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Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow

(Marie Antoinette #2)

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3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,919 ratings  ·  189 reviews
A captivating novel of rich spectacle and royal scandal, Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow spans fifteen years in the fateful reign of Marie Antoinette, France’s most legendary and notorious queen.

Paris, 1774. At the tender age of eighteen, Marie Antoinette ascends to the French throne alongside her husband, Louis XVI. But behind the extravagance of the young queen’s elabor
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Paperback, 400 pages
Published May 15th 2012 by Random House Digital, Inc. (first published 2012)
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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,919 ratings  ·  189 reviews


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Jane
Jun 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, signed
Where I got the book: purchased from author. Signed.

I was pretty enthusiastic about the first book in this series, Becoming Marie Antoinette , so I'm kind of sorry to report I didn't like this one nearly as much. Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow covers the story of Marie Antoinette from the first days of Louis XVI's reign to the beginning of the French Revolution, so from 1774 to 1789.

Except that it didn't stick to just Marie Antoinette. I think my problem with Days by contrast to Becoming is t
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Christy English
Oct 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
DAYS OF SPLENDOR, DAYS OF SORROW tells the story of Marie Antoinette’s time as Queen of France. In this novel, Marie Antoinette works hard to advise her husband as wisely as she can, reaching for the reigns of power, only to have Louis slap her hands away. She comes from Austria, where her mother co-rules an empire with her eldest brother, Emperor Joseph, and Marie Antoinette thinks that she should have at least an advisory role with her husband the king. But she is not in Austria. The Queens of ...more
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
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Another solidly impressive journey into the life of Marie Antoinette, Grey again proves, with her second novel in a planned trilogy, that she is a skilled writer, able to evoke time, place, and characters with equal vivacity. Beginning two weeks after the first novel, Becoming Marie Antoinette, ended, Grey immediately relaunches herself and the reader into an opulent, turbulent world with he
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Stephanie
I’ve always been intrigued with Marie Antoinette. she was such a complex women, I wanted to shake her at one moment, then hug her the next. She bore a tremendous amount on her shoulders and yet at the same time made very bad decisions. Out of all the books I’ve read about her, I would say that I have really enjoyed Juliet Grey’s two novels, Becoming Marie Antoinette and Day’s of Splendor, Day’s of Sorrow the most. But keep in mind this is Historical Fiction but I believe Grey stayed true to the ...more
Brenna
I would give it 3.5 stars. The beginning and the end were very interesting and made for easy reading. However most of the middle portion was a little too far fetched and exaggerated. Marie Antionette was quite annoying during the marjority of her reign. However, she really showed maturity once she bore her first child.
Teipu
Sep 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: paperback, read-2017
Between 3 and 4 stars.
Greys writing style is nice, but Marie Antoinette isn't a very likeable person. very self-absorbed and she seems very stupid tbh.

of course I knew were this was heading but I found myself hoping that Antoinette would suddenly change, become more level-headed and somehow evade her faith.
I really want to read some non-fiction about the French Revolution now
Lucy
Jun 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
This second book of Juliet Grey’s Marie Antoinette trilogy exceeded- by far, all my expectations. In the author’s first book, Becoming Marie Antoinette, we read about Antonia and how she, at a very young age becomes Queen of France- a most delightful read from beginning to end - So much so that I named it my favourite read of 2011. So how was Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow, going to compare, or better yet; give me more to get excited about?

Detailed to perfection at what is now customary Juliet
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Karen Stinneford
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
I read this book because I thoroughly enjoyed its prequel, "Becoming Marie Antoinette." THAT book offered great insight into the thoughts of a young girl whose life was not her own -- whose birthright belonged to the state, and who had to completely make herself over to meet ridiculous standards set by the country and rulers to which she would devote herself. Reading about 18th century orthodontists made me thank my lucky stars for modern medicine.

THAT book was revealing and interesting.

THIS bo
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Angie
Jun 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
I would give this book 3.5 stars if I could...

