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The Rivals of Versailles

(The Mistresses of Versailles Trilogy #2)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  1,041 ratings  ·  182 reviews
And you thought sisters were a thing to fear. In this compelling follow-up to Sally Christie's clever and absorbing debut, we meet none other than the Marquise de Pompadour, one of the greatest beauties of her generation and the first bourgeois mistress ever to grace the hallowed halls of Versailles.

I write this before her blood is even cold. She is dead, suddenly, from a
Paperback, 448 pages
Published April 5th 2016 by Atria Books
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Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Sep 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
THE RIVALS OF VERSAILLES is the sequel to THE SISTERS OF VERSAILLES, Sally Christie's debut novel. In this book, we get to follow Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson also known as Marquise de Pompadour or Madame de Pompadour. Young Jeanne was told as a child by a gypsy fortune-teller that she would one day become the lover of a king and be the most powerful women in the land. And she became, by scheming and some luck, the mistress of King Louis XV. But, being the mistress of the king also means she gather ...more
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Okay so I'm having a hard time scoring this book. More like a 3.5 rather a 4.

This story had drama to last Versailles 4 years of gossip but of course that place was an evil disease everyone wanted a piece of. Part 2 was about the last few years of Madame de Pompadour's "rule" over King Louis XV. The chapters that were not Madame's were of the other, few, silly mistresses. The most I learned about this time was that these women, and many others, were happy to soil themselves and their reputations
Jenny Q
4.5 Stars. Sally Christie's debut novel, The Sisters of Versailles, about a family of five sisters, four of whom became mistresses of Louis XV, made my list of best books of 2015, and so I was anxiously awaiting my chance to read the sequel, The Rivals of Versailles. It picks up right where we left off, only now the story is being told by Jeanne Poisson, the young and beautiful commoner who will become known to history as the unparalleled Madame de Pompadour.

Jeanne, or Reinette as she is called
Another extraordinary historical fiction novel written by Sally Christie and narrated by Elizabeth Wiley! Plot, settings and characters were extremely well-developed. Focusing on one of Louis XV's more famous (or infamous) mistresses, Marquise de Pompadour, I felt more sympathy towards her than the other mistresses mentioned in this book as well as in Book #1, especially in the last 30 minutes of this audiobook when she is at death's door, regretting that she emotionally hurt the queen as well a ...more
Lois is recovering slowly
I enjoyed the parts that were the pov of Madame Pompadour. The problem was a good portion of the novel was from the pov of Louis XV's other lovers, who are uniformly presented as very young, naive, uncultured and ridiculously silly. They all felt the same and their chapters were horribly boring.
The court at Versailles was extremely sophisticated and I highly doubt noble women raised to take their place at court would be this naive about the goings on at court.
The ending was beautifully done.

“Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, the Marquise de Pompadour, the little girl from the middle classes who rose to become the virtual Queen of France and quite possibly the most influential royal mistress ever. She expertly managed a capricious master and her memory lingers long in our consciousness; alongside Catherine the Great of Russia and Maria Theresa of Austria, she is considered one of the three most powerful women of the eighteenth century.”

This story begins in 1730, when King Louis XV is 20 ye
The Lit Bitch
Apr 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first book in this series, The Sisters of Versailles, hooked me. Five sisters, four of which were all mistresses to the same king? Sounds intriguing right?!

So when this one came up for review I was excited because Christie adds such wonderful, rich historic detail to her story that I was eager for more in this installment.

This book is less about the Nesle sisters and more about the infamous Marquise de Pompadour.

This story is mostly told from the Jeanne’s perspective (AKA Reinette) so the re
3.5 stars. First of all I have to say that I loved the audio, Elizabeth Wiley is a very talented narrator. A light and easy read it does still provide a feeling for the times, especially the opulence and vapidness of Versailles, as well as the poverty of the rest of the nation. I came to respect and really admire the Marquise de Pompadour, she was an intelligent and gentle woman. I felt very sad for Morphise, one of the rivals - but her life truly allows us a look at how sad life outside the cou ...more
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I do enjoy Sally Christie’s writing - so lively, with a subtle underlying humour. Here we have the story of Madame de Pompadour, and her struggle to remain ahead of her rivals in the affections of Louis XV. In the background, the murmur of unrest among the people as they struggle to survive. I’m looking forward to reading the final instalment of the trilogy as Madame du Barry comes on the scene.
When Jeanne Poisson is a young child, a fortuneteller tells her that one day she will be the king’s mistress. From that time her whole life strives for her to become the mistress of king Louis XV’s mistress and her mother calls her Reinette from now on. She does fulfill that prediction and falls in love with the king but soon learns that her position won’t bring her friends in the court. She learns the ways of the court and is elevated to the title Marquise de Pompadour.

