Milady
She was the greatest nemesis of d'Artagnan and the Three Musketeers--but Milady de Winter was so much more than just a villain in their swashbuckling adventures.I've gone by many names though you know me as Milady de Winter: Villainess, seductress, a secondary player in The Three Musketeers story.But we all know history was written by men, and they so often get things wrong.So before you cast judgment, let me tell you of how a girl from the countryside became the most feared woman in all of Europe. A target for antipathy, a name whispered in fear or loathing.I don't need you to like me. I just need to be free.It's finally time I tell my own story. The truth isn't tidy or convenient, but it's certainly more interesting.

Milady Details

TitleMilady
Author
ReleaseJul 2nd, 2019
PublisherBerkley Books
ISBN-139780451489982
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Romance, Cultural, France

Milady Review

  • Mackenzie - PhDiva Books
    January 1, 1970
    ”We all know history was written by men, and they so often get things wrong.” I always love a good reversal of classic stories, where the villain becomes the central character, and the hero's faults are exposed. A story that makes you think about why the villain acted the way they did. Maybe not forgiving them, but sympathizing. In Laura L Sullivan’s Milady, we see the story of Clarice (aka Milady de Winter), a spy, villainess, and antagonist of the classic book, The Three Musketeers. I have re ”We all know history was written by men, and they so often get things wrong.” I always love a good reversal of classic stories, where the villain becomes the central character, and the hero's faults are exposed. A story that makes you think about why the villain acted the way they did. Maybe not forgiving them, but sympathizing. In Laura L Sullivan’s Milady, we see the story of Clarice (aka Milady de Winter), a spy, villainess, and antagonist of the classic book, The Three Musketeers. I have read Dumas’s The Three Musketeers, and if I’m honest (though it has admittedly been a long time since I read it), I always found Milady de Winter to be an interesting character, and one who was treated poorly by D’Artagnan in the first place. Lest we forget when he tricked her into meeting him for a romantic liaison by pretending to be her lover, and then had sex with her under the cloak of darkness, letting her think he was someone else. Then later when she actually did agree to have sex with him, he told her they’d actually had sex before (I’m paraphrasing). Dirt bag. That type of behavior would not be tolerated in 2019, but of course it was a different time back then.Side note: I had a friend growing up who had a bunch of cats named after D’Artagnan, the three musketeers, and Milady. True to the book, Milady the cat was a stunning creature. But I digress…Early in the book, Milady is a bit naïve. Growing up with her mother, only to then be taken by her father to the royal palace, Milady soon sheds her naivety. Betrayal has a way of forcing a young woman to harden, afterall. I found it incredibly fascinating to see Milady shed the innocence of a sheltered upbringing. Through a series of events in the book, Milady becomes the spy and assassin we know from The Three Musketeers. Sullivan’s Milady is a wonderfully complex character. Still flawed, still cunning, still a bit vengeful. But I hope readers also sympathize with her. It is hard to imagine the life this woman led and at the time. Women certainly were used and seen as less than, so I cheered her on when her cleverness and boldness allowed the men to finally understand that she is stronger than they believed. That a woman is capable of getting on over one them is an important lesson, despite her ultimate fate.I found the focus on Milady’s life prior to the events in The Three Musketeers to be wonderful. Sullivan rounded out her character and fantasized how this brave, flawed, and diabolical woman became the person she was. At times the writing was so elegant that I had to reread the sentences. It is also apparent that Sullivan spent considerable time researching and plotting this book, and to great effect. I thought it was brilliant that Sullivan didn’t change who Milady was, but she did tell you more about her. Milady wasn’t necessarily a nice character, but she was sympathetic. And she’s also fascinating! Much more so than the four males it took to bring The Three Musketeers to notoriety. (I’m exaggerating, I actually do love the original story as well, but I’m making a point here about the male-female dynamic and characterizations)Fans of this reimagining of a classic story will enjoy this one! It’s a fascinating historical fiction novel, filled with all sorts of scandal, spies, treason, murder, and secrets. And Milady de Winter is certainly a woman who can carry a book!Thank you to Berkley for my copy. Opinions are my own.
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  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    Have you ever heard of Milady de Winter? She was the arch nemesis of the fictional Three Musketeers. She was a villain in their eyes and the eyes of many at the time. This is her story as she tells it. Milady’s story starts simply, a child born and raised in the countryside. Then, it becomes a story of love and betrayal, loss and retribution, with a phenom of a strong female main character. Milady reads as an adventure story. The culture and time period fly off the pages. Having read The Three M Have you ever heard of Milady de Winter? She was the arch nemesis of the fictional Three Musketeers. She was a villain in their eyes and the eyes of many at the time. This is her story as she tells it. Milady’s story starts simply, a child born and raised in the countryside. Then, it becomes a story of love and betrayal, loss and retribution, with a phenom of a strong female main character. Milady reads as an adventure story. The culture and time period fly off the pages. Having read The Three Musketeers will add an inside edge on what occurs. Milady is a spy and an assassin, and she’s bringing an entertaining retelling of The Three Musketeers from a fresh perspective. Wonderfully and skillfully written! I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
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  • Amy Bruno
    January 1, 1970
    "In the tide of great affairs, it is not the many who make the crucial choices, but the individual. Mobs do not decide the fate of the world, or even armies. It is always one man - or woman - often unknown to history, working in secret, dedicated to a greater good, who shifts the tides."How amazing is that sentence? I swear I could have highlighted about 3/4 of this book, it is filled with so many great lines!I've got one word for this book and for Milady....badass! I was immediately charmed by "In the tide of great affairs, it is not the many who make the crucial choices, but the individual. Mobs do not decide the fate of the world, or even armies. It is always one man - or woman - often unknown to history, working in secret, dedicated to a greater good, who shifts the tides."How amazing is that sentence? I swear I could have highlighted about 3/4 of this book, it is filled with so many great lines!I've got one word for this book and for Milady....badass! I was immediately charmed by the writing style and de Winter's voice. The opening scene...whooo...what a doozy that was! Going in to this novel I didn't know much at all about Milady de Winter, and the only thing I've watched about the Three Musketeers was from that movie The Man in the Iron Mask (don't judge, I was a 90s kid...haha), so I jumped at the chance to read this one. If you want to know how a naive and innocent young woman becomes the most feared assassin in France who spies for the infamous Cardinal Richelieu, then you must pick up this book!Scheming, spying, court machinations, betrayal, love, and adventure are all masterfully combined in this exciting read! I would seriously love to see this adapted as a movie. I think Milady is the heroine we all need right now :)"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."I absolutely loved Milady and am anxiously awaiting the next release from Laura L. Sullivan!