I have done extensive reading on Marie Antointette (though it was several years ago) and found her such an enticing person to read about. I "bonded" somehow with her persona in the books I previously read. I recently had the good fortune to visit Versailles, and so my obsession with her has reawakened. When I saw this new book about her, I was so excited to read it! (I found out later that it is bk#2 of the trilogy). I think because of the quality of
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Glen Stott
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the sequel to “Becoming Marie Antoinette.” As the story continues, Louis XV dies and a large funeral is held. Then Louis XVI becomes King and Marie Antoinette is Queen. The King gives Marie a little Chalet on the palace grounds that Louis XV built for Madame du Barry, his mistress. Marie spends a small fortune redecorating it. Still her marriage to Louis XVI has not been consummated. The doctors say a circumcision would alleviate the King’s problem, but he is afraid.

Duke Fersen of Sweden
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Anna
This is probably the most detailed historical fiction series on Marie Antoinette I've come across. For some readers it might seem a bit dry at times - this second installment takes place in the years between Marie and Louis XVI's marriage and the Revolution, so it mostly depicts lifestyle and excess and exactly how Marie came to be loathed by her people for being a spendthrift - not a lot of action at times but plenty of description. I love that sort of thing and this is one of my favorite time ...more
Maria Wiseman
Apr 14, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book was as terrible as the front cover.
Amanda
Sep 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-releases
I was a little worried about this one. Not only are "middle" books in a trilogy always a little tough, but it seemed like keeping the "middle" of Marie Antoinette's life could be even more difficult. I mean, you can't get to the Revolution until the third book, and the first book introduced readers to the heroine and her struggles -so what is there to talk about in the "middle" book?

It turns out there's a lot.

In Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow, Marie Antoinette's tale continues, taking up not
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Arleigh
Jul 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Juliet Grey, along with Amanda Elyot, is a pen name belonging to the lovely and talented Leslie Carroll—one of my favorite historical novelists. Having read seven of her books thus far, fiction and non-fiction, I much enjoy her smart writing style and her ability to write a perfectly balanced and intriguing story. All for Love, a fictional biography on the 18th century actress, Mary Robinson, remains one of my favorites, while this new trilogy on Marie Antoinette has been added to the list.

Days
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Allie
May 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Juliet Grey continues the saga of Marie Antoinette in her second volume. Covering the years between her ascent to the throne and the beginning of the French Revolution. Spanning fifteen years, readers explore the French Court through the eyes of its infamous queen. Grey focuses the full life of Marie Antoinette, from her everyday life to the momentous events that shaped the Queen and the Court.

Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow really captures the spirit of Marie Antoinette. The author does a grea
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Elmira
May 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a well researched and engaging story. This is a work of fiction, so the author can explore possible actions and thoughts through her characters that the real person might or might not have done or thought. What makes this an excellent work of historical fiction is the care that the author takes to be sure that the actions and thoughts of the characters are entirely consistent with the factual record, as well as with the likely motivations he/she was likely to feel.

Throughout the entire
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Diane S ☔
Apr 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Back when I studied Modern European history in school (and yes it was quite a while ago) I was fascinated by anything having to do with the French Revolution. Grey's first book "Becoming Marie Antoinette enlightened me on many things I never knew about this Queen of France, namely the extent of the many things she had to change physically and behaviorally, to be accepted as the Dauphin;s future wife. Loved that book and love this one. Once again Grey, with meticulous research, shows the reader ...more
Jessica Jewett
Jan 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the second novel in Grey’s Marie Antoinette trilogy, which follows the Queen of France from the beginning of her reign through the dark days of the French Revolution. (The third and final novel, The Last October Sky, is due out in September 2013.) I found this novel to not quite be as fluid as the first. I don’t hold the author entirely at fault for this because I’m in the process of writing my own novel at this period of French history and untangling the truth from the spiderweb is incr ...more
Sandy
Aug 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
It seems to me that the world around 1800 was ready for a change and it truly didn't matter who was on the throne. Combine some long-rooted animosity against Austria and a weak monarch and you have a recipe for revolution. It occurs to me that Marie Antoinette really suffered from a lack of a decent PR department!

