Disclaimer: I received a free digital Advance Reader Copy (ARC) of Milady from the publisher in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. This book was just released on July 2, 2019.
“My name – my title, rather, for no one knows who I truly am, and even in Paris I have many guises – is whispered in the dark and furtively as some speak of the devil, as if to breathe my name would conjure me up in the flesh. And oh, what flesh! My beauty is part of my legend. Deadly beauty.”
(Note: This review is *SPOILER FREE*.)
I was so excited to receive an ARC of this one from the publisher! If there is a type of book I love almost more than any other, it is when a well-known story is retold with a twist. In this case, we get to hear the story of the Three Musketeers from the point of view of the “villainess”, Milady de Winter. Before I get into the finer details, here’s the bottom line: I thought this was a really great read with a good writing style and a fantastic main character!
Things I loved: The biggest thing I loved about this story is the reminder it gives us that the difference between good and bad, right and wrong, often depends very much on who is telling the story. Nothing is simple, and there is a lot of room for moral grey in our lives. I also really love our main character. She starts out as such a naive, sweet, soft-hearted girl, and we get to follow her journey to becoming one of the most deadly and feared assassins in France, who works as a spy for the infamous Cardinal Richelieu. It was awesome! She had so many layers and a lot of depth, and that really impressed me because this isn’t a super long book. The plot of the story aligns nicely with most of the main points of the original Three Musketeers story, which is also a plus. But you don’t have to have ever read that (or seen the various movies and shows depicting the story) to still enjoy this book. If you like adventures, writing that flies off the pages, and stories of love and betrayal, retribution and grief, then you’ll like this one.
Things I didn’t love: There were very few things I didn’t love about the story. At times, I felt the writing was almost too light-handed. I would sometimes want a few more details about the sights and sounds and smells of a scene, or it would skip through time just a little too quickly for my taste. However, I really think this is probably a personal preference and may not bother others at all.
Overall, it was a great read, and I look forward to reading others by this author. If you like historical fiction, moral relativism, and strong heroines, this is the book for you. Thank you so much to Berkley for sharing the eARC with me!