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The Bad Queen: Rules and Instructions for Marie-Antoinette

(Young Royals #6)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  1,941 ratings  ·  202 reviews

History paints her as a shallow party girl, a spoiled fashionista, a callous ruler. Perhaps no other royal has been so maligned— and so misunderstood— as Marie-Antoinette.

From the moment she was betrothed to the dauphin of France at age fourteen, perfection was demanded of Marie-Antoinette. She tried to please everyone: courtiers, her young husband, the king, the French pe

Hardcover, 420 pages
Published April 12th 2010 by Harcourt Children's Books
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  1,941 ratings  ·  202 reviews

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Sierra Abrams
I learned a lot from this book. About history, about the personal life of Marie-Antoinette, about human nature. There were so many facts, so many interesting ideas and concepts. So many statements that could have been true, so many affairs that might not have been true. Marie-Antoinette and her story are one big puzzle - one that will always be difficult to solve and sort through. (And one that will always be worth it in the end.) No one can know which facts are true and which are not; many have ...more
Feb 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Meyer imagines the life of Marie-Antoinette as a young girl through her death giving us a Queen who was not entirely rotten but self absorbed, shallow, and inept at public relations. All of the chapters begin from a rule that was likely given to the monarch, and the bulk of the rules refer to her rampant unchecked spending. Which Meyer details and then lets the young monarch rationalize. Meyer clearly went out of her way to give an impartial view if the notorious Queen. She does play to Antoinet ...more
I forgot how much I enjoyed this.
Not necessarily historically accurate but well done.
Fully appropriate for tweens.
Dec 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: history-royal
So, despite loads of Historical Revisionist and Fifth-Wave-Feminist theory as well as tons of new research, an author trying to make Marie-Antoinette sound sympathetic, and an “I” point of view where Marie-Antoinette herself is trying to explain and justify her actions and emotions, I still was right there with the mob screaming for her blood to run in the gutter.

You could argue that signing the marriage contract between the future last king and queen of France was the signature on Marie-Antoine
Jun 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Marie-Antoinette, known as Antonia as a child, grew up as the youngest daughter of Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria, a mother who demanded no less than perfection and dedicated herself to making politically advantageous marriages for her many children. In 1768, the year Antonia turns thirteen, her mother determines to marry her off to Louis-Auguste, the heir to the throne of France, who is one year older than Antonia. From that day forward, everything changes for her. Everything must be perfect ...more
Margo Tanenbaum
May 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Carolyn Meyer does not disappoint in her newest addition to her Young Royals series, young adult novels on various historical princesses and queens in European history. She tries to present a balanced portrait of the much-maligned queen, whose life is told through a series of diary entries beginning when she was 12 years old and ending near the end of her life, when the author chooses to change the narrator to the Queen's 12-year old daughter, Marie Therese, who narrates the final few years of t ...more
Shannon Hayes
Dec 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If you have daughters with princess-obsession, this is definitely a book to read with them for a cure! It was shortly after reading this that Ula (my five year old) traded in her tiara for a Viking helmet. Okay, okay, I'll admit that this probably doesn't seem like an ideal choice for a five-year-old and her eight-year-old sister, but I chose it because we were going to France for a homeschool adventure, and I wanted to give the girls some historical grounding before we got there, and the litera ...more
Caidyn (he/him/his)
Oct 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
A very good book. I read this in one day. If you're interested in Marie Antoinette's life you won't be disappointed. The book was enjoyable with the changing perspectives as she got older. It begins when she is told she will marry Louis-Auguste to the revolution when she is killed. All the characters felt real and like their lives were acted out in front of me rather than on a dry page on a textbook, making the journey through her tragic life even more interesting than it already is. I recommend ...more
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Man...I wish I could have met her.
I will spend the rest of this year doing research on her life, especially the love affair with her Swede.
Seriously, this book left me with more questions than answers.
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
just like the other ones. Based off of real facts. Also according to Carolyn Meyer, Marie Antoinette never said "let them eat cake". She says it's not in any historical records.
May 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Marie Antoinette, the ill-fated French Queen, is famous for purportedly responding to the starvation and poverty of her subjects "Let them eat Cake!" However, this line is apparently myth and Marie Antoinette was subject to a smear campaign, which this novel seeks to rectify. The Bad Queen begins in Austria with young Marie Antoinette - the fifteenth daughter of Holy Roman Empress Maria Theresa - learning that she will marry Louis Auguste, Dauphin of France. Each chapter is short, organized acco ...more
Jun 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Cover Blurb: It leers! Ahhh! Other than that fact, I like it. The colors and obvious attention to historical dress, and the pretty gold lettering for the title.

What I Liked: Here was a Marie Antoinette that I could sympathize with - and then later shake my head at, but still understand her reasons. It could not have been easy having to leave her entire life behind - indeed, her very identity - at such a young age, and move to a foreign country and court, marry someone she’d never met, and have e
Feb 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Reviewed by Andrea at

The Bad Queen is the most recent book in Carolyn Meyer’s Young Royals series. It tells the story of Marie Antoinette, one of the most hated and misunderstood queens in all of history. She’s painted as what most of us would call a party girl. She loves lavish entertainments and fancy gowns. The more elaborate the better. She can pretty much be credited with creating big hair. One of her updos stood more than a foot above her head!

It was interesting that Ms
Page (One Book At A Time)
I've only read one other book about Marie Antoinette, so when this one came up I thought I would give it a shot. Since, it seemed more of a young adult book, I thought maybe I might enjoy it more. While, I'm sure plenty of people (teens especially) might enjoy this book, I was surprised to find it didn't differ that much from the book I already read.

