The French Queen’s Curse: In Queen Margot’s Gardens by Juliette Lauber is an intelligent blend of time travel and historical romance, brimming with intrigue and history, and featuring characters that are unforgettable. Lawyer Kikki Trieste is on a perilous mission as a psychic time-traveler and Priestess of the Daughters of the Sumerian goddess, Inanna, and her work involves justice against powerful forces that are determined to maintain patriarchal dominance throughout the world. During the Winter Solstice she is not just beset by disturbing nightmares of the massacre that began on St. Bartholomew’s Eve, but the ghost of the cursed sixteenth century Margot haunts her, feeding her spirit with messages that, if properly interpreted, can help uncover the mystery surrounding Margot’s stolen birthright and royal lineage. The city of Paris is under a curse as two ancient secret societies fight for control. Can Kikki, aided by her intelligent and handsome Spanish lover, Torres, unravel the mystery and stop a threat that can re-enact the evil that struck France 400 years ago?
This is a novel that is cunningly plotted, filled with suspense and unexpected moments. The relationships between the characters are masterfully written, from the connection between Kikki and the ghost of Margot to her romance with the Cambridge-bred professor of Archaeology/Interpol operative, to the complex relationship involving the beautiful Natalia. There are stunningly imagined and vividly crafted moments that will entice readers like when Kikki becomes the incarnation of Margot’s best friend, helping to save both Margot and her baby daughter. The story features compelling historical hints, with strong references to the Black Queen and other historical characters. The prose is dazzlingly crisp and the beguiling narrative voice casts a spell on the reader as they follow the characters from Paris to Spain, racing to stop impending acts of evil. The French Queen’s Curse: In Queen Margot’s Gardens captures intriguing moments and the complexity of relationships while deftly exploring a painful and dark moment in French history. The descriptions are terrific, especially the visions of Kikki, and they flood the reader’s imagination with strong imagery of the fascinating scenes and the elements of the historical setting. The introduction of Natalie and the attraction between her and Kikki deepens this complexity and keeps readers on the edge of their seats as they look forward to seeing how things unfold between Kikki, Natalie, and Torres. The story is swiftly paced and the unmistakable exploration of a 400-year-old curse weaves a powerful spell that will arrest the hearts of readers.