Caterina de Medici, the Italian duchess of Florence, has witnessed betrayal and hardship at a young age. As a prisoner of the rebels who wanted to take over Florence, she has suffered through hunger, cold, and the plague. With the help from a horoscopist and prophet, Cosimo Ruggieri, Caterina was able to escape from her captors and be placed in the favor of her uncle, Pope Clement VII. In a political power play, Clement married her to a French prince, where she was forced learn a new language, customs, and name: Catherine, queen of France. But to get what she most desires, first, children, and later, for her children to remain on the throne, Catherine must delve into the black arts and do everything in her power, short of selling her soul.
I learned about Catherine de Medici briefly in history class, when we were discussing the evolution of Protestantism in France, and I decided to read this book to see what else I could learn about her. Jeanne Kalogridis does a great job of using a lot of detail and information to describe Catherine's life. The book is really long, and I felt like I was living Catherine's life along with her as I turned the pages. Upon completion of the novel, I did some research on Catherine, and not everything in the book is accepted fact. A lot of what the author wrote, mostly regarding the black arts Catherine is involved in, are rumors, so they could be true or untrue. Even though the book wasn't completely historically accurate, I liked that I could get a different view on Catherine than what is normally written about her, since Catherine is considered to be a ruthless monarch. Putting aside the disputed authenticity of the book, I can definitely say that The Devil's Queen was entertaining, and any fans of historical fiction will enjoy it.
7 out of 10.
Release Date: July 21, 2009