I'm having a hard time understanding Marie Antoinette as a person and this book doesn't help me much. I think this book focuses more on her youth wh
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for

Marie-Antoinette leaves her country and everything behind at a young age to marry the dauphin of France. While excited at the prospect of making such an important match, she doens't realize what it will entail.

She soon learns there are numerous rules and protocols to follow - whether she believes them to be right or not. There are plenty of people who want her to fail, and not many wishing to become her friend. Marie-Antoinette fumbles through tryi
Dec 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I have read almost all of Carolyn Meyer’s books and loved every one of them. She writes such great novels about females in history and presents their stories in an intriguing and enjoyable way. The Bad Queen was no exception.

I’ve read quite a bit about Marie-Antoinette, but never a whole novel about her. The Bad Queen spanned over the course of her whole life. From the time she was a young child to her death; in which case her daughter takes up the tale. My heart went out to Marie-Antoinette bec
Jul 06, 2010 rated it liked it
If the author was trying to make Marie Antoinette into a likable, sympathetic character, I think she failed. I found Marie Antoinette to be very annoying, in fact - whiny, frivolous, and ignorant. She had no use for schooling, refused to pay attention to current events in her own country, and even though she was warned by lots of different people that the peasants were starving and had no money and that she needed to curtail her spending, she kept on demanding bigger and more elaborate stuff be ...more
Aug 17, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
The author did not add any fictional characters and tried to stay true to Marie Antoinette.
There is no huge romance between Axel and Marie... there is no proof that it happened and the story let the Queen keep her virtue.
This is truely a Young Adult book, it is not inappropriate for teen readers but we still get the feel of the story.
The Rules listed at the front of each chapter where a nice touch.
The descriptions of some of M.A.'s properties sounded so beautiful.
The Ending when the daug
Aug 17, 2010 rated it liked it
At first, I felt bad for Antoinia (Marie-Antoinette). Really, I did, just like I would with any woman being married off without knowing her betrothed. Her mother was always nagging her, as was everyone. And you know what? Sometimes they were right. Sometimes you just need to sit down, shut up, and listen to what your elders have to say, especially when they have experience, you know? They might actually have some knowledge. I do believe Marie and her husband weren't all at fault when it came to ...more
Jul 07, 2012 rated it liked it
I love what Carolyn Meyer does for historical fiction. To me, she is the Phillipa Gregory of Y.A. authors and her work inspired my love of historical fiction. This is the first of her non-Tudor novels that I've read, but I hate to say I didn't like this one as much. Maybe it's just because I've read so much other stuff about Marie-Antoinette, or that this version was very...tame...but it took a lot longer to get through than Meyer's other books. In the last ten years or so, there's been a big su ...more
A look into the life of the notorious queen Marie Antoinette. The story, told in a journal format, begins when Marie is very young and still living in Austria. It follows her life as she prepares to marry and become the dauphine of France...eventually becoming the Queen. The story follows her blunders and misconceptions, her disappointments and her few joys. We follow her through the end of her life at the guillotine.

This fictional account of what Marie Antoinette's life may have been like give
Feb 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Very enjoyable read, it really gave a window into what living in the culture of 18th century France must have been like, and reminded me that all these historical figures were real people. Since it is a yong adult novel, it didn't go into the kind of detail I would have liked, especially with secondary characters, and rushed through certain events, but was still a great introduction into fiction about this time period. As part of the Young Royals series, it was really nice to see another entry t ...more
May 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read this while eating a piece of cake. I thought the writing sounded sincere and close to what Marie-Antoinette most likely experienced in France. Even though, she wasn't the nicest character the story never got boring for me to stop reading until the end.
Jun 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book a lot. I loved how it was still a story but history was also involved so you learned something while reading a fun story. I did feel bad for Marie as I was reading. I love that the author is from here and do want to read the rest of her books.
Aug 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: royalty
LOVED IT! I loved the way the author integrated what we know (historically) with what we don't.

One of the VERY few books I've read non-stop (on lunch breaks only) and from A-Z. Did not want it to end. So, time to explore Carolyn Meyer's other books. :)
Jan 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. Great detail told in a great way! I would definitely read this again and I also recommend it completely! :)
Feb 25, 2010 rated it liked it
If I were 15, I would have given this a 5.
Mar 10, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michelle Ferrer
May 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I had only read one book by this author before, called: Beware, Princess Elizabeth, and loved it so much that I was dying to read another one about Young Royals by her. The Bad Queen, which is historical fiction about French Queen Marie Antoniette, was a very delightful reading. It is the kind of book you can't put down, because the storyline is so lovely and entertaining, from Marie Antoniette struggling to fit in the ridiculously demanding Versailles french court to her indulging herself in ex ...more
Vitalia Strait
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is marketed as a young adult novel, but don't let that stop you from reading it! As a child, I was in love with the Royal Diaries series, especially the book on Marie Antoinette, and I've looked for a book about her that would enchant me the same way.

This is that book.

I loved Carolyn Meyer's Royal Diaries books and read the Young Royals ones about the Tudors ones several times, but was somehow unaware she had written a book on Marie Antoinette. She does a wonderful job at making hist
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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)
  • Duchessina: A Novel of Catherine de' Medici (Young Royals, #5)
  • The Wild Queen: The Days and Nights of Mary Queen of Scots (Young Royals, #7)

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