Juliet Grey continues the saga of Marie Antoinette in her second volume. Covering the years between her ascent to the throne and the beginning of the French Revolution. Spanning fifteen years, readers explore the French Court through the eyes of its infamous queen. Grey focuses the full life of Marie Antoinette, from her everyday life to the momentous events that shaped the Queen and the Court.
Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow really captures the spirit of Marie Antoinette. The author does a great job in creating a feeling of kindrenship between the reader and Marie Antoinette. I enjoyed her spunky nature and passive aggressive rebellion. I loved watching the Queen develop from a shy girl to a Queen with feelings, heartbreak and love for her husband and adopted country. As the years become harder and harder on the pretty Queen, I find my heart breaking for her as she recklessly spends enormous sums on gambling, clothes and presents to soothe her fears and heartbreak. Once Marie's greatest dreams of having children are fulfilled, I was amazed at what a great mother she was.
Grey recreates the French Court with ease, accurately portraying the Queen, King and it's players. Staying true to history, Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow stays true to history, including with accurate detail actual historical events and conversations. This really makes Grey's Marie shine. I have always felt that Marie was unfairly blamed for causing the Revolution with her reckless spending, but Grey gives the reader the whole picture, showing the lack of competence in the Government, and Marie's lack of influence over policy and politics. The book also accurately shows the French Aristocracy's views on unlimited money, power and play.
Readers should start with the first book in the trilogy, Becoming Marie Antoinette. This will allow the reader to seamlessly transition into Archduchess to Dauphin. I am anxiously awaiting the 2013 release of the final book, The Last October Sky. Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow is an amazing read on the misaligned Queen.
I received this book as part of the Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour. Check out the schedule here.
About the Author
Juliet Grey is the author of Becoming Marie Antoinette.
She has extensively researched European royalty and is a particular
devotee of Marie Antoinette, as well as a classically trained
professional actress with numerous portrayals of virgins, vixens, and
villainesses to her credit. She and her husband divide their time
between New York City and southern Vermont.