The last legitimate descendant of the illustrious Medici line, Catherine suffers the expulsion of her family from her native Florence and narrowly escapes death at the hands of an enraged mob. While still a teenager, she is betrothed to Henri, son of Francois I of France, and sent from Italy to an unfamiliar realm where she is overshadowed and humiliated by her husband's lifelong mistress. Ever resilient, Catherine strives to create a role for herself through her patronage of the famous clairvoyant Nostradamus and her own innate gift as a seer. But in her fortieth year, Catherine is widowed, left alone with six young children as regent of a kingdom torn apart by religious discord and the ambitions of a treacherous nobility.
This is definately a must read for those of you who love their historical novels, while it is a work of fiction you'll soon realize that a lot of real history has been portrayed in this novel. The author where possible has stuck to the facts ... of course because the story is written like Catherine is telling you ... well we can only surmise I guess.
It is so well written ... it grips you from the beginning to the end, it's though provoking and intriguing ,it's dramatic and turbulent, it makes you glad you never lived in those times and yet your heart just weeps for Catherine and her family and you want to help them. What amazing strength and courage and passion this woman had and all because she wanted to have peace between the religions at the time, she never gave up on her children or her beloved France as it came to be. Trust me you will not be able to put this book down and when you finally do, you'll be thinking about it long afterwards.
Please make sure that you read the author's afterthought at the end of the novel as this gives some really interesting insight to this period in the history of France.
I rate this book 5 stars.