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Find this and other reviews at: https://historicalfictionreader.blogs...I wanted to love Laura L. Sullivan’s Milady, but despite its promising premise, the novel proved a poor fit for my tastes. I’m thoroughly convinced there are many who will genuinely love this narrative, but the book struck an awkward chord with me and I found it difficult to lose myself in its pages.Milady de Winter is one of my favorite literary antagonists and I feel her story is long overdue a standalone adaptation of its Find this and other reviews at: https://historicalfictionreader.blogs...I wanted to love Laura L. Sullivan’s Milady, but despite its promising premise, the novel proved a poor fit for my tastes. I’m thoroughly convinced there are many who will genuinely love this narrative, but the book struck an awkward chord with me and I found it difficult to lose myself in its pages.Milady de Winter is one of my favorite literary antagonists and I feel her story is long overdue a standalone adaptation of its own. Sullivan’s apparent agreement earns her my applause and while I didn’t agree with all of her artistic decisions, I have to admit admiration for her creative eye, command of language, and ability to place readers at the center of a scene.Having said this, I am one of those who feels the best retellings are those written by authors who are able to harmonize their vision and voice with those of the work on which they are based. Dumas used The Three Musketeers to offer commentary on power and while I acknowledge Sullivan’s attempt to present readers with a feminist heroine, I feel the effort heavy-handed and was not impressed with the emasculating effect it had on nearly every male of Milady’s acquaintance.The bottom line here is that while I feel Milady has a lot going for it, I have to admit its content was not complex enough to capture and/or hold my interest or imagination. The novel has undeniable commercial appeal, but it lacks the gravitas and depth I’d hoped to find on picking it up.
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  • Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)
    January 1, 1970
    If you're familiar with The Three Musketeers then you'll know who Milady De Winter is. This book tells her untold story-- and what a story it is! If you like strong heroines that overcome life's challenges against incredible odds then this is a must read. Even if you don't know The Three Musketeers story, you will still enjoy this book. And don't let the cover fool you into thinking it's just a sappy love story because it is way more then that. It is action packed with espionage and romance, mur If you're familiar with The Three Musketeers then you'll know who Milady De Winter is. This book tells her untold story-- and what a story it is! If you like strong heroines that overcome life's challenges against incredible odds then this is a must read. Even if you don't know The Three Musketeers story, you will still enjoy this book. And don't let the cover fool you into thinking it's just a sappy love story because it is way more then that. It is action packed with espionage and romance, murder and betrayal and a heroine that outwits them all.*I received this ARC from Penguin Random House First to Read in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
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  • Tori
    January 1, 1970
    4.5Laura Sulivan's Milady is a delightfully robust and thought-provoking addition to Duma's Three Musketeers canon.. Told from Milady de Winters' POV, Sullivan gives voice to the supposed villainess of the story, gifting her with a refreshing no-nonsense and firm unapologetic attitude as she weaves a compelling tale of love, loss, betrayal, and retribution as she forged her own path from the one that was forced upon her. Leaving little to the imagination, Milady verbally wipes the shine from Dum 4.5Laura Sulivan's Milady is a delightfully robust and thought-provoking addition to Duma's Three Musketeers canon.. Told from Milady de Winters' POV, Sullivan gives voice to the supposed villainess of the story, gifting her with a refreshing no-nonsense and firm unapologetic attitude as she weaves a compelling tale of love, loss, betrayal, and retribution as she forged her own path from the one that was forced upon her. Leaving little to the imagination, Milady verbally wipes the shine from Duma's darlings, giving readers a whole new outlook on the legends behind each Musketeer, Constance, the Cardinal, and most importantly, Athos.
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  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
    January 1, 1970
    She's one of literature's most famous villains - Milady de Winter. But, who was she really? In MILADY we get her own story - from her childhood ordeals in life to the trials that will make her the ruthless woman d'Artagnan will meet. The woman who Athos married and who he thought was dead. Now she tells her story...READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!
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  • Heather Webb
    January 1, 1970
    There’s nothing more satisfying than a riveting tale with a swash-buckling, cunning female spy at its center. MILADY is a worthy addition to the canon of THE THREE MUSKETEERS, told with well-paced, elegant prose and a keen eye for historical detail. I couldn’t put the book down!
