Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Devil's Queen: A Novel of Catherine de Medici” as Want to Read:
The Devil's Queen: A Novel of Catherine de Medici
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Devil's Queen: A Novel of Catherine de Medici

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  5,619 Ratings  ·  390 Reviews

Confidante of Nostradamus, scheming mother-in-law to Mary, Queen of Scots, and architect of the bloody St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, Catherine de Medici is brought to life by Jeanne Kalogridis, the bestselling author of I, Mona Lisa and The Borgia Bride.

Born into one of Florence’s most powerful families, Catherine was soon left a fabulously rich orphan. Violent co

Paperback, 496 pages
Published May 25th 2010 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2008)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Devil's Queen, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Sophie Berry-Green This is an incredibly sensual novel. Kalogridis injects equal vibrancy into her descriptions of the fashions, architecture and gore as she does the…moreThis is an incredibly sensual novel. Kalogridis injects equal vibrancy into her descriptions of the fashions, architecture and gore as she does the sexual encounters of her characters. Just wonderful.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
The life of Catherine de Medici was anything but ordinary. Luckily for us, this drama makes for solid historical fiction novels. Jeanne Kalogridis focuses on this remarkable woman beginning with her childhood in, “The Devil’s Queen”.

The pages of “The Devil’s Queen” instantly draw the reader in with an onslaught of exciting and dramatic events; resulting in a fast pace and compelling plot. The problem with this instant bombardment of events is that there are many characters featured without prope
Jul 16, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Author Jeanne Kalogridis puts her own spin on the life of the infamous Catherine de Medici in The Devil's Queen. Left orphaned and extremely wealthy, Catherine's early life was marred by revolts among the Florentines against the de Medicis. Once the revolts are over her hopes to rule Florence are forever dashed when her uncle the Pope marries her off to Henri, the second son of the French King. Disenchanted with Catherine, Henri soon turns to the older Diane de Poitiers for comfort and the child ...more
Veselina Stefanova
Интригуваща, исторически достоверна и увлекателна. Представя кралицата не като чудовище, виновно за Вартоломеевата нощ, а като жена със съвест, колебания и разкаяния. Препоръчвам.
Aug 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is hard to make a Queen who shoulders the blame for a religious massacre sympathetic, so Jeanne Kalogridis doesn’t try. Instead she goes the complete opposite direction. Giving us an unsentimental Queen who would commit any atrocity to save herself or someone she loves. Even as a girl she is already murdering and dabbling in black magic. For those of you unfamiliar with Catherine de Medici, the Italian born duchess was reduced to living in a convent after her family was deposed in Florence. I ...more
Dorina Danila
E un roman incredibil. Mi-a placut mult, l-am citit fara sa ma pot desprinde de el, cu toate astea spre sfarsit am incetinit ritmul fiindca nu vroiam sa se termine. Am scris mai multe pe blog:
Another book fed to the hungry Kindle!

This novel covers Catherine de Medici's life from her girlhood until shortly after the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre. The occult plays a heavy role in it; Catherine has visions from an early age, and at a desperate time in her life resorts to an act of black magic that will have terrible repercussions for her and her family.

On the whole, I enjoyed this novel, which was told in the first person. Kalogridis made Catherine sympathetic, for all of her flaws, an
JR Hassett
Feb 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

‘“Madame’, he said gently. “You and I understand each other well, I think – better than the rest of the world understands us. You and I see things others do not. Too much for our comfort.’” The words of Monsieur de Nostredame to Madame la Reine – Catherine de Medicis, Queen, Consort of Henry II, King of France 1519-1589 to Catherine during one of his visits before being removed for an astrologer.

The Devil’s Queen was fond of astrology and much of her life, Catherine De Medici practiced the art w
Elizabeth Sulzby
Frieda Leonie has written an excellent history of Catherione de Medici based on deep research. I gave it 5 stars and highly recommend it to people interested in Catherine de Medici and the Valois lineage of French rulers. I have read a few reviews of Kalogridis's book on Goodreads and am afraid this historical novel (The Devil's Queen: A Novel of Catherine de Medici) may be closer to a "Philippi Gregory" tale than to a historically based novel. At first, I decided not read it but to skim it. Wit ...more
Kristina Andreeva
Jun 02, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Започна интересно, но очевидно не е моята книга. Може би заради това, че повечето факти от живота на Катерина вече знаех и ми се струваше, че действието се разточва твърде дълго. Не бих казала, че стила на авторката е суховат, въпреки това. Вероятно просто съм я започнала в грешен момент.
Както се очаква от един кралски двор, все има интриги и политика. Тук беше включена и фентъзи нотка, която ми допадна. Образът на главната героиня обаче не ми се понрави - усещах я прекалено наивна, прекалено не
This is a historical romance and if you are a fan of this genre of novels, I would recommend this book to you. I am not a fan and for that reason I did not finish the book.
It starts out with Catherine Medici as a 8 year old in Florence and I managed to read through the trials and tribulations of her childhood (I am not sure how accurate the story is) and through to the start of her marriage. Not having finished the book I cannot say at what point in Catherines life it ends.
I read this book hopi
Aug 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Catherine de Medici is a child of the infamous Medici family, rulers of Florence. After rebels topple the family, Catherine is forced into captivity. Even though Catherine is eventually rescued, her life will never be the same. As a daughter of the Medici family and niece to the Pope, Catherine is forced to become a political pawn in her family's schemes. She is sent to France to marry the unwilling Prince Henri. In France, Catherine continues her odd childhood fascination with astrology and get ...more
M Strawberry Reviews
Historical novels written from the perspective of an actual historical figure can be a hit and miss. Depending on how much is known about that person's life, the author may have a lot - or very little - to go on. As with any historical fiction depicting a real-life figure, there may be some assumptions and/or embellishments about events in said figure's life.

