Milady by Laura L. Sullivan
Published: July 2, 2019 – Berkley Books
Book courtesy of the publisher
Description: I have gone by many names, though you most likely know me as Milady de Winter: Villainess. Seductress. A secondary player in someone else’s tale.
It is finally time I tell my own story. The truth is not tidy or convenient, but it is certainly more interesting.
Before you cast judgment, let me start at the beginning, and you shall learn how an innocent girl from the countryside became the most feared woman in all of Europe.
Because we all know history was written by men, and they so often get things wrong. (publisher)
My take: Milady is the lively adventure story of Milady de Winter (you’ll recognize the name if you’ve read The Three Musketeers). Told from her POV we learn how she became a legendary spy for Cardinal Richelieu. The Musketeers make appearances but this is Milady’s story. And what a tale it is.
Growing up in the English countryside Clarice, daughter of the mostly absent Lord Paget, is doted on by her mother. She also teaches Clarice about the potency of various herbs and flowers and how to avoid catastrophe when using them. As she grows Clarice learns the manners of a lady and eventually is presented at Court. That marks the end of her childhood. Clarice now learns of palace intrigue and the problems that result when placing one’s trust in the wrong person.
A dual timeline (ten years apart) served to develop the characters and made for some incredible situations that had me reading ‘just one more chapter’! There are some scenes of violence that had me skimming a bit – that’s a warning. That aside, I liked this novel and would love to see Laura Sullivan take other secondary characters and make them the star of their own novel. She succeeded with Milady.