The Sister Queens

The Sister Queens

by Sophie Perinot

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451235701
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/06/2012
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 825,067
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About 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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The Sister Queens 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
BarbaraClaypoleWhite More than 1 year ago
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.
LydiaNetzer More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Melisan More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Humbee More than 1 year ago
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.
ifletty More than 1 year ago
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.
mt256 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
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.
BookishDame on LibraryThing 8 months ago
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.
AmyBridges on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Bravo, Sophie! I thoroughly enjoyed my time in 13th century England, France, and the Holy Land! Cannot wait for the next book from this author
allisonmacias on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Marguerite and Eleanor of Provence are sister as different as night and day. Marguerite is malleable and modest while Eleanor is passionate and outspoken. Marguerite marries Louis IX, King of France. At first, their marriage is loving, but Marguerite soon learns that her mother in law, Blanche of Castile, is the true Queen. Louis' passion for Marguerite is soon replaced by a religious zeal. Marguerite finds herself being a Queen without a Kingdom and a wife without a husband.Eleanor marries Henry III of England. Though older, Henry is immediately smitten by his Provence bride. He spares no expense or effort to display his true affection for Eleanor. Eleanor, despite her initial reluctance, finds herself falling in love with her doting husband. But his passion can't disguise his lack of political skills. Constantly threatened by his barons, Henry lacks the iron hand to quell dissent within his kingdom. Eleanor finds herself bargaining constantly for peace. Blood unites the sisters from Provence and never lets them forget each other.Two Sisters. Two Rivals. Two Queens. Both sisters struggle to come to terms with the cards that they were dealt. Marguerite is jealous of Eleanor's marriage, while Eleanor longs for her sister's relative peace.Even in the past, Life wasn't fair. Like most sisters, the share their life unflinchingly with the other. Even when politics and life meddle with the sisters' relationship, the bond is not broken. When faced with conflicts, the sisters both channel the others personality traits. This speaks to their respect and love for each other. I love how the sisters mirror each other, as well as read each others thoughts. The history is amazing, but the bond of sisterhood is perfect.
BrokenTeepee on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Most historical fiction books tend to focus on the men. I think that this is because far more information comes down through history about them. Particularly the further back in time you go. Women were little more than chattel in the time period of The Sister Queens - oh and brood mares. They were pretty much worthless if they didn't provide an heir; especially noble women. This is why I truly enjoy books told from the viewpoint of the wives - and I really like them when I have read books from the same time period from the point of view of the men.The Sister Queens fills that bill perfectly. It tells the tale of two daughters of Provence who went on to become the queens of France and England in the thirteenth century. Marguerite marries Louis IX of France, a man who has come down through history as Saint Louis. Eleanor marries Henry III of England, not known as one of England's best monarchs. The sisters are very close before they are separated and remain close for most of their lives.The book pulled me in from the start. It alternates between the sisters with fictionalized letters between them as chapter headers. Ms. Perinot remarks in her Author's Note that she is herself a sister so she well knows the bonds that sisters develop. Both Marguerite and Eleanor have arrogant personalities that come from being born to rule. Eleanor I think more than her sister due to being the second born. History notes she was a "virago" and she was not well loved by the English people. Marguerite had to contend with her overbearing mother in law, Blanche of Castille who ruled Louis with an iron thumb.Ms. Perinot's characterization of the two women is fascinating and I found it quite hard to put the book down; in fact, I read it in one sitting. I love writing that grabs you and won't let you go like that. I want to continue with these two women and their complicated men. I hope that Ms. Perinot is considering further books on unsung women in history as she does have a magical way with words. A way that brings long dead characters to very real life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the lettersbback and forth that the sisters sent to each other
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MsDollie More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Sister Queen's! While it is historical fiction, it is also about human relationships and the human imperfections that color relationships. A feel good story that I will read again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OHARADN More than 1 year ago
Really just ok. If you are a fan of Historical Fiction, others do it better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JessicaBrockmole More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Marcie77 More than 1 year ago
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.