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The Queen's Fortune: A Novel of Desiree, Napoleon, and the Dynasty That Outlasted the Empire

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4.27  ·  Rating details ·  112 ratings  ·  70 reviews
A sweeping novel about the extraordinary woman who captured Napoleon’s heart, created a dynasty, and changed the course of history—from the New York Times bestselling author of The Traitor's Wife, The Accidental Empress, and Sisi.

As the French revolution ravages the country, Desiree Clary is faced with the life-altering truth that the world she has known and loved is gone
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Kindle Edition, 448 pages
Expected publication: February 11th 2020 by Ballantine Books
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Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell

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This is a trashy work of historical fiction that will appeal to readers who like Philippa Gregory, although I'm not sure how closely it ought to be taken at face value. Most of the book consists of Desiree's amusing but cliched "Mean Girls"-style rivalry with Josephine, and alternately waxing prolific about her husband, Bernadotte's, tall, slender figure and tatted chest, while also pining or despairing over Napoleon and wondering What
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Allison
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I was absolutely mesmerized by the historical figure Desiree Clary Bernadette, and I cannot wait to share her story with you in February 2020!
Annette
Set during a rise and fall of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Desiree Clary was the first fiancé of Napoleon and later became the Queen of Sweden.
Overshadowed by history, this book sheds a light on her life.

Marseille, France, 1794: During the tumultuous times of the French Revolution, when in need, Desiree meets Joseph Bonaparte. He is interested in pursuing her, but when she meets his younger brother Napoleon, she is intrigued with the rough-mannered but well-read and brisk Napoleon rather than the handsome
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Allison
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I was absolutely mesmerized by the historical figure Desiree Clary Bernadotte. I can’t wait to share her story with you in February 2020!
Kristina McMorris
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An enthralling story that also taught me an enormous amount about figures and pieces of history I had no idea about -- the best kind of historical fiction! I was thrilled to provide a quote:

“Allison Pataki is a masterful historical author at the top of her game. From the very first lyrical lines of The Queen’s Fortune, I was wholly swept into the entrancing world of Desiree Clary Bernadotte. Painstaking research and page-turning prose placed me directly at the side of this remarkable yet
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Mary
This book — one of those stories that sates my thoughts and transports me to the past, when a young Corsican was breaking hearts and climbing the ranks of the French army, soon to be Emperor of France.

The narrator isDésiréeClary, one-time fiancée of Bonaparte. Désirée begins her story as a young girl of privilege, daughter of a wealthy silk merchant, to Queen consort of Sweden and Norway. Because Clary despised life at court, she is not an up-front-in-your-face figure in history. Make no
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Sofia
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book immensely. Judging by the synopsis, I first thought that there was more invention than truth to this story. I was amazed to learn that I was wrong. Desiree Clary's journey from a fatherless 16 year old girl in France to becoming the Queen of Sweden and all of the events in between was a fascinating tale.

There was more politics in this book than I cared for, but at the same time, learning more about France and the Revolution couldn't hurt. Overall a great read.

Thanks to
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Rachel
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Queen’s Fortune by Allison Pataki is an amazing, epic, and thrilling historical fiction piece that tells the story of the very interesting woman, Desiree Clary Bernadotte.

I have to admit upfront that whe I know qyuite a bit of Russian and English history, I know less about French history. Ms Pataki is very talented in that she was able to weave together an amazing story of a woman that was involved with so many important moments in history, yet was under the radar for a majority of them. I
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Erin
Author Allison Pataki has done it again.
Telling the story of Desiree Clary, who almost became Napoleon Bonaparte's wife before being spurned by him in favor of Josephine de Beauharnais. She later marries his confidant and star general and the two men become rivals. A blurb describes this book as "meticulously researched and brilliantly imagined" - which perfectly describes the wonderful weaving of fact and fiction in this story, the sign of the best historical fiction writers. Pataki's style is
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The Library Lady
Okay, I TRIED to give this the benefit of the doubt, because I'd like to be kind. And perhaps the chutzpah of the author self rating her book a 5 was warranted, because it was that good a book. Never mind that a wonderful classic book had been written about Desiree Clary before. Hell, most of the authors out there right now don't seem to have read a book published before 2010, if that late, in the genre they write. Maybe, just maybe, I'd love it.

