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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
24
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 22 April 2013
This book tells the story of Minette, Charles II's youngest sister, and covers the period from 1654 up until 1660 when she married the Duc d'Orleans. It's very well written and engaged me thoroughly from the start. I loved the descriptions of life at the French court, and how the characters were brought to life. I found myself almost in tears at a few points in the book, one scene where Minette goes to see the site of her father's execution was one that I found especially poignant. This book is so interesting, the period it covers is one that I've always found fascinating. Melanie is a fantastic writer and brings her characters to life, so much so that you feel you actually know them
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on 13 May 2013
I admit, I'm a bit of a sucker for the historical character of Minette, but I loved this book. It's beautiful drawn, bringing the characters vividly to life, and making it all seem so real. It reminded me very much of one of my favourite historical novelists - Jean Plaidy - but with more charm (as befits the Stuarts!).

I found it hard to put down, especially towards the end, and now I can't wait for the second part about the rest of Minette's life.
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on 27 May 2013
Another glittering novel of Posh Doom from one of my favourite authors, Melanie Clegg just keeps getting better, and was wonderful to start with! Minette has everything for the discerning historical romance fan: a beautiful Cinderella-esque heroine, as witty as she is charming, with star-crossed lovers and all the gossip and intrigue of the Royal courts surrounding them. Immaculately researched, yet written with a deftness and distinct light touch, this is the perfect book to escape into. The story is played out amidst the backdrop of one of the most turbulent times in history, yet Melanie Clegg always manages to make us truly care about her characters, even those we may have pre-formed opinions of from our knowledge of the period. I love the way she manages to make us feel we are right there, in the moment, watching the drama unfold before us, as many historical novelists have yet to learn this skill and can leave the reader feeling alienated. Cannot wait to read the second part!
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on 21 April 2013
Another fabulous novel from the talented Ms Clegg - can't wait for part 2 or her long-awaited Ripper book

Beautifully told with exquisite period details but characters made real and who draw you in - hard to put down so be careful when you start reading
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on 7 May 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed this from my perspective as a fairly recent convert to historical fiction. Melanie has a light touch with period detail - it's woven into the fabric of her books, with little details highlighted, rather than being too obviously signposted. You never forget that you're reading something placed in its specific time in history, but that sense of time and place is slickly done.

It does suffer from a problem inherent in historical fiction, of having a large cast of characters who can't be given neat, distinctive names for the reader's ease, so it's occasionally a little difficult to remember who's who, but for the most part they're well written enough that it's not too much of an effort. Characterisationis a real strength here, the characters are neither modern ones inserted in a historic setting, nor are they just lushly dressed cardboard cut-outs.

My only slight criticism is that I wasn't convinced by Minette's narration in Part 1, taking place in 1654 - she turns ten years old during this period, and I can't quite square the voice with such a young child. It didn't detract from my enjoyment much though, and by the time she turns eleven and then twelve she sounds much more 'right'.
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on 7 June 2013
A colourful picture of the French court at the time of the" English Revolution". The intrigues, the costumes and the pastimes all recorded with interest and feeling. The contrast between the people in power to those living as refugees is well accounted. Minette herself comes alive as a pawn in the game of power and intrigue.
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on 19 January 2014
Now I love good historical fiction but as I was brought up on Jean Plaidy my standards are high! I had met Melanie briefly at the Hampton Court sleepover in September and followed her on twitter but hadn't realised she had written books until I went onto her website. I admit I adored the covers! She recommended I started with Minette and I am so glad I did. This is a beautiful book. I know very little about the Stuarts in France - my research is based primarily on James I and Charles I pre-civil war as I do a lot of stuff on Buckingham in 1620s. So this was a fairly new topic for me and so enjoyable. The way Clegg writes about the family interactions and relationships really draws you in and I was really moved at times. The descriptions of the French and English courts are evocative and finely drawn. Clegg's writing is beautiful. I really recommend this gem of a book and can't wait for the sequel.
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on 10 June 2013
This book is only one of two books and so the ending is really just the beginning of her married life which was quite frustrating but then I suppose that shows that I liked the book enough to want to keep reading!
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on 28 June 2013
Quite a sad story as she died very young. Was adored by her brother. Mainly lived in France. A touching personal story of someone who is not written about very much.
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on 30 May 2015
I started this book immediately after finishing a Phillipa Gregory and I found the difference in writing style very obvious and it took me a chapter or so to get into. I really enjoyed the characters and the descriptions of the interiors of the various palaces and the clothing. There was one passage in the final 10% where Minette runs into the gardens at night and suddenly the Count is there and she sinks into his embrace - then suddenly it's the next day and there's no further clue about how their encounter had ended - on good terms? what was said? how did she feel? Nothing! Could be bad editing but it really jarred with the flow of that chapter.
I have downloaded the Marie Antoinette book to try next, I'm hoping that I enjoy it as much as Minette.
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