Book review: The Courtesan by Susan Carroll

I recently participated in SITS’ Find Your Tribe event, where we teamed up with fellow bloggers in our niche to support one another and help our blogs grow. So today, allow me to introduce you to Jacki from The Raven’s Spell.  Her blog “chronicles the ever changing adventures of a stubborn, book-obsessed woman as she redefines her life, family, and self. While raising a spirited young man, blending two families, returning to school after a 10 year hiatus, and pushing her own boundaries, this life will just never be the same.”

I hope you enjoy this review of The Courtesan — I know that I want to read this book ever since I read her review! Also, be sure to head over the The Raven’s Spell tomorrow to check out what I wrote!


Title:  The Courtesan (The Dark Queen Saga #2)
Author:  Susan Carroll
Format: Paperback, 534 pages
Published:   July 26th 2005 by Ballantine Books
ISBN:  0345437977 (ISBN13: 9780345437976)

 Wow, Susan Carroll does it again. I started the Dark Queen Saga with the last book of the series (didn’t realize that it was a series at the time). My next book, The Courtesan, is book 2 in the series. I am hoping at some point I will get this all figured out, but it is not likely.

 Set in Paris in 1575, much sought after courtesan, Gabrielle Cheney, seeks to win the heart of the future king of France, her ambition driving her to become the power behind the French throne. Thought forsaken by her sister, the Lady of Fair Isle, Gabrielle seeks her own path and revolts against the ways of the Daughters of the Earth.  However, she must outwit Catherine de’ Medici, a witch hunter from her past, dark magic, and her own heart in order to succeed.  Is power and ambition what she seeks, or love and a life with Captain Nicolas Rémy, the loyal Scourge set on destroying her plans?

 While there are some back stories that I wish I knew more about, I was able to get through The Courtesan without any trouble (although, knowing how it all ends kind of sucks). Gabrielle is a wonderful character who you love, but at the same time wish you could smack every once in a while. Actually, all the characters are that way, which makes them very much human, and all that more likeable.

 Like any good historical fiction, The Courtesan left me wishing I had paid more attention in history class, although I doubt I ever would have gotten these kinds of stories.  But it did leave me intrigued and searching for more information about this period of France and the history surrounding Catherina de’ Medici.  Always a success in my book when a work of fiction can help the reader fall into a time period and come out wishing to know more.

 The story is intriguing and enjoyable and I found it very difficult to put the book down. If you enjoy historical fiction, I highly recommend.

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