coat these women, making them too good to be true. I would have like to see a bit more about Eleanor, and the struggles she had with the English barons, over the favoritism shown to her Savoyard kin which Henry has often been accused of, and his weakness as a King. But that is my only complaint. For a first book I think that Ms. Perinot shows great promise, and I give The Sister Queens 4 stars.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 25, 2013

    Really just ok. If you are a fan of Historical Fiction, others

    Really just ok. If you are a fan of Historical Fiction, others do it better.

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  • Posted April 22, 2013

    A touching story of the love between two sisters, set in an era

    A touching story of the love between two sisters, set in an era about which I was not familiar. Sophie Perinot brought me deftly into the world of Marguerite and Eleanor, sisters separated in marriage to kings who were often enemies. Though they found love and strength on their own, it is the bond between them, tested through years of separation, that made an impression on me.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2012

    Good read.

    If you're into historical fiction, this is a good read. It was never dull and there is a vein of truth behind this fictional story.

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  • Posted April 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Great book!

    he Sister Queens by Sophie Perinot is a gripping tale based on a true story. Sisters Marguerite and Eleanor are as close as two sisters can be. Their personalities are different as day and night. Their father secures prominent marriages for both daughters. Marguerite marries Louis IX, King of France. Eleanor marries Henry III, King of England. They are not only separated by distance but also by politics.
    The Sister Queens is told from both sister's perspectives and also through their letters. Both sisters go to an unknown land. Marguerite has no one from her family in the French court. She also has the mother-in-law from hell. She tries desperately to win the love of her husband. Eleanor is lucky in the fact that she is able to keep family around her. She also has a King who wants nothing more than to please her. Marguerite and Eleanor lives as queens, though similar are also yin and yang. Although in the 13th century, woman were not given a lot of competency or clout, the Queens show they are not without influence.
    Sophie Perinot writes a compelling story about these two historical figures. Both sisters have to endure the good, the bad, and the heartache. Their relationship to each other is tested at different intervals throughout the decades this book spans. Perinot makes you care about these characters. She nailed the bond that only sister's can have. The love, the jealousy, and also the deep friendship. This book was a page turner that I thoroughly enjoyed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews

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