This is a novel about Catherine de Medici. I am not a historian, so I have no way of knowing how accurate this story is. It held my interest throughout the story and is an enjoyable read. There are parts that are quite graphic and if you are sensitive to violent descriptions of sex and corporal punishment, then parts of this book may offend you. In spite of Catherine's dependence on Ruggiero, a medieval psychic, spells and good luck charms, I enjoyed reading it very much. It is a complex tale of how royalty spread their influence into many areas of the world. Wars and weddings were used to unite or to take over various kingdoms. This may not be totally factual, but it is interesting to read.