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  • Willow
    January 1, 1970
    One of my all-time favorite books is The Three Musketeers, and one of my all-time favorite characters is Milady De Winter. So of course, when I saw this book, I had to read it. I even ordered it before it came out. Now there is a strange myth and lore surrounding The Three Musketeers. It truly is a masterpiece. However, like most great things it didn’t come entirely from Dumas. Large portions of the story come from The Memoirs of M. d'Artagnan by Charles de Batz de Castelmore. What’s even worse, One of my all-time favorite books is The Three Musketeers, and one of my all-time favorite characters is Milady De Winter. So of course, when I saw this book, I had to read it. I even ordered it before it came out. Now there is a strange myth and lore surrounding The Three Musketeers. It truly is a masterpiece. However, like most great things it didn’t come entirely from Dumas. Large portions of the story come from The Memoirs of M. d'Artagnan by Charles de Batz de Castelmore. What’s even worse, I’ve read that Dumas did not give any credit to Castelmore when he published the book, and instead eluded to a fabricated historical document about the Comte de La Fère to throw his readers off. It's also quite possible Dumas didn't know, like we do now, that d'Artagnan is actually a true historical figure.However, this does not in any way take away from the brilliance of The Three Musketeers. Dumas was a master storyteller, and he gave his characters a life of their own. And while the musketeers may have been taken from other sources, Milady De Winter is almost solely a creation of Dumas. Yes, she makes an appearance in Castelmore’s The Memoirs of M. d'Artagnan as well as the Mémoires de M. le Comte de Rochforte. But she is a minor character, and Dumas changed her backstory drastically. Consequently, I look at Milady as being all Dumas, and she's an awesome character.My first exposure to The Three Musketeers is actually from the old Richard Lester movies that were made in the 1970s with Faye Dunaway as Milady. The thing about Faye Dunaway’s performance though, is that she looks dangerous as hell and is a force to be reckoned with. I keep thinking of this line Faye said in The Thomas Crown Affair -- “All right, Eddie, I'm immoral. So is the world.” lol This fits Milady too. However, I was really young when I saw this movie, so I didn't quite appreciate her determination. I thought Milady was vile.However, when I read the book, my opinion changed drastically, and one of the main reasons was this etching from Maurice Leloir called And he hanged her to a tree . This is where Athos, aka the Comte de La Fère, hangs Milady because he sees that she has been branded with the fleur de lis marking her as a criminal. Now he doesn’t ask her about how she got the brand. He doesn’t talk to her. No, he just hangs her to a tree, like in the picture, and keep in mind she's only sixteen years old. Nice guy right?Suddenly, my whole point of view started to change, and I started to come to the conclusion that Athos was actually kind of an asshole. In fact, there's all kinds of evidence that the musketeers are not really the good guys. They're gray. This makes Milady gray as well. In fact, an excellent review I read from Brad describes this complexity extremely well. Brad's reviewSo in other words, Dumas characters are wonderfully complex. That’s one of the reasons I love the book so much.So now you might be asking, what did I think of Laura L. Sullivan’s Milady? Well, it’s all right. Sullivan writes very well, and parts of the book are really inventive and entertaining, especially when Milady is in England in King James’ court. I liked how she mixed historical figures and true events with the action. Especially when I was already somewhat familiar with these characters after reading The Weaker Vessel by Antonia Fraser. For instance, when Milady starts a romance with George Villiers, I just started laughing. That was awesome.However, Sullivan's Milady is definitely not my idea of Milady. Sullivan goes through a lot of hoops to try to make Milady a heroine. She makes her a protector of women and loyal to her friends. She talks about how being a spy and an assassin is a noble calling. She has Milady outsmarting the musketeers, always being three steps ahead of them.Yet, this makes her less interesting I think. I say that because I wanted the fiercely ambitious Milady, who came from nothing and moved up to a higher and wealthier class. The Milady who was a valued spy and assassin because she was willing to do the dirty work that was necessary. The Milady who was so enraged by d'Artagnan taking advantage of her, she would kill his mistress to get even. I wanted the morally questionable Milady, warts and all. A woman who could say, "All right, I'm immoral. So is the world."Consequently, I was disappointed. I shouldn't have been though. There are not many who can create characters as fascinating as Dumas.I’m sure other readers will enjoy it. ***1/2
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  • Kelley
    January 1, 1970
    ARC received courtesy of Berkley PublishingThis novel is so incredibly well researched! The characters, culture and intrigue from the era draw you in and make you a part of the scenes. "Milady" is Milady de Winters real story. She was a huge villain in "The Three Musketeers". Every character in every story could have their own story told. I think this is a terrific idea! Kudos to Laura Sullivan for the immense amount of research she must've done and for putting it on the page in such an enjoyabl ARC received courtesy of Berkley PublishingThis novel is so incredibly well researched! The characters, culture and intrigue from the era draw you in and make you a part of the scenes. "Milady" is Milady de Winters real story. She was a huge villain in "The Three Musketeers". Every character in every story could have their own story told. I think this is a terrific idea! Kudos to Laura Sullivan for the immense amount of research she must've done and for putting it on the page in such an enjoyable way for the readers!I was at a bit of a disadvantage because I've never read "The Three Musketeers" and some knowledge would have been helpful for me. The novel goes back and forth in time and I had a hard time keeping up, which, again, is my fault for taking so long to finish the book.
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  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    WOW! What a thrilling adventure! From beginning to end, I found this book so completely absorbing. Milady is a remarkable character and her story is one I plan to get to know better through Alexandre Dumas' THE THREE MUSKETEERS. Another book that lands at the top of my favorites this year. **DRC copy courtesy of Penguin's First to Read program.