Sorry, Allison Pataki, no sale.

About 40 years ago,
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TAS
Nov 11, 2019 rated it liked it
I received early access to this book (scheduled for publication Feb 11, 2020) in exchange for writing an impartial review. I have read nearly all of Allison Pataki’s books and am a huge fan. This one however let me down. It’s not bad; just not up to the standard I’ve come to expect from this author.Three and a half stars is more accurate.

What you have here is a truly fascinating character in Desiree Clary, a little known historical figure who survived France’s Reign of Terror, was briefly
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Natalie
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a child I was fascinated by the romance between Désirée Clary and Napoléon Bonaparte. I had seen it depicted in a film and never forgot it. Over the years I visited her home in Stockholm and named a poodle Désirée.

That being said, I was thrilled at the opportunity to read a novel devoted to the tale that was her life. This book certainly did not disappoint me. Pataki was able to flesh out details and bring richness to this life. As a commoner from Marseille, it’s remarkable to think that it
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CR
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a pretty light read with a historical flare. I really loved learning more about these characters from history but I am guessing that the author took a lot of creative liberties with them. As I just couldn't see some of this happening etc. The characters were fun to read about and the story was engaging. I think this is one of those titles to pick up read a few chapters then you put it down get some stuff done and come back to it. Its not something your going to read all in one sitting. ...more
Cynthia
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting book about Napoleon's first fiancé, a young girl living in Marseilles. She ultimately becomes Queen of Sweden. I had never heard of this woman, but her life story makes a great historical novel. If you have any interest in French history, you'll want to read this book. It moves along at a good pace, with interesting historical characters, set against the French Revolution and Napoleon's reign.
Lindsey
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've always enjoyed both learning about and reading about the French Revolution time period. As a result, Desiree Clary is not an unknown to me. This is the second book I've read about her, and I'll admit that I didn't think it could live up the Annemarie Selinko's Desiree book at first but it really did end up being just as good of a read. The characterizations were excellent as were the historical aspects. The writing style flowed nicely. Desiree was strong willed and an excellent character to ...more
Debbi
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Allison Pataki does it again! (but then, I think I say that with each of her books, they are all so good!).

Desiree Clary is an important part of Napoleon's life. Perhaps she's his first love, he's certainly hers. She becomes engaged to him early in his career, but he moves on and dumps her as he becomes more and more powerful and marries Joséphine de Beauharnais . But Desiree is no shrinking violet, and when her sister marries Joseph, Napoleon's brother, she can't avoid Napoleon, although she
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Jenny Buchta
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this historical fiction novel about the little-known character, Desiree Clary. While she eventually becomes a queen, she isn’t Napoleon’s queen. I loved how Pataki portrayed the diminutive general, as I can imagine he was a “handful.” Desiree stands out as a level-headed and smart character, while the famous Josephine suffers from her husband’s abusive nature.

I recommend reading this one for sure!
Rose
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Queen's Fortune" by Allison Pataki is a little slow to start, but once you get into it a bit it is impossible to put down. Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution and the rise of Napoleon as well as his legacy. We meet Desiree who is at first Napolean's lover and later his sister in law. This book is one that will keep you wondering whst is going to happen next in this tumultuous time in France. I would recommend it to all fans of historical fiction, especially french historical ...more
Debbi
Nov 12, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Allison Pataki does it again! (but then, I think I say that with each of her books, they are all so good!).