Like with the last book,
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I received an advanced copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley. All of the opinions are my own.

I am actually kind of disappointed that this book wasn't as much of a train wreck as the previous novel, The Sisters of Versailles.

First I would just like to say that if the author had filled her books with the kind of writing talent she displayed in the last chapter of this novel, her books would be five star reads for me.

The women in this book are just as one dimensional as they were before. They
Paul Pessolano
Feb 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
“The Rivals of Versailles” by Sally Christie, published by Atria Books.

Category – Fiction/Literature Publication Date – April 05, 2016.

This is the second of a trilogy about the goings on in the French Court during the reign of King Louie XV. It is a story that is based on fact with some improvisation to make the story sizzle.

The story revolves around the Duchesse de Pompadour, who now no longer shares a bed with the King, but still is the most influential woman in the court. She is constantly be
Sep 11, 2016 rated it liked it
An interesting look into the life of an often unremembered yet staggeringly influential woman, reminiscing on the saying behind every great man is a great woman. The Marquise de Pompador effectively ran the life of her beloved King Louis XV and in Sally Christie's historical exploration becomes a multi-dimesional figure who looms over the court of Versailles. The pace of the book staggered in the middle as it switched between the Marquise and her competitors for the king's affections, non of who ...more
Bookish Darling
Dec 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Christie’s debut ‘The Sisters of Versailles’ was a surprising hit for me last year, so I picked up the second installment with some giddiness. After all, the first book was about a family of sisters who all caught the king’s eye (what a coincidence); this one was about Madame de Pompadour, one of the most famous and influential royal mistresses of all time. This was scandalous and familiar ground—there should be plenty of intrigue and glamour involved in the book!

And to some degree, Christie did
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this 2nd book in the series! I highly recommend this series to anyone who is a lover of history.
Melanie Vidrine
Aug 28, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Again, historical fiction which I love!
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really liked and enjoyed Sally Christie’s fictional telling of France’s King Louis XV’s first mistresses, the Nesle sisters Louise, then Pauline followed by Marie-Anne, then briefly Diane, in The Sisters of Versailles. The intrigues of French court and how easily this King could be manipulated and lead by women to do their bidding was such an intriguing story–full of heartbreak, back stabbing, passion, and ultimately betrayal. The second book in the Mistresses of Versailles Trilogy picks up wh ...more
Kelsi H
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Please check out all of my reviews at http://ultraviolentlit.blogspot.ca!

This novel is the follow-up to Christie’s The Sisters of Versailles, both part of a trilogy that chronicles the mistresses of King Louis XV of France. This second novel follows the life of Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, later the Marquise de Pompadour, who essentially ruled France, through the heart of the king, for almost twenty years.

After a fortune teller tells young Jeanne-Antoinette that she will become the lover of a kin
Erin Al-Mehairi
May 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you want a glorious novel to read in which you'll be swept away to the 18th century for the weekend, then Sally Christie's The Rivals of Versailles is perfect to quench your desire for a french delicacy in the form of words on paper.

This is the second book in her The Mistresses of Versailles Trilogy, but you don't have to have read the first book if you'd like to pick up this one. I'd bet you'll want to go back and read it though, and then the third book next year, because you'll love her wri
Sep 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
I loved Madame Pompadour’s story. In the beginning, she was a young, naive girl madly in love with the king. She was raised to love him and indeed, gave him her whole heart. But she was also cunning and smart; she fought for her role as royal mistress and, through all her trials, kept it. She was able to plot and beat out her rivals to the very end. Later in life, and at the end of the narrative, she was no longer naive, but cultured, experienced, and growing tired of the court life. Jeanne stil ...more
Actual rating: 4.5 stars.

I'm so mad at myself for waiting so long to pick this book up! Reading it was a pleasure from start to finish.

Like in the first book, I loved Christie’s humorous and witty style. She didn't take her characters too seriously and she often made fun of them, which was very entertaining. The letters were once again a nice touch and sometimes highly amusing, especially the ones written by Pompadour to Richelieu. That being said, the book also had a more somber tone at times,
Jennifer N
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
I loved The Sisters of Versailles so I could not wait to read The Rivals of Versailles. Unlike the sisters whom I had never heard of, I actually knew quite a bit about the Duchess of Pompadour. I love historical fiction and this particular time period is very intriguing. I love comparing the French court to the English court. One of the most interesting things is that a woman must be married to become an official mistress - strange...

