The Shadow Queen delivered much more than I expected. Full of intrigue, scandal and secrets - religious cults and fantastic plays. The tale of Claudette begins as a poor player and spans many levels fame. From helping her mother become a famous actress to being the confidante of The Shadow Queen - with much in between.
As part of a family of players, Claudette leads a very interesting life surrounded by some very unique people. One of these people is knows as Athenais - met in a variety of ways throughout the year, Claudette finds herself the woman's confidante. This leads to quite an interesting series of events as Athenais tries to maintain her place as the king's favorite mistress. There was a surprising amount of action in this - duels, floods, missing people - at times the book got quite exciting for a historical fiction novel that wasn't about a war.
I loved the way the story was told. I really felt like I was there watching it all from a hidden little nook in the wall. The clothes, the rooms, the people - all come to life very nicely. The ending was very nice and I loved how Sandra Gulland wrapped up so many of the pieces so nicely and naturally. I don't know much about the time period, but she did include a little bit at the back covering where she too literary licence and what was considered fact which helped me understand the time even more.
*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*