This novel is written from the first person perspective, which can be very interesting when done right. Even with letters from that person,
Jean Marie
Jun 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been awfully spoiled recently with plucking books off my shelves that are awesome. Warning, there be some spoilers.

My knowledge of Catherine de Medici is very basic. I know the vague outline of her life and reputation and always was a bit sympathetic to her because, let's be honest, she really did draw the short straw in life and made the most of a crappy situation time after time.

I enjoyed that this story began with the sack of Rome, when Catherine was a child and built up to the Massacr
Nov 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating romp through the history of the Black Queen that ultimately enabled one to understand the limits (or lack there of) of power, love and loyalty. As a character I enjoyed Catherine, her childhood clearly demonstrated how loyalty and the need for love shaped her as a woman. This was my first foray into historical fiction and I'm glad that I had a god experience. This book is action packed from the beginning to the end which keeps the pace of the story moving. The astrological referenc ...more
Oct 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For me this book was an example of a really good historical novel. I read some interesting books about the France during the civil war in the middle of the 16th century, such as the “Young Henry of Navarre" by Heinrich Mann and "The master of all desires" by Judith Merkel Riley. But they had portrayed Catherine de Medici as a plotting, scheming force behind the bloodshed in a war between the Protestants and the Catholics. In the "Devil's queen" we see a very different Catherine de Medici, a que ...more
The first thing that bugged me was the lack of a family tree, as had been included in the author's earlier "The Borgia Bride"; in that case it would have been fine without, but not so for this family and their repetition of names. This book started off slowly, and while there were plenty opportunites for an interesting story, the twists (if you can call them that) were minimal and the book ended up being too long for its own good. There were interesting tidbits and facts scattered throughout, bu ...more
Ana Dumitrache
Caterina de Medici este un personaj extrem de puternic din istoria Franței și știam destul de multe lucruri despre ea. Aș fi vrut ca romanul acesta să îmi transmită mai mult, să mă ajute să o înțeleg mai bine ca femeie, nu doar ca o mare regină. Cred că autoarea nu și-a pus foarte bine amprenta personală asupra lui, căci mi s-a părut destul de impersonal, deși relatarea e făcută la persoana întâi. Prea multe detalii politice și istorice, pe care le-aș fi putut afla de pe Wiki. Nu pentru asta am ...more
Dec 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've really been into historical books lately, and it might be just a funny coincidence that my latest reads in this genre both regard the same queen: Catherine de Medici. Known under a lot of different names, including Devil's Queen, why not, she is the one behind the massacre on Saint Bartholomew's Night, that ended up in thousand of deaths and with a change in the french dynasties.

I really liked this book, and I especially like the fact that here is depicted her whole life, from the moment wh
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Един интересен и увлекателен поглед, над събитията случили се през живота на Катерина де Медичи. Наистина очаквах да видя нейната персона представена по малко по-различен начин, но признавам, че въпреки всичко съм много очарована от книгата.
Oct 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I went into this book not knowing much about Catherine de Medici, besides the fact that the de Medici family was extremely powerful in Italy at the time. Now, I want to learn more about this strong woman.

I don't know where to begin... Catherine's life is a mess. Her parents died when she was very young which forced her to be raised by her aunt, who served as a pseudo-'regent' Catherine and her cousins in Florence. Her father had been made Duke of Urbino by his uncle the Pope but her mother was a
Tara Chevrestt
The first quarter of this book had me enthralled and I am convinced that Jeanne Kalogridis is a talented author and despite my dislike of The Borgia Bride, I will look at her future works. I enjoyed reading about young orphan Catherine and how the Medici's were brutally ran from their home by their own countrymen. As young Catherine is imprisoned in one nunnery after another, her heart is broken time and time again as every woman she holds in high regard or esteem is either killed or taken from ...more
I knew nothing of Catherine de Medici before reading this novel, so I will review it according to that. I was going to give it four stars, but haven't yet decided how well I liked it.

