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Duchessina: A Novel of Catherine de' Medici

(Young Royals #5)

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3.69  ·  Rating details ·  1,526 ratings  ·  142 reviews
Young Catherine de' Medici is the sole heiress to the entire fortune of the wealthy Medici family. But her life is far from luxurious. After a childhood spent locked away behind the walls of a convent, she joins the household of the pope, where at last she can be united with her true love. But, all too soon, that love is replaced with an engagement to a boy who is cold and ...more
Hardcover, 261 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.69  · 
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 ·  1,526 ratings  ·  142 reviews


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graveyardgremlin
Duchessina was a fairly good young adult take on Catherine de' Medici. The historical details are flawlessly added, and while it's too sympathic towards Catherine, I understand the need for the heroine to be that way in this type of book. My only major complaint is the end, where there was too much left in the book to wrap up so quickly. I thought the whole book was just going to be the first twenty or so years of her life, which would have made the book more cohesive. Instead the last thirty pa ...more
Peggy
Apr 23, 2014 rated it liked it
I've been watching "Reign," and although I realize there's little historical accuracy to be found there, I still thought it might be fun to know a bit more about Catherine de Medici. Now that I've read this YA version, I'd like to read something a little more realistic.

Coincidentally, the cover depicts a young Catherine who looks quite a bit like Megan Follows.
Neda
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I actually learned something with this one. I had never heard of Catherine de'Medici, and it would appear that she is a bad ass.

If you've never read any of the Young Royal novels, and are skeptical of the historical accuracy. Don't worry, I did a lot of research after reading this, and the novel was accurate. It just took all the boring parts out. This lady was a bad ass. Left alone with nine children after her husbands sudden death, she ruled France for her three sons as they each rose to powe
...more
Lucy Mewsagi
Sep 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Duchessina was a likable book at most. There was nothing spectacular about the characters or plot. The details were sparse so I don't believe the story was painted out as well as it could have been. I believe if the author had put a little more time into making the story longer and more detailed I would have enjoyed it more. The character development was slow and I wasn't really fond of any particular character. I believed them all to be uninteresting, especially, Catherine. I did, however, feel ...more
julie
May 22, 2008 rated it it was ok
This book sparked my curiosity. I am curious to know more about Catherine. Especially if she ever found love. As far as the book goes, it was ok. It was pitiful, all of her misfortune. I didn't feel too emotionally involved in the book. I did feel sympathetic to her and her situation, but I didn't feel her devastation. The fact that Catherine was 4 and planning a future with a boy was unbelievable. It was unbelievable that a 9yr old had any comprehension of romantic love...and a desire for it. ...more
Gretchen
Jul 09, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: youngadult
This read like a first-person text book. So it was sort of informative, as long as you felt like you could trust a "historical fiction". Which I didn't since it is a YA book and therefore HIGHLY edited - casting Catherine d'Medici in a very favorable light. In the book she was cast as some innocent bystander to her fate - whereas in real life she was a pretty bad lady.
Andrea Wall
A very easy read because of course it is a kid's book.

First off I want to say "great job" to Ms. Meyer for making history books for kids!! I wish more had been around when I was a kid. It can be very very annoying when your 12 and you can't find any historical fiction books you can actually read besides the Royal Diaries series. (which where very good also) On this part alone I give five stars.

The story was interesting, but I personally found the characters flat. Please don't take this as an i
...more
The Book Queen
Feb 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: meh
Duchessina is historical fiction, and I think my problem with it was that the emphasis was very much on the 'historical' rather than the 'fiction'. And this is coming from a massive hist-fic fan.

The problem was the history was so heavy and the characters, plot and details suffered as a result. There was way too much telling, no showing, and I didn't connect with the characters at all. They weren't real people with real personalities. There was no dialogue and the world-building consisted of reci
...more
Machaia
Jun 27, 2013 rated it liked it
I've always loved this series because it gives me such an entirely new perspective on the oft maligned women royalty. This book is no exception. However, the story is sad from beginning to end. There is no happy ending for Catherine.
farmgirlbookworm
Feb 15, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lindsay Bragg
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
I'm reading the series to help me put all the characters from this time period into place, to see how they all fit together. Kuddos to Meyer for writing decent, historically accurate YA historical fiction. I really didn't like this one very much. Catherine de Medici was a more compelling story as an adult. I would have enjoyed more a book about her as Queen with flashbacks to tell some of her childhood story. Her childhood, while tragic makes for a boring read.

