From School Library Journal
Grade 6-9 This novel about the ill-fated queen covers her life from age 13 when, as an Austrian princess, she prepares to marry the French dauphin to her death by guillotine in 1793. The final section is told by her daughter Marie-Therese, the only family member to survive the Revolution. Meyer writes in a lighthearted, casual style, vividly portraying the historical era and aptly defining unfamiliar vocabulary. However, Marie-Antoinette's occasional sympathy for the poor and interest in politics is inconsistent with her flighty, self-indulgent character as presented in most of the book. (Frankly, she comes across as a total airhead.) In addition, after the first 100 pages, The Bad Queen
turns into a speedy recitation of events, skipping through years at a time with little insight or development and little spark or personality from the narrators. Kimberley Brubaker Bradley's fascinating novel The Lacemaker and the Princess
(S & S, 2007) features Marie-Therese and does an excellent job of integrating events leading up to the French Revolution with life at the palace of Versailles. Although it doesn't have as much material on Marie-Antoinette, it's more interesting and better written. Ann W. Moore, Schenectady County Public Library, NY
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In this latest Young Royals tale, Meyer portrays the teenage Austrian princess “dealt” to France in marriage by her mother—might there be a sympathetic figure behind the persona of the woman mainly known for her extravagance and gruesome end? With the gorgeous clothes, sumptuous surroundings, and seemingly limitless wealth, Marie becomes a prisoner of royal pomp and circumstance with no concept of governance or political savvy as France descends into a revolutionary bloodbath. Historical-fiction fans will be swept up in the cruel fates of the monarchs and political forces, particularly as the drama escalates into horror. Grades 7-10. --Anne O'Malley