Jeanne Kalogridis is certainly a good writer. I enjoyed the stylistic choices she made, for the most part, though some things at the end confused me. I am still not sure if Margeurite (Margot) and Edouard were ever romantically involved.

Everything that happened to her was terrible and Caterina's acknowledgement at
Lydia Presley
Original review posted here

So the first thing that caught my eye in the summary of this book was Mary, Queen of Scots. I’m ashamed to admit right now that whenever I hear that name I immediately think of Jen Pringle and Anne Shirley from those indulgent PBS movies. So, once I put that hurdle behind me I was able to give Catherine her due.

I love books about strong women. I think, to be a pawn like these women were, and make a place for yourself would have been so difficult, especially when faced
The Devil's Queen by Jeanne Kalogridis was just OK for me. I missed not having a family tree in the book to see how she was related to everyone else. This is a difficult review to write since I usually love historical fiction. I know that the author must have done a tremendous amount of research and worked on this book a long time.

There were times that I wanted to quit reading this book so I rewarded myself with starting two other books as a treat for reading more in The Devil’s Queen. I made it
Ok, I read this in preparation for our upcoming Paris trip. It was very good historical fiction. Queen Catherine (nee de Medici ) has a reputation as a heartless cruel woman. She is primarily held responsible for the St. Bartholomew day massacre in the late 16th century, during which many Huguenots (Protestants) were murdered in the streets. This book doesn't try to change Catherine's reputation, but rather to give readers an understanding of what motivated her and shaped her into the woman she ...more
Sharon Robards
I picked this up in the library while browsing covers, blurbs, and first pages. With such a title, I thought how evil is this woman going to be?

The blurb tells us who Catherine Medici was — at the death of her parents, she becomes heiress to Florence and is used as a political pawn, imprisoned, then married off to Prince Henry of France, becomes Queen of France and eventually the instigator of a massacre.

Knowing nothing about this woman or this time in history, I was instantly intrigued. I find
Dec 04, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
Magic, sexual escapades, court intrigue, death, war … The Devil’s Queen A Novel of Catherine de Medici by Jeanne Kalogridis has it all. Despite this fact, I am left wondering what I got out of this book. There were times in the book where I was turning the pages fast desperate to know what would happen next and other times where I was immensely bored and wondering when something interesting would happen. Sometimes I felt a connection with the protagonist other times I felt there was something la ...more
Jan 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very interesting fictional-biography of the life of Catherine deMedici from her stormy childhood in Florence to her decades in France where she eventually became Queen alongside her husband Henri III. There was much of interest and some with which I disagreed, such as a portrayal of a truce-like relationship with her husband's favorite mistress, Diane de Poitiers, while I had always heard that Catherine maliciously evicted Diane from chateau Chinonceau to a sort of exile at the less gr ...more
Lisa James
Jan 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always felt that Catherine DeMedici was much maligned, & given the short end of the stick. Given what she had to endure when her parents were killed when she was a mere 14 year old girl, and herself being taken into captivity after that, she's lucky to have survived to become the powerful woman she became. Married off to King Henry, she was the mother of his sons, even though Henry spent the vast majority of his time with his mistress.

Catherine was a highly educated, highly intelligent wom
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 12, 2015 12:31PM  
  • The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
  • Madame Serpent (Catherine de Medici, #1)
  • Courtesan
  • The King's Daughter. A Novel of the First Tudor Queen (Rose of York)
  • The Queen's Governess
  • The King's Grace
  • The Borgia Betrayal (The Poisoner Mysteries, #2)
  • The Queen's Pawn
  • My Lady of Cleves: A Novel of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves
  • The Virgin Queen's Daughter
  • Plain Jane
  • The Sister Queens
  • His Last Letter: Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester
  • The Second Duchess
  • The Queen of Last Hopes: The Story of Margaret of Anjou
  • Duchess of Aquitaine: A Novel of Eleanor
Jeanne was born in Florida , and has been interested in books ever since. Her interest in language led her to earn an M.A. in Linguistics. She taught English as a Second Language for eight years at The American University of Washington, D.C., before retiring to write full time.

She now lives in California with an overly adored Labrador retriever. Her outside interests include yoga and reading ever
More about Jeanne Kalogridis...
“Miroir de l'Ame Pecheresse, Mirror of a Lost Soul.” 6 likes
“I had learned a fundamental truth about killing: The victim's anguish is brief and fleeting, but the murderer's endures forever.” 3 likes
More quotes…