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  • Darcia Helle
    January 1, 1970
    I have mixed feelings about this book. I'll start with the good stuff:The writing has a beautiful literary quality. Sometimes I'd stop and linger over an elegantly worded sentence.Sullivan clearly knows her history. The dialogue rings true for the times. Little details are sprinkled throughout that thoroughly immerse us in the historical period. Now the stuff I didn't love: The Three Musketeers are vilified here. If you're a fan of the original Musketeers, you might not like where this story tak I have mixed feelings about this book. I'll start with the good stuff:The writing has a beautiful literary quality. Sometimes I'd stop and linger over an elegantly worded sentence.Sullivan clearly knows her history. The dialogue rings true for the times. Little details are sprinkled throughout that thoroughly immerse us in the historical period. Now the stuff I didn't love: The Three Musketeers are vilified here. If you're a fan of the original Musketeers, you might not like where this story takes you. In fact, most every male in this story is either a rapist, abuser, con artist, or some combination of all those things. While I know life was intensely difficult for women back then, the backdrop is too black-and-white, men versus women.The author relies on readers having a firm understanding of the Three Musketeers story. I've forgotten more than I remember, and consequently I felt I was missing major pieces of this story.And, finally, the pacing becomes oh so slow. At about the one-third point, we come to a place where the story seems to stand endlessly still. I got bored, started skimming, put the book down a lot, and could have easily left it at that.While this book will absolutely hold appeal for a lot of readers, ultimately I'm not part of the ideal target audience.*I received a review copy from the publisher, via NetGalley.*
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  • Rachel S
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsMilady by Laura L. Sullivan chronicles the origins of Milady de Winter, the infamous villainess from Alexandre Dumas's novel The Three Musketeers. The story follows Clarice (later known as Milady de Winter) as she embarks on a series of adventures, ranging from her childhood home in Yorkshire, to the court of King James I, to a convent in France and beyond. The bulk of the novel takes place from 1615 to 1616, 13 years prior to the events that took place in The Three Musketeers.This nove 3.5 starsMilady by Laura L. Sullivan chronicles the origins of Milady de Winter, the infamous villainess from Alexandre Dumas's novel The Three Musketeers. The story follows Clarice (later known as Milady de Winter) as she embarks on a series of adventures, ranging from her childhood home in Yorkshire, to the court of King James I, to a convent in France and beyond. The bulk of the novel takes place from 1615 to 1616, 13 years prior to the events that took place in The Three Musketeers.This novel is immersive and hard to put down; it combines insightful prose with a well-paced, exciting plot. This is very much an historical fiction novel, which is appropriate since The Three Musketeers was also historical fiction. The author did a fabulous job weaving historical events, as well as events from the original story, into her novel. King James and the Duke of Buckingham were realistically (if not sympathetically) drawn. The author obviously did her research. If you're not familiar with the original story, I would recommend at least reading the Spark Notes for The Three Musketeers before you read Milady. It will deepen your understanding of the events and characters and it will give you a better appreciation of the story overall. My only complaint about this book is the treatment of the characters. Modifying established characters is always risky, and while I commend the author for trying, I personally wasn't fond of the results. I'll admit that the Musketeers in the original story did some questionable things, but so did Milady. Sullivan excuses the actions of Milady, whilst exaggerating the faults of the Musketeers. The Musketeers become bumbling cruel-hearted drunkards who only succeed in their endeavors due to blind luck. Meanwhile, Milady is portrayed as a tragic victim of circumstance who only did what she had to to survive.Unfortunately, this rebranding of Milady doesn't really work. Clarice comes across as self-absorbed and foolish. She pities herself for being used, and then she uses others without remorse. She resents others for lying to her, and then she turns around and lies to people who are trying to love her and help her. She makes terrible choices, and then blames others for her misfortunes. Felix might have been a troublesome dolt, but he didn't deserve to be treated so abominably. Clarice uses him and then discards him—quite cruelly—without a thought. This doesn't make her a heroine–it makes her a hypocrite. Milady's most egregious deeds from the original story are glossed over in order to make them more palatable, and the other characters—Constance Bonacieux, especially—had to be altered quite a bit in order to fit into this new Musketeer-bashing narrative. In some ways this makes sense—this is, after all, the story from Milady's perspective—and yet it just doesn't sit well with me.In a lot of ways, Clarice reminds me of Scarlett O'Hara; her determination, independence, and will to survive are admirable, but the methods she uses to achieve her goals are not. Milady de Winter is a fun character, I'll grant you, but she's not a nice character. I think I like her better as an unrepentant, blissfully evil villain.But don't let my criticisms dissuade you from reading this book. My complaints aside, I found this novel to be well-written and immensely readable. It's a riveting mixture of court intrigue, swashbuckling adventure, and romance. If you like historical fiction with strong feminist undertones, then this book is for you.I received this advance reading copy through a Goodreads Giveaway. Thank you to Goodreads and Penguin Random House for the opportunity to read this book.
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  • The Lit Bitch
    January 1, 1970
    When I was barely coming into my adolescents, I discovered the swashbuckling adventures of The Three Musketeers. Albeit on the big screen and not the Dumas novel, but swashbuckling adventure all the same!I loved the 1993 film version, even if I did hate Charlie Sheen and Chris O’Donnell in it, it was still exciting and as a young girl who longed for grace adventures, it had everything I could hope for. Sword fights, friendship, and of course a bad ass femme fatale!Oh how I loved Milady de Winter When I was barely coming into my adolescents, I discovered the swashbuckling adventures of The Three Musketeers. Albeit on the big screen and not the Dumas novel, but swashbuckling adventure all the same!I loved the 1993 film version, even if I did hate Charlie Sheen and Chris O’Donnell in it, it was still exciting and as a young girl who longed for grace adventures, it had everything I could hope for. Sword fights, friendship, and of course a bad ass femme fatale!Oh how I loved Milady de Winter! She was one of the first female characters that stands out in my mind. She wasn’t a maid in need of rescuing, like Maid Marian in Robin Hood, she was the villain and she captured my imagination.So when this book showed up for review on my desk, I squealed! I couldn’t believe someone wrote a novel from her perspective! I couldn’t wait to star reading it and crack it open almost immediately!For me, this book had to pack a big punch. It needed to come in swords blazing. I don’t know that it completely blew me over, but I thought it came in strong all the same. In my opinion, Milady de Winter is kind of a lesser known character/villain unless you are familiar with the Musketeers’ story. I only have a condensed, Hollywood ideal for reference and I think this novel would have had a greater impact if I had read the Dumas classic first.I think one of the biggest struggles of this novel for me was the time shifting. The most interesting part of the book is Milady’s coming of age story, but it would awkwardly get broken up to shift back to Milady’s ‘modern’ story featuring the Musketeers. The change was only marked by a new date and for my, I kept having to go back and find what date I had been at in the previous chapter to orientate myself with the timeline.At times I felt like Milady (or Clarice) was fiery and fierce but yet that didn’t translate into action. I often felt like Clarice was plotting and scheming but then things happened to her rather than her making those things happen if that makes sense. I didn’t feel like (at least in the beginning) that she every really got to execute her plans the way that she had plotted because outside characters or situations would limit her or interfere.While these two things were a struggle for me, I did still love the book and the concept of her story. I found Clarice very relatable on a number of levels and I loved seeing her vulnerability especially as a young girl just coming to court for the first time. It was very evident that she would never make a typical courtier, but yet her innocents made her susceptible to more cutthroat courtiers. I think it’s in this part of the story that the author thrives and we get to see what Clarice could have been if she been in different circumstances.Overall I ended up giving this book a 4 star rating. It was too unique and interesting to go with anything lower than 4 stars but the timeline switching was a bit of a struggle to bump it up to 5 stars.See my full review here
