Milady by Laura L. Sullivan
First line: The things a woman has to do to make her way in this world…
Summary: The villainess of the classic novel, The Three Musketeers, is Milady de Winter. She is accused of many terrible crimes. However, maybe Dumas’ story got it wrong? Milady now wants to tell her story.
Clarice is a young girl, raised in England on a small estate. When her father decides that she is old enough to be of use to him he takes her to the court of King James I of England. There she meets that handsome rogue, George Villiers. They are both taught how to manipulate and use the people around them to gain power. But when Clarice learns something she is sent away to a convent in France. Here she learns more about who she is and sets her on the path to becoming one of the most notorious women in literature.
My Thoughts:The Three Musketeers is one of my favorite books. I love the action, the love, the revenge and of course Milady! When you read the original story it is easy to see her as the villain but Sullivan gives us a look at who she might have really been. It was fascinating and loads of fun to read.
I loved how the author switched between the events of the TTM and Milady’s past. Giving her a past makes her much more likeable and easier to understand her motives. She does do a lot of terrible things to the musketeers but she is also a victim. I never considered the interactions between Milady and D’Artagnan as rape but as I read this I realized that it totally is. Crazy! This romantic hero did what?!
When I began reading I was highly anticipating the events mentioned in TTM at Milady’s trial. I loved her time at the convent. Sullivan twisted the original story and its characters to fit into her story. I could tell that she did lots of research in order to make the story plausible. If I had not recently reread TTM I would have almost believed that things happened the way she wrote it.
My second and probably favorite part was her relationship with the Vicomte de la Fere. He is one of the major twists in the classic novel. I could not wait to see what their relationship was like and how it turned so deadly. It was well worth the wait. I loved seeing her change over time but in the end she could not escape her past.
FYI: If you love swashbuckling tales then this one is for you! And please read The Three Musketeers. It is wonderful! Read my review in our July newsletter.