Review: ‘Farewell, My Queen’ by Chantal Thomas

By oldenglishrose - Last updated: Friday, August 20, 2010 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

On 14 July 1789, Queen Marie Antoinette and her court spend a pleasant evening in the Great Hall of Versailles, completely unaware that the events of the next few hours will change their lives and their country for ever. Agathe-Sidonie Laborde is the Queen’s reader, and twenty-one years later, an exile in Vienna, she remains haunted by the chaos and fear of those final days at court. Hour by hour, Agathe watchs the tragedy unfold as everything she holds dear is overturned. In the midst of this chaos, the Queen remains an enigma, adored and reviled in equal measure by those to whom she must now turn for help.  (Goodreads Summary)

I have my doubts as to whether whoever wrote the review quoted on the cover calling this book “a racy, pacy story with a cast of rogues and villains” has in fact read it. It was neither racy, nor pacy, and the characters weren’t fleshed out enough to be rogues and villains. In fact, it didn’t really have characters at all, just figures who appeared as the narrative required. However, while I wasn’t the slightest bit interested in the characters, least of all the insipid narrator, I was quite intrigued by the events she described. Chantal Thomas does an excellent job of portraying the downfall of Versailles, she just doesn’t make you care about it.

Farwell, My Queen by Chantal Thomas.  Published by Phoenix, 2004, pp. 256.  Originally published in 2002.

N.B. This is an old review written in 2010 and posted on Goodreads and LibraryThing before I started keeping track of all the books I read here at Old English Rose Reads.  I’ve decided to keep copies here so that this remains a complete record of my reading since I started reviewing books for my own pleasure.

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