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  • Joanna Bennett
    January 1, 1970
    The premise seemed to be different than the book and its hard to enjoy it when they don't seem to coincide. It took longer for me to get through this book since there was no real connection for me to the plot or the characters. I wanted to enjoy this one but for reasons, I couldn't.When it came to Milady, she did a lot of vile things but at the same time she also blamed it on others and love. She also seemed to have multiple personalities and I am not sure if one was for show or not. I had a har The premise seemed to be different than the book and its hard to enjoy it when they don't seem to coincide. It took longer for me to get through this book since there was no real connection for me to the plot or the characters. I wanted to enjoy this one but for reasons, I couldn't.When it came to Milady, she did a lot of vile things but at the same time she also blamed it on others and love. She also seemed to have multiple personalities and I am not sure if one was for show or not. I had a hard time connecting with her and that always plays a huge role in grabbing my attention for the book as a whole. I can't say that I was interested in any of the other characters and some didn't have much background or a lot of character development.The writing style was one that I was not fond of. At times the narrative seemed to switch from past to present within the same chapter and it made for quite a confusing read. The plot was somewhat interesting but still needed something and it didn't grasp my attention. There were certain scenes that also rubbed me the wrong way early on in the book and could also be another reason I couldn't get into it. Although it was quite creative and had a strong female character, it just wasn't for me.Overall, it is another case of the, "its me, not you". I know others will find this book to be wonderful. So like always, take my review with a grain of salt.eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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  • Amber Dawn
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC from First to Read for an honest review. I really wanted to like this book. Milday is an intriguing villainess and to hear her own story sounded exciting. Except she seems to be a woman that things happen to instead of one who makes them happen. There are a few events where she is the one orchestrating the plan but almost everything that happens to her is through circumstance. Instead of a story of an intriguing villain, it's the story of a poor girl who had people make bad cho I received an ARC from First to Read for an honest review. I really wanted to like this book. Milday is an intriguing villainess and to hear her own story sounded exciting. Except she seems to be a woman that things happen to instead of one who makes them happen. There are a few events where she is the one orchestrating the plan but almost everything that happens to her is through circumstance. Instead of a story of an intriguing villain, it's the story of a poor girl who had people make bad choices for herself and when she did make choices for herself they inevitably led to tragedy. Milady has no power despite the fact that she seems to think she does. It's constantly stated how she is clever and seductive and she seems to either abhore these qualities or think they're the best things ever. I got whiplash trying to figure out which woman I was seeing and not because she was playing a part but because her personality shifted as the narrative needed it to.
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  • TXGAL1
    January 1, 1970
    MILADY, by Laura L Sullivan, is a work of Historical Fiction and the author’s first attempt to reach an adult audience. Milady is born a fictional character to Alexandre Dumas in THE THREE MUSKETEERS. Sullivan’s book imagines a retelling of the life of Milady from her perspective as a French spy and assassin in the employ of Cardinal Richelieu’s network.I have never read THE THREE MUSKETEERS, but I did see a version of it in a 1952 movie called “At Sword’s Point” (not very inspiring). Happily, I MILADY, by Laura L Sullivan, is a work of Historical Fiction and the author’s first attempt to reach an adult audience. Milady is born a fictional character to Alexandre Dumas in THE THREE MUSKETEERS. Sullivan’s book imagines a retelling of the life of Milady from her perspective as a French spy and assassin in the employ of Cardinal Richelieu’s network.I have never read THE THREE MUSKETEERS, but I did see a version of it in a 1952 movie called “At Sword’s Point” (not very inspiring). Happily, I very much enjoyed MILADY. The essence of the time period and court intrigue were faithful 17th century histories.Mystery abounds and adventure grows with Milady’s first experience away from home into her new life at the behest of her father. As an innocent in the world outside of home, Milady’s trusting eyes are opened time after time as she makes the journey through her new life. Each step taken is one on shaky ground; but, she must overcome. She has no choice. Her instincts are sharpened. Milady is resolute.The cover art of this book is beautiful and strong—just like Milady. One might assume from the look of it that the book’s cover is screaming “romance read”, but the book is more about relationships that romance.“Morals are only consequences in disguise.”What does one do when the only ones around that can be trusted are spies? How does one protect oneself in a time when the mere fact of being female places you below your fellow man and values you only as chattel?“In the tide of great affairs, it is not the many who make the crucial choices, but the individual. Mobs do not decide the fate of the world, or even armies. It is always one man-or one woman-often unknown to history, working in secret, dedicated to a greater good, who shifts the tide.”I recommend MILADY as a great read and a gasping page-turner.Many thanks to Berkeley Publishing/Penguin Random House for this Giveaway in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Jackie
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. I cannot remember the last time I read a book this good. This book has it all, and I won't say a word about the content because it is so masterfully presented and weaved together that I could not reveal one thing without revealing all. Just do yourself a favor and pick up this book and read it ASAP. If you love spies, English court life, historical fiction in general, strong women, and the ties that bind, this book is for you.I write this without having read The Three Musketeers, but rest a Wow. I cannot remember the last time I read a book this good. This book has it all, and I won't say a word about the content because it is so masterfully presented and weaved together that I could not reveal one thing without revealing all. Just do yourself a favor and pick up this book and read it ASAP. If you love spies, English court life, historical fiction in general, strong women, and the ties that bind, this book is for you.I write this without having read The Three Musketeers, but rest assured that I have put the original on hold and look forward to seeing how Milady is weaved into that story. Thank you to Berkley Publishing and Penguin Random House for an advanced reader copy of this book, which I won through a Goodreads giveaway.