Desiree Clary is an important part of Napoleon's life. Perhaps she's his first love, he's certainly hers. She becomes engaged to him early in his career, but he moves on and dumps her as he becomes more and more powerful and marries Joséphine de Beauharnais . But Desiree is no shrinking violet, and when her sister marries Joseph, Napoleon's brother, she can't avoid Napoleon, although she
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Evelyn Dodson
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ginger Pollard
First let me say how much I have enjoyed this author's previous work. The two books she wrote about Sisi (Empress of Austria) are among my favorite books ever. I was excited to read this book and it doesn't disappoint! Most people know about Napoleon Bonaparte and his lady love Josephine. Another lady was highly involved in their lives and needed to be remembered. Allison Pataki has certainly filled that blank spot. This book tells the story of Desiree Clary Bernadotte, Napoleon's first fiancee. ...more
Pamela
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Pamela by: received as an ARC
"When the snow falls at midnight..." The author snagged me from the very first words of the book. I have received this as an ARC and you will read my truthful review. Honest. Many years ago I read a novel about Desiree, the young woman that was Napoleon's friend and first love. I had never heard of Desiree Clary and at that time I truly had not studied much about Napoleon, other than the humor of his hand in his vest. The wonderful librarian that was enforcing the punishment I received for ...more
Meghan
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
This book was received as an ARC from Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine Ballantine Books in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

This was by far the Historical Fiction novel that just blew my mind. This book had drama all around that was super enticing and juicy that it made you not want to stop. The relationships that become tangled with Desiree and her family members marrying family of ruler Napoleon Bonaparte and that
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Candice Valdez
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love historical fiction. Allison Pataki has a way of bringing it to life and making you feel like you are right there in the story. This book is no different. I enjoyed reading about Napoleon, from his humble beginnings, all the way to his death. The author has done her research and has brilliantly composed a book that i could not put down. 5+ stars. This is a great read and teaches you some history as well. This author is always a must read for me.

I received a complimentary copy of this
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Taylor Noel
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Queen's Fortune is a passionate, exhilarating novel of the woman who nearly married Napoleon, and changed the course of history when she married someone else. Allison Pataki's meticulously researched and brilliantly imagined novel sweeps readers into the unbelievable life of a woman almost lost to history—a woman who, despite the swells of a stunning life and a tumultuous time, not only adapts and survives but ultimately reigns at the helm of a dynasty that outlasts an empire. Rich and ...more
Penzi Hill
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank You to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine for providing me with an ARC in return for my honest opinions

7.5/10. A good read, if you're able to ignore the injustices of the day. As a historical guilty pleasure read, The Queen's fortune was captivating, romantic and held enough petty intrigue to lure and trap a reader. It was a graceful and stylish read that whisked it's audience back to a forgotten time and a romance that didn't make many history books. We could feel
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Bethany Swafford
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Desiree Clary's life is turned upside down when the Revolution begins in France. When she meets the ambitious soldier, Napoleon Bonaparte, she quickly becomes secretly engaged to him. But marriage to the military prodigy is not to be, and she must learn to find her way among the ever-changing French capital.

I don't know a great deal about French history, so I found this woman's life to be fascinating. She goes from a country belle to queen of a country in the span of her lifetime, with a
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Mandi F
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love historical fiction so this book caught my attention when I saw the cover and read the description. I liked it because it was a book about a part of history I never read about before. I would definitely recommend this book to a friend. I can't wait to see what the author comes up with next.
Krista
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Note: I reviewed an ARC provided to me from Netgalley.

In historical fiction, I require the following:

*Characters that interest me;
*Reasonable fidelity to the known characteristics of famous individuals;
*Reasonable fidelity to historical events
*Something that has its own story, such that I don't feel I'm reading an encyclopedia article.
*And, okay, I admit it--pretty dresses. Don't hate!

"The Queen's Fortune" provides this in spades. The book revolves around the story of Napoleon's first fiancee
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Cindy Straka
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine for giving me the opportunity to read this amazing story. It's nice to read a story about a person that many have not or do not remember hearing about. The author managed to bring to life a lady I never heard of and about a man who, I believe, stole her heart, Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte. This story takes the reader to many places and the detail the author goes into is breathtaking, so much so it's as if you are there along with ...more
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ALLISON PATAKI is the NYTimes Bestselling author of THE TRAITOR'S WIFE, THE ACCIDENTAL EMPRESS, SISI:EMPRESS ON HER OWN, WHERE THE LIGHT FALLS, and the memoir, BEAUTY IN THE BROKEN PLACES.

Her work has been translated into more than a dozen languages, has been featured on The TODAY Show, The NY Times, The Huffington Post, USA Today, FOX News, Morning Joe, and more.

Visit AllisonPataki.com to
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