I’ve had an affinity for Marie Antoinette since watching Rose of Versailles two years ago, and now I can’t stop myself from reading everything about her that I can lay hands on, including this very well-researched historical YA novel about daughter Marie-Thérèse-Charlotte. It was initially titled The Dark Tower and later added to the Beneath the Crown series with The Nine Days Queen and The Last Duchess.
Author: Sharon Stewart
Summary: The story of Marie-Thérèse from her preteen years up to and including her imprisonment in the Temple Fortress. With as much historical accuracy as possible, the author explores Marie-Thérèse’s life at Versailles and her friendships and relationships as the French Revolution occurs and the monarchy is abolished.
Two Cents: Historical fiction seems to be pretty popular nowadays, between The Royal Diaries and Dear Canada and this. I’ve always liked it; especially when it’s accurate, so after finishing this book I did a little Internet research and was impressed to discover the amount of research the author had done to make it as realistic as possible. The voice of Marie-Thérèse is compelling and developed despite the quick passing of weeks and months between scenes.
Recommended For: Ages 11 and up. Even told from a child’s perspective, the Revolution up close isn’t a pretty thing – plenty of death and heartache and (nondescriptive) beheading. Still an excellent read, great for kids who are into history already and those who have trouble finding it interesting.
Personal Rating: 8/10