Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Antoinette's Sister by Diana Giovinazzo

 

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of ANTOINETTE'S SISTER from the publisher. Marie Antoinette is one of those historical figures who's been done to death in fiction, so I was excited to see one of the other Hapsburg girls as the focus for this story. Charlotte (short for Maria Carolina Charlotte) is one of Maria Theresa's daughters. Maria Theresa is the OG momager of Europe. Kris Jenner wishes she was this much of a conniving, power-amassing bitch, my dudes. She married all of her children into powerful positions, maneuvering them across Europe like living chess pieces.

Charlotte was married to Ferdinand, the son of King Carlo, who was king of the Two Sicilies: Sicily and Naples. If you like The Great (which I've been totes binge-watching lately), you're going to love this book because Ferdinand is a lot like Peter: grossly unqualified to rule, childish, and basically down to fuck and party but not much else. Charlotte, on the other hand, totally rises to the occasion. She's there to kick ass and take names, and one of those names ends up being FRANCE when they decide to revolution and fuck with her sister. BOO.

This is written in first person and has the fun, frothy, gossipy tone that I LOVE in my historical fiction. I read a lot of Philippa Gregory in college because it helped me wind down from writing research papers without feeling like my brain was melting out of my ears, and I still feel a fondness for it to this day because of that. ANTOINETTE'S SISTER is smartly written and the character of Charlotte is really well done as we follow her from naive but groomed-to-rule teen to no-fucks-left-to-give old lady. I liked the beginning more because it was more Machiavellian and the power grabs really sang to my heart, but I liked that the author wrote about the full scope of her life and we got to be with Charlotte to the very end of her rule.

I wasn't too keen on this author's first book but this one was amazing and I'll be reading whatever else she writes, especially if it's about more bad-ass ladies taking names and playing games.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!

4 out of 5 stars

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