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19 Reviews
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Must read for lovers of historical fiction!
Having read C W Gortner's Last Queen, I knew I had to buy this book. It tells the story of Catherine De Medici, the queen consort of Henri II of France.
Gortner is an amazing author. He really can tell a story in a way that you feel a part of the book. I could not put this down and I read the whole thing, cover to cover in a day.
The author shows a different...
Published on 5 Feb 2012 by Vickim

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful!
I know that fiction means that it's not real but historial fiction should have some truth about it. Reducing Henry's elder brother to someone who was often ill and then having Catherine entering an affair with the leader of the Huguenots - for goodness sake! This book was so bad I actually threw it on the fire and watched it go up in smoke. Absolute rubbish.
Published 22 months ago by Aunty Sassy


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4.0 out of 5 stars I have read a great deal about Cathrine de Medici. Mostly very crtical. This book throws a diffrent light on her and I like it., 5 Mar 2013
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I like to read the very real historic background, well described in details. I am there sharing her life, the court comes to life well with very intresting caracters.The writer takes a lot of care with language.
I would recommend this book for a person that likes history as well as a good story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Confessions of Catherine De Medici, 18 Feb 2013
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This review is from: The Confessions of Catherine De Medici (Paperback)
I was interested to read of Catherine's early life, a real insight into the molding of her character. It was historically faithful and summed up the atmosphere of the times very well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging!, 10 Jan 2013
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Great account of Catherine Dr Medici life and the religious struggle in France- it is an engaging read that you can't put down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Confessions of Catherine De Medici by CW Gortner, 4 Aug 2011
This review is from: The Confessions of Catherine De Medici (Paperback)
An amazing and breath taking story, I could not put it down! It brings to light her struggle and world. This is a must read for anyone who enjoys history and drama.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Confessions of Catherine De Medicis, 19 May 2011
This review is from: The Confessions of Catherine De Medici (Paperback)
Having read a lot about the life of this remarkable woman, particularly Jean Plaidy's famous trilogy, I was interested to see a fresh approach to the story.
Gortner has an easy to read style and his development of the characters and plot is entertaining. He acknowledges changes to the factual events and characters, at the end, in order to simplify the plot. It was an absorbing story and one of the more sympathetic portrayals of the infamous Queen. I enjoyed the book and it was almost a 'can't put down' read. The only thing that I wasn't so keen on was the over whitening of her character. She was just 'too nice' ! Jean Plaidy's version paints a harder and more ruthless character which is probably more in keeping with the period and more appropriate for this foreigner who managed to hold power during a violent and turbulent period in French History. Plaidy's trilogy was able to go into more detail which gave more opportunity for plot development. Her novels are more entertaining and fascinating as they explore the exploitation of absolute power derived from the single minded pursuit of that power.

Which is the more accuarate portayal ? Who knows. The basic facts and events are true, the thoughts and feelings of the characters are left for the author to determine and both Plaidy and Gortner chose equally believable if different chracterisations. It's up to the individual reader to decide which they prefer. As in most things the truth probably lies somewhere in between.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a read, 6 Mar 2011
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Confessions of Catherine De Medici (Paperback)
Whilst I am a reader of Historical Fiction I tend to stick to names I know such as Philippa Gregory who presents me with a tale that not only hooks me with the lead characters but also gives me a story based on historical events, so when I was given this title to review I was a little apprehensive as I'm a creature of comfort who likes to stick with what I know.

What originally struck me with the book was the cover image which whilst it was similar to a lot of the HF titles out there was (after finishing the title) a little bit misleading and I would have preferred a portrait of the leading lady as the courage displayed within the book should be recognised rather than prettied up to appeal to the modern audience. It also would have made the title stand out more rather than fitting in with the multitude of other books out there in the same genre.

Whilst I am aware of the Medici name as a leading power in Italy during the renaissance, I wasn't that familiar with Catherine or who she married so it was an adventure to embark upon this fictionalisation of her life based on surviving documents and one that I wasn't sure where it was going to lead. What unfurled within the first few pages however had me hooked from the outset and with the wonderful addition of a family tree to the proceedings kept it not only easy to follow but allowed me to observe things that might otherwise have passed me by which when added to the authors own unique voice allowed me to become easily drawn into this world of murder, deceit and politics within one of Europe's Royal Courts.

All in this book is beautifully written, the characters almost reachable across the centuries and the author knows how to hook a reader to the last page, especially when you add his afterward that allows you to learn the fate of the lead characters surviving children. The only downside was, as mentioned before, the samey cover and the title which I felt would have been better had Confession not been used as to me it has a seedy aspect associated with it. The Catherine within this book had nothing to repent and lived her life based on the cards that she was dealt to have to confess felt not only misleading but wrong. Other than this the only thing that I would have done would have been to add portraits of the principle players for the reader as CW made me curious enough to look them up on line and it would have added a whole other layer to the title had they been to hand during the reading.

That said, I definitely enjoyed this book so much that I will actively seek out other titles by this author and with luck others will discover his talent in order to give some of the more established genre names a run for their money.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful!, 25 Dec 2012
This review is from: The Confessions of Catherine De Medici (Paperback)
I know that fiction means that it's not real but historial fiction should have some truth about it. Reducing Henry's elder brother to someone who was often ill and then having Catherine entering an affair with the leader of the Huguenots - for goodness sake! This book was so bad I actually threw it on the fire and watched it go up in smoke. Absolute rubbish.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear!, 2 May 2011
By 
Carol Lennock (Hastings, England) - See all my reviews
It is extremely annoying when authors write books that are based on so little research or if any research has been done it appears that it has not informed the writing.
Whilst not expecting a "historical" tome I do expect the author to get key events correct and not to omit or change vital parts of the person's life just to move the story on a little. For examlple Henry 11 probably had hyposadias and chordee but this is hardly explored. After 10 years of infertilty Catherine went on to have more than a handful of children - 10 in fact - the last being twin girls. Joan had her bones broken while still in the womb and was stillborn. Her twin, Victoria died after a couple of months of life. It was imperative that Catherine never became pregant again. This must have a traumatic experience for Catherine but it is never mentioned. This then sets doubts in the reader as to how much else the author has either ignored, glossed over or altered.
An unsatisfying book - could have been so much better as the author does have pleasant and engaging style of writing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 1 Aug 2014
By 
Mrs. Maria Austin (Scotland, UK.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Confessions of Catherine De Medici (Paperback)
An enjoyable read.
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The Confessions of Catherine De Medici
The Confessions of Catherine De Medici by C W Gortner (Paperback - 6 Jan 2011)
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