The Bad Queen: Rules and Instructions for Marie-Antoinette (Young Royals #6)

The Bad Queen: Rules and Instructions for Marie-Antoinette (Young Royals #6)

 
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The Bad Queen: Rules and Instructions for Marie-Antoinette (Young Royals #6)
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Publisher
Age Range
12+
Release Date
April 12, 2010
ISBN
0152063765
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In this latest installment of her acclaimed Young Royals series, Carolyn Meyer reveals the dizzying rise and horrific downfall of the last queen of France. From the moment she was betrothed to the dauphin of France at age fourteen, perfection was demanded of Marie-Antoinette. Desperate for affection and subjected to constant scrutiny, this spirited young woman can’t help but want to let loose with elaborate parties, scandalous fashions, and even a forbidden love affair. Meanwhile, the peasants of France are suffering from increasing poverty and becoming outraged. They want to make the queen pay for her reckless extravagance—with her life. Includes historical notes, an author’s note, and bibliography.

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Rules are meant to be broken

I love historical fiction. I also love 18th century France with the lush costumes and gorgeous courts. The Bad Queen has all of that and more.

Marie-Antoinette has been brought up with rules and instructions all her life. These rules increase when she leaves her Austrian home at the age of fourteen to marry the dauphin of France. In her new home nothing she does seems to satisfy the court. She's known as 'l'Autrichienne'--a derogatory name for not being French. Once she becomes queen, Marie-Antoinette decides since she can do nothing right, she'll make her own rules. But all this comes at a terrible cost.

This story is one book in the Young Royals series. I really loved how the author shows us a girl who even though of royal blood, questions the rules that she's expected to follow. Meyer gives us a character who's not the cardboard queen history books show. No, she's someone who misses her Austrian homeland and tries to get the French people to accept her. She's also true to her husband, the king of France, even when this means her very death. At times she does seem selfish with 'expecting' to buy things without caring for the cost while the common people go hungry. But I think most royals at the time were that way and even worse.

I'd like to read the other books in this series. The Bad Queen shows us a woman who shared a trait with the revolutionaries of France--she was a rebel who followed her own rules. Only with her this lead to her downfall and death.

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History had it wrong

Reader reviewed by Jazmyn

Throughout history Marie Antoinette has been seen as a pompous and heartless ruler, a queen who cared more about parties and having the latest fashion than the welfare of her people. In this intriguing novel we see just how little we know about who the "bad" queen really was.  


The story is told through a series of journal entries, starting when she was twelve years old and ending at her death (at which point her daughter starts writing in the journal to finish the story). Marie spent her entire life trying to please her mother, who often pointed out her flaws and constantly emphasized the importance of perfection. 

Marie Antoinette was forced to marry the Dauphin of France, who knew little about ruling a country and even less about marriage. Marie was stuck being a outcast in a country that didn't want her, with a husband who didn't love her. She gained countless enemies just by being Austrian, they spread nasty rumors about her and prayed that she would fail. 

The only thing that gave Marie solace was fashion and extravagant parties. She started spending more and more money on lavish gowns, balls and redecorating. Marie Antoinette was caught up in her own little world, completely oblivious to what was going on outside her palace walls. As rumors began to spin out of control and life for the poor became worse, the people of France grew to hated the King and Queen. The people were completely savage.They started riots, murdered innocents and demanded the execution of their royal family. The people got their wish and the royal family was imprisoned, put to trial and killed. The only one to survive was their daughter.

This book was amazing. It was shocking and heartbreaking and I loved every second of it. I felt sorry for Marie Antoinette. She spent her entire life trying to achieve perfection, which proved to be impossible. The girl that the world saw as callous and egotistical was actually just lost and lonely, using material things to fill the void in her life. One thing that I really loved about Marie Antoinette was that she was always faithful to her husband, she stayed by his side through every bad decision he made and  she refused to betray him even when she fell in love with another man.

Marie Antoinette is one of the most misunderstood people of all time. She is still known today as one of the most hated women in French history, but after reading this book I think most people would agree that Marie wasn't as wicked or heartless as we had once thought.


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