Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dancing With Kings” as Want to Read:
Dancing With Kings
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dancing With Kings

by
3.35  ·  Rating Details  ·  138 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
An alluring, exotic novel set in the late eighteenth century, based on the life of the famous and much-painted courtesan, La Belle Phanariote
Unknown Binding, 400 pages
Published April 21st 2010 by HarperCollins (first published January 1st 2004)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dancing With Kings, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Dancing With Kings

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 636)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Laura Purcell
Apr 29, 2013 Laura Purcell rated it it was ok
I finally gave up at around 60%. It's such a shame because this author has real talent (see my review of The Winter Palace) but I just couldn't get into this book. Not only does it skip around between narrators and time period, but it isn't always clear what's going on. I normally give books I don't finish 1* but this is going to get a 2. There were some really lovely descriptions in it and scenes that got my attention. But ultimately I found I didn't really care what happened and couldn't slog ...more
Charles
Jun 28, 2014 Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good read after an initially confusing start, it is the story in the 18th century of the real Countess Sophie Potocka, who after losing her virginity at age 16 in Bursa, Greece, is rejected by her parents, and proceeds to fight her way up the social ladder in Polish society having a multiplicity of affairs with increasingly prominent men, marrying de Witt & having a child, but leaving him for Count Potecki- a prominent Polish noble totally enamored of her, by whom she will have severa ...more
Peggy
Apr 02, 2010 Peggy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Countess Sophie Potocka was a real person who lived 1760-1822. She was born to a humble family, and was a Greek Christian in Turkey, who later married a Pole and ended up in Russia. These were turbulent times when Poland was partitioned out of existence and the French Revolution ended the monarchy in France. It was interesting to learn of the politics and also the mores of the time. The 18th century was much more open than the 19th, particularly for the aristocracy who could have dozens of affai ...more
Jane Glen
Jan 16, 2016 Jane Glen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I thought the subject matter sounded interesting but this was one of the poorest examples of historical fiction I've ever read. With too many minor characters as narrators, it often became confusing or just plain boring. Too bad!
Nat
Jul 17, 2016 Nat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting, but not particularly well written. It takes a bit of effort to orient through the first chapters but once you get to know the characters it becomes intriguing.
Kate Millin
Nov 07, 2009 Kate Millin rated it really liked it
I found the style quite difficult at first as it jumps between the stories of the different characters and it took a bit of time to get them sorted out in my mind. It is an interesting story of how a woman could use her body to make a life for herself in Napoloenic times. It also shows the double standards for the men involved as opposed to the women. It is the first time I have read anything based in Poland.

Bookcrossing copy: http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/4...
Erin
Jul 29, 2014 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

"Garden of Venus" is the story of Sophia, a poor Greek girl that is thrust into selling her body and eventually finds herself a darling of European society. Although I do have to admit that it took me roughly 130 pages to get "hooked" into the story, once I passed that hurdle, the rest of the story was a real treat. The author's note and historical detail in regards to the events happening in France, Greece, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine was very interesting.
Theresa
Jul 23, 2012 Theresa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I gave up. I couldn't follow the story. It kept jumping around too much. I couldn't remember the names of the characters (mostly because I didn't care about them) and have yet to find a redeeming quality in the main character.

I read for fun, not to culture myself. This was not fun.
Patricia
Sep 20, 2011 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful read. The author conjures up images of Russia that will stay with me forever. Easy to read, informative...a must for anyone interested in historical novels, and most particularly, Russian history.
Kathleen Eliasen
Aug 08, 2014 Kathleen Eliasen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this historical fiction about the troubling times in Poland, during the reign of Catherine the Great. Easily relates to other books written about these times.
Greg
Nov 04, 2013 Greg rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
horribly, childishly written book about a facinating, brilliant woman. This book reduces her to a mere money-grabbing whore wiith no brains...so dissapointing!
Liana Stergiopoulou
mmmm.....
pretty good book.
Fascinating life of Sofia, but a little bit too much the way it was said.
Good book anyway!
Elizabeth Eames


I liked this book. The story moves along at a good pace, the characters are interesting and the history fascinating.
Bex
Jan 16, 2009 Bex rated it it was ok
ultimately unsatisfying - writing isn't that great. i think i would rather read the russian novelists on the subject.
Kelly Pow
Aug 03, 2011 Kelly Pow rated it really liked it
love it...narrated in a few persons' point of view with flashbacks that gives the story 'life'
Anke Zweel
Aug 08, 2014 Anke Zweel rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned
this book was confusing and I did not understand it at all.....
Jen Krastel
Soooooo boring. Couldn't finish this garbage.
Carol Mclamb
Carol Mclamb marked it as to-read
Jul 14, 2016
Elbelle
Elbelle marked it as to-read
Jul 13, 2016
Brenda Dueck
Brenda Dueck marked it as to-read
Jul 10, 2016
Tiffany
Tiffany marked it as to-read
Jun 28, 2016
Sophie
Sophie marked it as to-read
Jun 27, 2016
Jennifer Jensen
Jennifer Jensen marked it as to-read
Jun 24, 2016
Suze
Suze marked it as to-read
Jun 11, 2016
Elena
Elena marked it as to-read
Jun 10, 2016
Christa
Christa marked it as to-read
Jun 05, 2016
C
C marked it as to-read
Jun 05, 2016
Sensitivemuse
Sensitivemuse marked it as to-read
Jun 04, 2016
Jane
Jane added it
Jun 04, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 21 22 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Reinvention of Love
  • Carnevale
  • Oskarżona: Wiera Gran
  • The French Mistress
  • The Grenadillo Box
  • Die Purpurlinie
  • A Royal Likeness
  • The Lost Queen
  • Midnight Fires (Mary Wollstonecraft, #1)
  • Scapegallows
  • Potop. Tom II
  • The Other Eden
  • The Fraud
  • The King's Nun: A Novel of King Charlemagne
  • A Catch of Consequence
  • Before the Storm
  • Stealing Athena
  • The Gilded Lily
711301
Eva Stachniak was born in Wrocław, Poland. She moved to Canada in 1981 and has worked for Radio Canada International and Sheridan College, where she taught English and humanities. Her debut novel, Necessary Lies, won the Amazon.ca/Books in Canada First Novel Award in 2000. Her first novel of Catherine the Great, The Winter Palace, has been included in the Washington Post 2011 list of most notable ...more
More about Eva Stachniak...

Share This Book



No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »