Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow by Juliet Grey is the second in a trilogy and again Juliet brings alive the world of Marie Antoinette so vividly that I felt I was right there experiencing the extravagance of the French Court. I was first introduced to Juliet Grey when I read Becoming Marie Antoinette (my review) and really enjoyed it so I was anxious to have the story continued in Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow and I was most definitely not disappointed as I loved this one as well! Juliet Grey is very skilled at pulling you into the past of these historical characters and weaving together a story that will hold you spellbound throughout.
Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow picks up the storyline following Becoming Marie Antoinette as she comes into her time as Queen of France. While it was interesting to read the first book and her introduction to the French Court this novel was fascinating as it delves into Marie Antoinette as a grown woman and focuses on how became so unpopular with the people of France.
As the novel opens Marie Antoinette is still waiting to have her marriage consummated and until it is she can’t perform her most important duty as queen and that is to produce a male heir. She encourages Louis to have the surgery that would enable them to consummate their marriage but even though he knows that he needs to produce an heir he is still hesitant to have the surgery. In the meantime since Marie Antoinette has no children to focus her energies on she instead points them towards having gowns made, remodeling her living quarters, having her hair done, giving lavish parties, and spending a good amount of time playing cards and gambling. Eventually their marriage was consummated and though she first gave birth to a girl she did eventually have two boys although the eldest was a sickly boy. As the story progresses it is interesting to read how Louis who had been so loved eventually ended up being hated instead. It is obvious he didn’t really have the backbone to lead and I am especially curious to see how the story will play out in the final novel of the trilogy.
As with the first novel and this one I really felt for Marie Antoinette despite the picture that history has painted of her. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to be torn from your family and country at a young age and thrown into a completely different environment. Add that to being married to a man who can’t seem to make you his wife in the most important way and who knows how we would react. I think that the author portrayed her as a real individual who had flaws and wasn’t perfect, not to mention that when she was focused on gowns and her hair she was also quite young at nineteen. Despite how people may have felt about her once she had her children she tamed down considerably and many times it is mentioned how she would give up anything for her children as she loved them with everything she had. I was fascinated with Marie Antoinette’s life when I read the first book in the trilogy and Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow solidified that fascination and I can’t wait to read more in the next book!
Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow by Juliet Grey is touring with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and as I am one of the first tour stops you have many more to follow along with in the coming month so be sure to check out the rest of the tour schedule! You can pick up your own copy of Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow here in the US and here in Canada.
GIVEAWAY DETAILS (US/Canada)
I have one copy of Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow by Juliet Grey to share with my readers. To enter…
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This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only (no PO boxes) and I will draw for the winner on Saturday, October 20/12. Good luck!
Source: Review copy provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and the Publisher. No compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are my own.