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  • Sheila Samuelson
    January 1, 1970
    Rating: 5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟's Review: This book is everything that Historical Fiction is about. The time era it is set in is my absolute favorite time era. It's mainly about a girl with MULTIPLE Character POVS who marries more than 1 man at once because she doesn't know who she wants to be. It got confusing at times BUT All in all it was an amazing read and an amazing retelling of The Three Muskateers retelling!! If you love a retelling than this book is for you!!!
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    So the beginning of the story was great, and then it just got boring as the book progressed. So I DNFed it until I find the courage to read it again.
  • Sarah Perchikoff
    January 1, 1970
    I cannot state this enough: I have been waiting for this book for years! While I haven't read the original Three Musketeers, I have watching the TV series and have always had a soft spot for Milady. A badass woman who's a spy and an assassin?? Um, hell yes! And (thank god), Milady by Laura L. Sullivan does not disappoint. It is the feminist retelling my heart has been calling out for. Milady is willing to do anything to protect herself and the people she loves, and she loves so deeply. Something I cannot state this enough: I have been waiting for this book for years! While I haven't read the original Three Musketeers, I have watching the TV series and have always had a soft spot for Milady. A badass woman who's a spy and an assassin?? Um, hell yes! And (thank god), Milady by Laura L. Sullivan does not disappoint. It is the feminist retelling my heart has been calling out for. Milady is willing to do anything to protect herself and the people she loves, and she loves so deeply. Something I suspect is not portrayed in the original novel. Before I get too carried away, let's get to the review!Synopsis (from Goodreads):I've gone by many names though you know me as Milady de Winter: Villainess, seductress, a secondary player in The Three Musketeers story.But we all know history was written by men, and they so often get things wrong.So before you cast judgment, let me tell you of how a girl from the countryside became the most feared woman in all of Europe. A target for antipathy, a name whispered in fear or loathing.I don't need you to like me. I just need to be free.It's finally time I tell my own story. The truth isn't tidy or convenient, but it's certainly more interesting.Milady (her real name is Clarice) has humble beginnings. Well, ok, she still lives in a huge house, but she lives with her mother, and they garden, take care of the animals around their home, help the villagers, and overall, enjoy each other's company. It becomes clear early on that her mother is teaching her how to use plants for certain purposes. Which, as you can imagine, comes in handy later in her life. But one day, her father arrives and after seeing her beauty, decides he is going to take her to court and use her as a pawn to gain favor with the King.This starts a sequence of events that cannot be undone. She falls in love with a boy who is also learning to be a spy, but he turns out to be the exact opposite of what she thought. Let's just say, she catches him in a compromising position with the King. After realizing everything he told her was a lie, she finds a another man to have fun with. But she is caught by her father and sent to a nunnery. I would have ended up in a nunnery. Lol I have authority issues.And oh the nunnery! Milady, at first, has no intention of behaving. She wants nothing more than to go back to her mother. But luckily, she soon makes a friend in another girl named Connie. (If you've read the original book, yes, this is Constance). They tell each other stories and rebel in their own way. They look out for each other and come up with a plan to escape. How are they going to escape? By tricking a man, of course! She makes a priest fall in love with her.But the plan was never needed in the first place. A boy she grew up with who isn't much of a boy anymore comes to take her back to her mother. He takes her to cottage in the forest and she's finally allowed to see her mother again. Unfortunately, her mother is very ill. But despite that, Milady is upset they couldn't bring Connie with her. She gave Connie her word that she would save her too. So, at night, she goes and grabs Connie from the convent and they escape. Unfortunately, when she gets back, Connie, Milady, and her childhood friend are separated and she ends up having to deal with the priest after all.The story of Milady's past culminates with her meeting and falling in love with Athos. But once he finds out who she really is, he betrays and tries to kill her. But, that is only half the story.The book is split between Milady's past and her present where she is the spy/assassin that we all know (and love). She must sacrifice the lives of the ones she loves and her own in order to escape from the men that have haunted her for most of her life. But do her and her friends live or die by the end of the book? You have to read to find out.Milady is by far one of the best books I've read this year. One small note: make sure you read the author's note. Laura L. Sullivan goes into certain parts people seem to gloss over in the original book and I learned a few things I didn't know. It is eye-opening. Milady is a story of struggle, fight, sacrifice, and women doing what they must to get what they want. I am giving Milady 4 out of 5 stars. I love this story. I need you all to read this book, so you can scream with me.Milady by Laura L. Sullivan comes out July 2, 2019.Thank you to First to Read and Berkley Books for the free eARC in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Nancy
    January 1, 1970
    The Three Musketeers from Milady’s PerspectiveIn this novel, the arch-villainess of the Three Musketeers, Milady de Winter, tells her own story. She began as a simple country girl, Clarice, and rose to the highest courts in Europe. Much of the novel is devoted to her early life giving the background that made her the woman she became. Once she meets the Musketeers, the story takes some liberties with the original Dumas book. It’s good to be familiar with the story before reading this novel.The s The Three Musketeers from Milady’s PerspectiveIn this novel, the arch-villainess of the Three Musketeers, Milady de Winter, tells her own story. She began as a simple country girl, Clarice, and rose to the highest courts in Europe. Much of the novel is devoted to her early life giving the background that made her the woman she became. Once she meets the Musketeers, the story takes some liberties with the original Dumas book. It’s good to be familiar with the story before reading this novel.The story is clearly told from a feminist perspective. Milady is seen as a clever, strong woman, who uses her beauty and brains to accomplish her ends. The novel is filled romance, murder, betrayal, spying, and palace intrigue. It is not a romance novel, although there is sex and romance. The novel is a historical adventure with plenty of action. I enjoyed the book, but was rather disappointed by the amount of license the author used in presenting the characters of the Three Musketeers. In Dumas book, they are not particularly nice people. They were representative of the fighting men of the era. In this book they become much more villainous to highlight Milady’s virtue in intriguing against them. I recommend reading the book as an historical adventure. The historical figures, like the King and Cardinal, are reasonably accurate. However, don’t try to tie the book too closely to the original Dumas work. They are told from different points of view and understandably each side presents itself in the best light. I received this book from First to Read for this review.