The book was very interesting, I like the view that Marie Antoinette was not the heinous person history alludes that she was. I had no idea about her frustrations about not being a mot
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Gaile
The second book in this series is much better than the first one. I enjoyed it more. Marie Antoinette comes into her own and finally has her children. She also meets Axel Von Fersen. It ends on the eve of the French Revolution and we have to wait for the next book to come out which isn't yet out.
Knowing the inevitable end, I am not sure I want to read the next book. I never thought Marie Antoinette was responsible for the revolution. This book just convicts me even more. If only her husband had
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Jennifer
May 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
"I imagined I heard a slow, steady drumbeat wherever I went." -- the character of Marie Antoinette in Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow as things begin to deteriorate. What. A fabulous. Line.
Susan
May 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't like this one as much as the first novel in the trilogy, but then I didn't feel as sympathetic towards Marie Antoinette as I did in the first novel. In the early part of her life (the first novel), she was not left with many choice, but in this part of her life (second novel) she is making choices that lead her to become that tragic figure we know so well.
Jamie
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
This has to be one of the more boring historical fictions I have read and I am not sure if I want to read the third book or not. Juliet Grey's use of the French language where it is not needed is frustrating and entirely unnecessar, luckily I can read and understand basic French if I couldn't I would be really frustrated with this series.
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
May 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review-needed
Another awesome novel from Grey. This might be my favorite book about Marie Antoinette. Review to come.
Frankie
Aug 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Although written in the first person, Marie Antoinette still comes across as hedonistic and self-centered. Interesting concept. You get the feeling she almost begs for her own demise.
Caz
This is the second book in a trilogy focusing on the life and reign of the doomed French queen. The first is Becoming Marie Antoinette and the final book - The Last October Sky - is, I believe, going to be published next year.

Days of Splendour, Days of Sorrow focuses on the years 1774-1798, and begins at the point where Marie Antoinette’s husband, Louis, has just ascended the throne as Louis XVI.

The novel is written mostly in the first person which, as I mentioned in my review of The Second Em
...more
Angela
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
The story of Marie Antoinette continues. I really feel in love with her in the first book, Becoming Marie Antoinette. This book begins to reveal the beginning of the end. Poor Marie, and Louis, her husband, the King, are so not prepared to be King and Queen. They have both been so sheltered they have no idea what to do. Even if Marie tried to make suggestions, she was not allowed to so, as women were not allowed to rule in France and Louie refused to allow her input. She continues to be unable t ...more
Jessica
May 25, 2018 rated it liked it
This second novel follows the life of Marie Antoinette from the time she became Queen of France to the storming of the Bastille and the beginning of the French Revolution.

Marie Antoinette is a fascinating figure to me because she suffers much from her time: from the intricacies of French court to her unconsummated marriage. Neither of these things are her fault, yet how she handles them and the public perception of her in regards to both of these is what ultimately leads to her downfall.

The book
...more
Trisha
Oct 25, 2017 rated it liked it
I had a tough time getting through this novel. It seemed to move at a much slower pace and I didn't feel drawn into the storyline. It also kept jumping back and forth between first person narrator and third person, which made it seem choppy at times. It was interesting to read about the King's personality and temperament. I feel rather sympathetic towards Marie Antoinette. Yes, she comes across as rather frivolous at times, but she also did countless things for the people of France. It would app ...more
Ingrid Rose
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just came back from France and seeing Versailles and Compaengie. It makes reading this book come alive so much more. Her hamlet near the Petite Trianon is much more interesting than the Chateau and we could imagine her spending alot of time there to find peace. Unfortunately her house in the hamlet is closed, as are her apartments in the Chateau, for the next two years for restoration work. This book sets the characters in their real setting. And I love Marie Antoinette. I have always thought ...more
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Juliet Grey has extensively researched European royal history and is a particular devotee of Marie Antoinette. She and her husband divide their time between New York City and Washington DC.

Other books in the series

Marie Antoinette (3 books)
  • Becoming Marie Antoinette (Marie Antoinette, #1)
  • Confessions of Marie Antoinette (Marie Antoinette, #3)