OR The book could have been longer
...more
Jeni Enjaian
I really wanted to enjoy this book. The story of Catherine de Medici has long intrigued me and made me want to learn more. However, I would not recommend this book. From the first few chapters where Catherine somehow narrates events that happened when she was two and three years old with great detail, something largely scientifically impossible, I found it hard to take this book seriously. I do however, plan to read more books on Catherine, just not this one. I do not recommend this one at all.
Megan
May 23, 2018 rated it did not like it
I could barely make myself finish reading this; I was disappointed with it, having read some of the other Young Royal books. At first, the story seemed to be interesting, within the first few chapters, and I was hopeful, but then it took a turn for the worst, and I couldn't enjoy any of it.
Cassondra
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very interesting look at the life of the young Catherine di Medici. I learned new information!
Patrick
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
C Hartley
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love it

It is a great book. I would recommend to around 9 and up and those who like history. If you are interested in the Medicis this book is for you.
Harley
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book wasn’t what I was expecting. Most of the book follows Catherine as a child. I did enjoy the last 50 pages but the rest was a bit boring.
Christine
Aug 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: royalty, historical, 2018
Historical fiction? Narrative non-fiction? I'm seeing a pattern with the lives of royalty back then: they're all depressing.
Jackson Matthews
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes one would like to hear a more fanciful history that what was written by the conqueror.
Diana Valdivia-Rodriguez
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Isabella Richter
May 21, 2020 rated it liked it
I read this book because I watched the dramatic and pretty inaccurate portrayal of the Medicis on Netflix (Father Carlo deserved better, he was the only good one of them, still mad). I would not recommend this book unless you have read everything else on your reading list, are weirdly interested in vaguely written history, or are aspiring to be a nun. The problem was that the main character was really young for most of the book and acted like someone 20 years older. The true fault was that the e ...more
Abi Devino
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Courtney
Nov 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Catherine de'Medici was orphaned as a baby leaving her to be the last of the Medici and as a consequence one of the riches women in the area. From a baby she was locked away in Palazzo Medici and eventually at age 7 in a convent for her own protection. till eventually she is let out only to learn she is to be married to King Henri II. She longs to have a happy marriage like her parents but is soon mistaken when he wants nothing to do with her and lusts after his much older mistress. Catherine kn ...more
Ariel
Jun 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
The writing was crisp, clear, and to the point with no extra fluff. Duchessina was a book I actually enjoyed. Even though it had some dark themes fabricated into the story, which I believe are not appropriate for a young adult book, keep in mind that it is a historical fiction book, based on the true story of Catherine de Medici. However, I personally would not have anyone under the age of 14 read this book.

I find Catherine to be a charming character. Unlike other young adult books, which just m
...more
Carrie Slager
Feb 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-borrowed
Catherine de’Medici has garnered quite a reputation and once again, Carolyn Meyer has stepped in to put things in perspective. We never really are told what it is she does that has given her a reputation, but for people who know about her reign, this tale of her unhappy childhood really does explain a lot. I think you’d turn out pretty ruthless too if you had the kind of childhood Catherine had.

In Duchessina, we learn about the truly horrible childhood she had and that most of her teen years wer
...more
Rebecca
Apr 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Orphaned at a young age and heir to a vast fortune, Catherine de' Medici was one of the wealthiest young women in 16th century Europe. But that did not make her childhood happy. For her own protection, she was kept locked in her home or secluded in a convent for most of her early years. After three years at the convent, she is finally set free, only to learn she is to be married to Henri II, prince of France, in a political union.

Married at the young age of fourteen, Catherine’s marriage is not
...more
Lisa Dobra
Sep 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Duchessina: A Novel of Catherine de’Medici, a Young Royals novel by Carolyn Meyer, tells the story of Catherine d’Medici, the sole heiress to the Medici family. Although she possess her family’s entire fortune, her life is not easy, and she moves from convent to convent until finally being reunited with her childhood love. Unfortunately it is not in her fate to remain with him, and she is betrothed to someone who barely pays her attention. Catherine quickly learns that she must be bold in order ...more
Cyana Scriptora
Jul 17, 2015 rated it liked it
oh man... I have to take a break from the 16th century! Everybody was so effed up! I can't take it anymore. Women had it so rough. I actually want to get into a time machine gather up all of these little girls (the future monarchs of Europe) and like save them from their futures! Hell, maybe I will even take Anne before her father involved her in his twisted plans. Big surprise here, Catherine's life sucked too! Why, because she lived a life without love. She had to live in a convent most of her ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for TeensReadToo.com

Catherine de'Medici, Duchessina, grows up in a palace in Florence where her family rules the city. When her family falls out of power, she must flee. She becomes imprisoned within the walls of convents for her protection against the angry mob that calls for her death. At the first convent, the nuns make their hatred of her family no secret.

The Duchessina lives in misery, enduring the pain as best she can under the circumstances. Finally, the tides
...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 05, 2015 06:20PM  
Carolyn Meyer 6 13 Aug 15, 2014 09:14AM  

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Carolyn Meyer is as versatile a writer as you will find. Along with historical fiction and realistic novels for young adults she has written nonfiction for young adults and books for younger readers on topics as diverse as the Amish, the Irish, Japanese, Yup'ik Eskimos, a rock band, rock tumbling, bread baking, and coconuts. And ten of her books have been chosen as Best Books for Young Adults by t ...more

Other books in the series

Young Royals (7 books)
  • Mary, Bloody Mary (Young Royals, #1)
  • Beware, Princess Elizabeth (Young Royals, #2)
  • Doomed Queen Anne (Young Royals, #3)
  • Patience, Princess Catherine (Young Royals, #4)
  • The Bad Queen: Rules and Instructions for Marie-Antoinette (Young Royals, #6)
  • The Wild Queen: The Days and Nights of Mary Queen of Scots (Young Royals, #7)

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