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  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    Title: MiladyAuthor: Laura L. SullivanTwittle:SullivanLeeIsMeGenre: Historical Fictionwebsite:https://lauraleesullivan.com/ Berkley BooksPages:384Pub: July 2,2019First To Read ARC Book synopsis:One for all, and all for one woman:She was the greatest nemesis of d'Artagnan and the Three Musketeers--but Milady de Winter was so much more than just a villain in their swashbuckling adventures.I've gone by many names though you know me as Milady de Winter: Villainess, seductress, a secondary player in Title: MiladyAuthor: Laura L. SullivanTwittle:SullivanLeeIsMeGenre: Historical Fictionwebsite:https://lauraleesullivan.com/ Berkley BooksPages:384Pub: July 2,2019First To Read ARC Book synopsis:One for all, and all for one woman:She was the greatest nemesis of d'Artagnan and the Three Musketeers--but Milady de Winter was so much more than just a villain in their swashbuckling adventures.I've gone by many names though you know me as Milady de Winter: Villainess, seductress, a secondary player in The Three Musketeers story.But we all know history was written by men, and they so often get things wrong.So before you cast judgment, let me tell you of how a girl from the countryside became the most feared woman in all of Europe. A target for antipathy, a name whispered in fear or loathing.I don't need you to like me. I just need to be free.It's finally time I tell my own story. The truth isn't tidy or convenient, but it's certainly more interestingMy thoughtsRatingWould I recommend it?Will I read anything by this author again?Why did.I.decided to request.this?become I absolutely love The Three Musketeers,it's one of my all time favorite classics to read and I was wondering how the author would write Milady's story .At first glance I wanted to fell sorry for Charlotte ,who seems like a young girl down on her luck but just after a few more pages I realized that this girl this Charlotte was more then she seemed to be.As for the story its told in the past and present , the writing comes to live before your very eyes as does the characters , the places., It has a well developed heroine, family intrigue, and there are times that Milady seems to have feeling but only towards her lover and friend. As for the rest of the book I wasn't sure if she was going to be able to pull off this retelling of the Three Musketeers but she did and in a way that it actually worked . Can't wait to see what else she writes , with that said I want to thank First To Read for letting me read and review it exchange for my honest opinion .
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  • Danielle Zimmerman
    January 1, 1970
    Let me preface this by saying that I am one of the only people on the planet who isn’t familiar with the Three Musketeers. I knew OF them, but had never heard, read, or watched their story. In fact, until recently, I had no idea the story was about four men and not three. Needless to say, I’d never heard of Milady. I picked up this book (after winning a Goodreads giveaway for it) because I thought the premise itself was fascinating. And it is. This is a fascinating story of the choices one woman Let me preface this by saying that I am one of the only people on the planet who isn’t familiar with the Three Musketeers. I knew OF them, but had never heard, read, or watched their story. In fact, until recently, I had no idea the story was about four men and not three. Needless to say, I’d never heard of Milady. I picked up this book (after winning a Goodreads giveaway for it) because I thought the premise itself was fascinating. And it is. This is a fascinating story of the choices one woman makes and the ways in which she deals with the outcomes and uses them to her advantage. Not only that, but also how she learned to think steps ahead of everyone else. I enjoyed getting to know the story of the Three Musketeers through this view and trying to figure out who was who (mainly who Athos is from her past).While I’m normally a fan of slow character pieces, I will say that this one felt a bit too slow a lot of times. There was a lot of internal rumination on the same things over and over again, that got s but frustrating. That and some of the details from Milady’s past were a bit too unnecessary and slowed everything down. I had a difficult time staying interested and invested in certain scenes. That could very well be because of my lack of familiarity with the base story, but many scenes that I’d get distracted during took place in the original story’s background, seemingly without any of the original characters aside from Milady.This was a fascinating story of how underestimated and incredibly smart women can be and I was more than satisfied with its ending (in that it sort of mirrored the novel’s opening scene), but was still wanting a bit more from this story and wanted to care more about the protagonist than I ended up doing.
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  • Jill
    January 1, 1970
    As a fan of The Three Musketeers and anything by Alexandre Dumas I was excited to read this new work by Laura Sullivan. Milady de Winter, the femme fatale of Dumas’ classic is given life in this adventure filled fictional narrative. The reader is given insight to the Milday’s early life and the events that led to her infamous status as seductress, spy, and assassin. Sullivan’s portrayal of the main character Clarice (or Milady) melds well with the classic character blending her strength and cunn As a fan of The Three Musketeers and anything by Alexandre Dumas I was excited to read this new work by Laura Sullivan. Milady de Winter, the femme fatale of Dumas’ classic is given life in this adventure filled fictional narrative. The reader is given insight to the Milday’s early life and the events that led to her infamous status as seductress, spy, and assassin. Sullivan’s portrayal of the main character Clarice (or Milady) melds well with the classic character blending her strength and cunning with a softer side of loyalty, duty, and intelligence. The flow of the book is engaging using well-envisioned plot twists to draw the reader in. At times, the books drags a little but the end is well worth sticking it out. I would recommend reading The Three Musketeers prior to this book, or at least acquainting oneself with the story’s plot because at times this book drops you into original events. Over all I really enjoyed this book and would gladly recommend. Full disclosure- An ARC of this book was provided via NetGalley in return for this review.
