Cover Image: Medici Legacy

Medici Legacy

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Member Reviews

When I requested the Medici  Legacy I thought it would be a novel but the structure of the book reminded me more of a biography. There is no real plot and the chapters are more a sequential set of scenes from the lives of Catherine de Medici and her family. I wondered if it is more fiction disguised as a historical narrative or a historical narrative / biography posing as fiction. There is too much emotions, feelings and thoughts ascribed to the main characters to be a truly historical work, but at the same time it is obvious that the author did put a lot of research into this book.
It was very interesting reading about Catherine the Medici because I think this is the Medici I know least about and I did learn a lot from this book about France in that period and about the house of Valois. 
All things considered however I didn't really like the style, which was too much like a, partly fictional, biography and lacked a bit in plot and tension arc. 

I want to thank Netgalley for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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I didn’t know this book was the final part of a trilogy, but it works well as a stand alone novel, if you know something of the history of these times. 
I came to the story of Catherine de Medici from an opposing angle. Since the age of 11, I was taught history by a zealous, Irish Catholic history teacher, who firmly believed that Mary, Queen of Scots should have been the intended ruler of England, instead of Queen Elizabeth 1. 
Most of the facts in this novel were well known to me, but the background of Catherine was always underestimated, she was poorly portrayed as not fighting harder for her marital rights, and not having more of a say regarding her husband’s mistress, Diane de Poitiers. 
This book shows Catherine to be a capable, intelligent woman, who knew how to scheme and plot an enemy’s downfall, to protect her husband, children and her adoptive country, France, a nation that disliked her so. 
The massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Day was horrendous, even today, when we visit Amboise Chateau, the guides always refer to it, like they pity our heathen religion!! Huguenots certainly found refuge In our country, and the story spread. 
Catherine was unlucky or cursed. She had a husband who didn’t return her love, and kept her pregnant to keep her away from politics.  She didn’t like her daughter in law, Mary Queen of Scots, seeing her as a more beautiful threat. 
I enjoyed this book, seeing a familiar person in greater detail. One point I must make is; Mary, Queen of Scots was described as ‘ having long blonde hair upon her marriage’ in this book. She married in 1558, and her wedding portrait by Francois Clouet, shows her to be Auburn haired. 
Catherine de Medici, had a book of hours, also showing a red haired M Q of S, not a mistake she would make or even tolerate. 
My thanks go to Netgalley and the publishers Head of Zeus, for my ARC in exchange for my honest, unbiased review, freely given. 
I will post to Goodreads and other outlets later.
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I'm fascinated by everything related to the Medici family and I couldn't help requesting this ARC.
Caterina de Medici is a fascinating and complex character and I appreciated how the author portrays her even if sometimes she's a bit too juvenile.
The author did a good job in describing the historical time and I enjoyed this story.
This is not the best in the Medici series but it's entertaining and engrossing.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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This was a fascinating story of the life and times of Catherine d'Medici, regent of France in  the 16th century. The well known historical characters, of the time, are brought to life, with all the good and bad things that they implemented, amidst the religious upheavals of that period of history. Very well written book.
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This is a great historical novel. I enjoyed it immensely. Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for giving me a copy of the book.
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I had previously read historical and historical fiction books about the Medici family, and had always found the Medici to be a fascinating topic.  This was, however, the first book I had read, whose focus was entirely on Catherine de Medici.  So, when I was offered the opportunity to read and review it, I leapt at the chance.  
Although the book opens with a brief scene from Catherine’s childhood in Florence, almost all of the book concerns her adult life in France – first as the wife of the second son, Henry, of the King of France, then on the death of the dauphin and subsequent death of King Francis I, Queen of France, then mother of ten children, finally Queen Mother.  In the background were unending religious wars pitting Catholics against Protestants, and the machinations of the power-hungry Dukes of Guise and Henry’s mistress, Diane of Poitiers.  
This is not a dry history book, in many ways it reads as historical fiction, though is based on thoroughly researched historical fact.  Catherine really comes to life as a highly intelligent woman, who is cramped by her gender and society’s expectations.  For much of the book, your sympathies are completely with Catherine, who is beset by tragedy after tragedy – none of her own making.  Rather than an evil, manipulative woman who frequently resorts to poison – as rumour would have you believe, Catherine appears to be a victim of the times.  She (inexplicably) loves her faithless husband until his death, and determines to do everything in her power to protect her children – even the psychopathic Henry junior, who must have been one of the worst kings France ever had.  The only real light in her life – acknowledged far too late – is the ever-loyal Captain Raymond de Polignac.  
The end came rather suddenly.  One page she was abetting a slaughter of Huguenots (the infamous St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre) – and the next she was dead (not directly related).
I did learn a lot reading this book, but the style was not one that overly appealed to me.  There was too much poetic license taken with the emotions ascribed to Catherine (and others), Nostradamus had a much bigger (and more mystical) role than was necessary, and I could have done without the sex scenes.  I do realise that these are precisely the added extras that would make the book a winner with many readers – but I think I prefer my history to be more strongly aligned with the facts – even if that would make it somewhat dry.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good story, and/or historical fiction, and to those (like me ) who have an interest in the Medici – but with a warning, that you may find the excessive (for me) emotionalism a bit draining.
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Many thanks to Netgalley and Head of Zeus for this arc! 

I have enjoyed every book in this trilogy and the finale didn't disappoint! I love this series about the Medici & the brilliant story that is their lives! Full of conspiracy and betrayal, I was glued to the pages, and didn't come up for air until I finished. 

This was the perfect ending and Matteo Strukul has excelled himself with this terrific story.
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What a marvellous finale to a glorious trilogy! The last chapter in Mr. Strukul's colorful and entertaining saga about the Medici & their never-ending quest for power & recognition on the ever shifting & moving chessboard of 16th century European politics is centered around the higly political union between Pope Clement VII's niece Catherine and Henri the second son of the French king Francis I. A marvellous tapestry of the political shenanigans and the dangerous pitfalls that the young and intelligent Italian woman will have to learn how to avoid in order to survive in the venomous environment of the French court awashed with dangerous creatures and spiteful intentions. Fiendishly plotted and with a cast of colorful and at times very malevolent characters, this delightful historical novel is the perfect fictional journey through the troublesome and often treacherous world of the Renaissance.
An absolute winner from start to finish!

Many thanks to Netgalley and Head of Zeus for this terrific ARC
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