Lisa Hilton has re-created the Versailles of Louis XIV and the readers are soaked into the world of courtly luxury, glamour and intrigues of his reign. She follows the up and downs of King's mistress career. It is quite colourful, intriguing and an entertaining read.
But this book is supposed to be a serious biography. However, Mrs. Hilton's style of writing a quite bit to novel-like for a serious biography. It seems as if she could not decide what she is wants to write.
Furthermore, she is far to one-sided and really tries to whitewash Madame de Montespan. Trashing others personalities - and often she is right with pointing out the flaws of these personalities - seems to be no convincing argument for seeing La Montespan in a more favourable light. And stating that she was very much in line with the accepted codes of the time is no help either because one has to ask oneself why this sweeping statement does not apply to the others? And I doubt that this was really true.
The title The Real Queen of France" is rather odd as well and shows in my view a total misconception of Louis XIV and his concept of royalty. The Queen - Marie Therese of Austria, Infant of Spain, - was properly an unattractive and not very sexually appealing person and on top rather stupid, but she was a real princess and the most desirable of all princesses at the time. She was very much part of the King's "Gloire" and only she could bear the heirs to the throne. Madame de Montespan was not in her league and could never ever been queen. A "court star" is something complete different, even if she was mitresse en titre.
As a novel I would have found this book quite good, but as a serious biography it has far too many flaws. It is not a waste of time to read it, it is still entertaining, but it is not s serious study.