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  • Linda Zagon
    January 1, 1970
    Linda’s Book Obsession Review “Milady” by Laura L. Sullivan, Berkley, Penguin Random House, July 2, 2019Laura L. Sullivan, Author of “MILADY” has written a unique, intense, captivating, bewitching, and exciting adventure. The Genres for this novel are Fiction and Historical Fiction. The timeline for this story is the seventeenth century. The author describes her characters as good and evil, loyal and betraying, complex and complicated. Laura L. Sullivan has provided what could be the truth of Mi Linda’s Book Obsession Review “Milady” by Laura L. Sullivan, Berkley, Penguin Random House, July 2, 2019Laura L. Sullivan, Author of “MILADY” has written a unique, intense, captivating, bewitching, and exciting adventure. The Genres for this novel are Fiction and Historical Fiction. The timeline for this story is the seventeenth century. The author describes her characters as good and evil, loyal and betraying, complex and complicated. Laura L. Sullivan has provided what could be the truth of Milady de Winter and is the opposite version of “The Three Musketeers” by Dumas. What if Milady were to tell the story as she sees it?In the seventeenth century, women were not treated equally in any way to men. As the author retells the story, Milady is either a heroine or anti-heroine in a hostile and complex time and place. Milady has had only the best training from her mother to be able to protect herself in any way that she can. At times Milady is a victim or a villain. What do you think?There are secrets, spies, kidnappings, murders, treason, and twists and turns. This is an edgy and intense adventure filled with danger and excitement. I highly recommend this unusual story.
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  • Charlotte Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    I had no idea who Milady was. I have not read The Three Musketeers and I am not at all familiar with who Milady de Winter was or what her story was. That being said I picked up this story excited to learn all that I could about this girl who was young and naive living with her mother until her father comes for her and has other plans for the path her life will be taking.Milady is an interesting story. It takes a young girl and turns her into a feared and dangerous woman. The paths she takes, the I had no idea who Milady was. I have not read The Three Musketeers and I am not at all familiar with who Milady de Winter was or what her story was. That being said I picked up this story excited to learn all that I could about this girl who was young and naive living with her mother until her father comes for her and has other plans for the path her life will be taking.Milady is an interesting story. It takes a young girl and turns her into a feared and dangerous woman. The paths she takes, the people she meets, and the things she does are scary, amazing, and sometimes deadly. I enjoyed meeting the diverse characters with their different social status’, different levels of education, and different upbringings. There was an interesting mix of cultures and I was amazed at how easily Milady was able to find her place in each one. This is a fun historical fiction story. I recommend picking up your own copy and learning more about the woman who many men fear and many men loved.
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  • Tara (Spinatale Reviews)
    January 1, 1970
    As soon as I saw that Milday was a retelling of The Three Musketeers from the villainess's perspective, I knew I had to read it. And this book was just wonderful. It was quite obvious that the author had done her research, both in regard to the time period and the original source material. It was a bit difficult to keep track of the timelines at first but I ended up loving how the story played out. It was fascinating to see how Milady came to be and what she was at the peak of her powers. I love As soon as I saw that Milday was a retelling of The Three Musketeers from the villainess's perspective, I knew I had to read it. And this book was just wonderful. It was quite obvious that the author had done her research, both in regard to the time period and the original source material. It was a bit difficult to keep track of the timelines at first but I ended up loving how the story played out. It was fascinating to see how Milady came to be and what she was at the peak of her powers. I loved how Sullivan turned the original story on its head and was able to create this brilliant, vibrant, powerful woman from a villainess. This book ultimately examines how the difference between good and evil depends entirely on who is telling the tale. I'd highly recommend it for fans of historical fiction or unique retellings. *Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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  • Meghan
    January 1, 1970
    This book was received as an ARC from Berkley Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.I was not expecting to read a book like this from the description and cover. While reading the book, I could not help but to think of the other sister and even the other bolyen girl in how historically similar both of these books are. Also, from the legend of the three musketeers and how they really came to be was such a treat of in This book was received as an ARC from Berkley Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.I was not expecting to read a book like this from the description and cover. While reading the book, I could not help but to think of the other sister and even the other bolyen girl in how historically similar both of these books are. Also, from the legend of the three musketeers and how they really came to be was such a treat of interest to read and completely unexpected. Knowing the truth and how she was viewed as a villianess and how the musketeers viewed her as the problem and it was them the whole time.We will consider adding this title to our historical fiction section at our library. That is why we are giving it 5 stars.
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  • Savanna
    January 1, 1970
    This was such a fun book, from the very first scene. Broadly, it’s the story of how a young woman becomes the badass spy-assassin Milday deWinter, one of the villains of the Three Musketeers. There are two timelines—one that shows how Clarice becomes Milady (loosely following the backstory that Athos and Dumas give her in The Three Musketeers) and the other is contemporaneous with the story of The Three Musketeers. Thinking about it, it feels weird to describe a book so filled with terrible, man This was such a fun book, from the very first scene. Broadly, it’s the story of how a young woman becomes the badass spy-assassin Milday deWinter, one of the villains of the Three Musketeers. There are two timelines—one that shows how Clarice becomes Milady (loosely following the backstory that Athos and Dumas give her in The Three Musketeers) and the other is contemporaneous with the story of The Three Musketeers. Thinking about it, it feels weird to describe a book so filled with terrible, manipulating men who feel entitled to sexual assault as “fun,” but it was for me. Primarily because Clarice is competent, witty, and gets shit done for herself (most of the time). Sometimes you need a good romance, other times you need a good hardcore “sticking it to the patriarchy” kind of book. This is definitely the latter, and I loved it.
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