The Rivals of Versailles does not disappoint. We meet the Duch
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Apr 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
"The Rivals of Versailles" is the second book in Sally Christie's The Mistress of Versailles series. In this book, we meet Jeanne Poisson who will become yet another mistress for France's King Louis XV. Stunningly beautiful, Jeanne, called Reinette, throughout the book is told from a young age that she will become the King's mistress. Rising to fame as the Marquise de Pompadour, Jeanne is a force to be reckoned with. Others we are introduced to throughout the book will try to unseat her but ther ...more
Raven Haired Girl
Apr 19, 2016 added it
Shelves: 2016
Visit Raven Haired Girl for more reviews & giveaways

Impressed with Christie's first novel in the trilogy The Sisters of Versailles, I couldn't wait to read her interpretation of Madame de Pompadour. I was taken with Jeanne from the start, her determination piqued my interest, I knew her journey would be riveting. Jeanne possessed intelligence along with tenacity allowing her to remain two steps ahead of her rivals, never flinching, always calm and assured in retaining her place by her beloved Ki
Lígia Bellini
Jun 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent sequel!! If i was shocked to read about King Louis XV's affair with the four sisters Nesle, after reading about Marquise de Pompadour and her relationship with him, i was even more! That woman was wicked! She was never loved or accepted at Court. They only tolerated her, because she became the Royal Mistress. They couldn't forget that she was a bourgeoise. Things weren't easy to her. Pompadour had to deal with humiliations, but was smart enough to make King Louis XV her ally and rule F ...more
Jul 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
The first book in this series is nigh peerless in its ability to create distinct and very real characters from among sisters who nearly all did the same thing - fucked a king. This book is a bit... less good at that. When it comes to the rotating cast of minor mistresses, it sparkles and it sings, but the woman at the heart of it all remains flat, never really wanting anything once she's snared the king.

THAT SAID. I have never felt so viscerally disgusted by the excesses and debauchery of Versai
Another really great installment in this Louis XV Versailles trilogy by Sally Christie - I think I even liked it more than its predecessor, "The Sisters of Versailles". The Marquise de Pompadour was such an interesting person, coming from humble bourgeois beginnings and ending up as one of the most powerful women of the eighteenth century.

Pompadour's thoughts and strategies were extremely personal and engaging in the chapters narrated by her character, as well as those chapters narrated by the
May 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was the second book in the Versailles series. But, it was not very connected to book 1.So,you can read book 2 without actually reading book 1.The story evolves around King Loius 15th and his mistresses ( just like in book 1).The Versailles sisters are gone, half of them dead. But,the voracious hunger of the King continues to draw most beautiful women in Versailles to him.The book talks mostly about his relationship with one specific beauty-Reinnette .She earns a position at Versailles ...more
Why one star:

- The way Sally Christie writes makes me think she's the kind of person that would be welcome at CW's Reign writing room.

- One of the most interesting mistress of Louis XV rendered boring, vapid and dumb.

- Only 30% of the actual book it's about her. Think of that.

I cannot think why would I read this book when the first one (The Sisters of Versailles) was very annoying, maybe the Madame de Pompadour theme made me do it but now I regret it.

I love the covers of this trilogy, though, th
Nov 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
I throughly enjoyed The Sisters of Versailles by Sally Christie, but this second book in the trilogy was even better. Christie knows how to bring the reader into the very psyche of her subject, in this case Madame Pompadour. Her historical detail is exceptional and she has a way of immersing the reader so deeply in the cocoon of her world, that one can almost reach out and touch the porcelain teacup, taste the sugar cake, and breathe in a waft of carnation and musk on the wind. Versailles in bod ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Rivals of Versailles - Sally Christie 2 19 Aug 17, 2015 07:39AM  

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I’m a life-long history buff and I really wish time travel were a possibility—I’d be off to the eighteenth century in a flash!

Since I can’t travel back in time (yet), I have done plenty of global travel: as a child I lived in England, Canada, Argentina, and Lesotho, and attended eight schools in three languages. I continued my global wanderings with a career in international development, but now

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The Mistresses of Versailles Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Sisters of Versailles (The Mistresses of Versailles Trilogy, #1)
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