The Shadow Queen by Sandra GullandThe Shadow Queen by Sandra Gulland

The Shadow Queen

bySandra Gulland

Paperback | April 7, 2015

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From the author of the beloved Josephine B. Trilogy comes a spellbinding novel inspired by the true story of a young woman who rose from poverty to become confidante to the most powerful, provocative and dangerous woman in the 17th-century French court: the mistress of the charismatic Sun King.

1660, Paris: Claudette’s life is like an ever-revolving stage set. Following an impoverished childhood spent wandering the French countryside with her family acting troupe, she witnesses her mother’s astonishing rise to stardom in Parisian theatres. Working with playwrights Corneille, Moliere and Racine, Claudette leads a culturally rich life, but like all in the theatrical world at the time, she’s socially scorned.

A series of chance encounters pulls Claudette into the alluring orbit of Athenaïs de Montespan, mistress of Louis XIV and reigning “shadow queen.” Needing someone to safeguard her secrets, Athenais offers to hire Claudette as her personal attendant.

Enticed by the promise of riches and respectability, Claudette leaves the world of the theatre only to find that court is very much like a stage, with outward shows of loyalty masking more devious intentions. This parallel is not lost on Athenaïs, who fears that political enemies are plotting her ruin as young courtesans angle to take the coveted spot in the king’s bed.

Indeed, Claudette’s “reputable” new position is marked by spying, illicit trysts and titanic power struggles. As Athenaïs becomes ever more desperate to hold on to the king’s favour, her innocent love charms begin to delve into the realm of deadly black magic, and Claudette is forced to consider a move that will put her life—and the family she loves so dearly—at risk.

Set against the gilded opulence of a newly constructed Versailles and the cut-throat Parisian “war of the theatres,” The Shadow Queen is a seductive, gripping novel about the lure of wealth, the illusion of power and the increasingly uneasy relationship between two strong-willed women whose actions could shape the future of France.

SANDRA GULLANDis the author of the Canadian bestsellerMistress of the Sunas well as the Josephine B. Trilogy, which has sold more than a million copies in seventeen languages worldwide.
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Title:The Shadow QueenFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:336 pages, 8 X 5.31 X 1 inShipping dimensions:336 pages, 8 X 5.31 X 1 inPublished:April 7, 2015Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1554687829

ISBN - 13:9781554687824

Appropriate for ages: All ages

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Editorial Reviews

"Sandra Gulland shapes a world rich in historical detail and timeless in its exploration of divided loyalties, power struggles and the consequences of remaining true to heartfelt ideals.” —Ania Szado, author of Studio Saint-Ex“Fascinating and rich in historical detail, The Shadow Queen brings Claude des Oeillets to full and vivid life as she makes the journey from hungry, roaming player to indispensable attendant of Louis XIV's mistress. A captivating glimpse into the theatre, court life and black arts of 17th-century Paris.” —Cathy Marie Buchanan, author of The Painted Girls“Sandra Gulland's latest will remind readers why they fall in love with the past. Gulland uses her meticulous research with consummate skill, rendering vivid the luxury and squalor of Louis XIV's France and breathing life into fully formed characters that tug at the heart. Masterful.” —Tasha Alexander, New York Times-bestselling author of Death in the Floating City