DNF Review: The Sisters of Versailles by Sally Christie

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Mistresses of Versailles #1
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: September 1, 2015
Rating: DNF at like 23%
Source: Netgalley

Summary (from Goodreads):

A sumptuous and sensual tale of power, romance, family, and betrayal centered around four sisters and one King. Carefully researched and ornately detailed, The Sisters of Versailles is the first book in an exciting new historical fiction trilogy about King Louis XV, France's most "well-beloved" monarch, and the women who shared his heart and his bed.

Goodness, but sisters are a thing to fear.

Set against the lavish backdrop of the French Court in the early years of the 18th century, The Sisters of Versailles is the extraordinary tale of the five Nesle sisters: Louise, Pauline, Diane, Hortense, and Marie-Anne, four of whom became mistresses to King Louis XV. Their scandalous story is stranger than fiction but true in every shocking, amusing, and heartbreaking detail.

Court intriguers are beginning to sense that young King Louis XV, after seven years of marriage, is tiring of his Polish wife. The race is on to find a mistress for the royal bed as various factions put their best foot - and women - forward. The King's scheming ministers push Louise, the eldest of the aristocratic Nesle sisters, into the arms of the King. Over the following decade, the four sisters:sweet, naive Louise; ambitious Pauline; complacent Diane, and cunning Marie Anne, will conspire, betray, suffer, and triumph in a desperate fight for both love and power.

In the tradition of The Other Boleyn Girl, The Sisters of Versailles is a clever, intelligent, and absorbing novel that historical fiction fans will devour. Based on meticulous research on a group of women never before written about in English, Sally Christie's stunning debut is a complex exploration of power and sisterhood; of the admiration, competition, and even hatred that can coexist within a family when the stakes are high enough. 

I decided that I would pick this book up after seeing it advertised in a shelf awareness email. I had just read Grave Mercy and was totally down for some more historical fiction and courtly drama. But after 105 pages, I absolutely cannot get into this book and I'm done trying.

I feel like in all the pages I read, absolutely nothing happened. The oldest sister, Louise, got married and eventually ends up going to Court to look after the queen. And the king's helpers or whoever they are eventually come and ask her to be the king's mistress. I didn't make it much further after that.

The rest of the sister's are split up after their mother dies. The two oldest ones go to a convent and wait to get married and the younger two go live with some relative or something.

Basically the only one that I liked was Marie-Anne. I found her to be the least annoying character.

Louise was alright, but kinda just boring. Pauline struck me as completely awful and really needy and just out to look after herself. I didn't like her and I didn't even really learn much about her. Her letters to Louise I found to be really annoying.

I didn't really learn anything about the other two sisters.

And for a book which is basically all about sex, they really just black out all of it. I felt like this book was full of a million different characters that don't matter and talk of dresses and talk of mistresses and lovers.

I wanted to like this book, but I can't go on.


  1. Ahh. Nope nope nope. Never heard of this one, and won't be reading it for sure! I would be the dirty girl looking for all the sex and being like, but... this book doesn't have any! LOL. Hopefully your next read it amazing (and not a DNF)! :)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. I was trying to be the dirty girl and looking for all the sex and it was so disappointing that in 105 pages there wasn't anything good! There was plenty of sex going on, but no details! It is a book ALL about mistresses!!! AHHHH!


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