Thanks to NetGalley and Amulet Books for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: April 6th, 2021
Synopsis: In 17th-century Paris, 19-year-old Catherine Monvoisin is a well-heeled jeweler’s wife with a peculiar taste for the arcane. She lives a comfortable life, far removed from a childhood of abject destitution—until her hind spendthrift of a husband lands them both in debt. Hell-bent one returning to a life of poverty, Catherine must rely on her prophetic visions and the grimoire gifted to her by a talented diviner to reinvent herself as a sorceress. With the help of the grifter Marie Bosse, Catherine divines fortunes in the Ille de la Citee—home to sorcerers and scoundrels.
There she encounters the Marquise de Montespan, a stunning noblewoman. When the Marquise become Louis XIV’s royal mistress, with Catherine’s help, her ascension catapults Catherine to notoriety. Catherine takes easily to her glittering new life as the Sorceress La Voisin, pitting the depraved noblesse against one another to her advantage. The stakes soar ever higher when her path crosses that of a young magician. A charged rivalry between sorceress and magician leads to Black Masses, tangled deception, and grisly murder—and sets Catherine on a collision course that threatens her own life. (Goodreads)
Poison Priestess is the second book in the Lady Slayers series, but as it has entirely new characters, you needn’t have read Blood Countess to enjoy this. Each book in this series is a fictionalized account of real life historical murderers of the female persuasion. Sounds delicious doesn’t it? Blood Countess looked at the relationship between Anna Darvulia and serial killer Countess Elizabeth Báthory. In Poison Priestess the story details the rise of Catherine Monvoisin, a jeweler’s wife and fortune teller who is brought into the French Court of Louis XIV, the Sun King. Once there, her skills at prophecy develop into a side business of providing poison to those in the noblesse who wish to get rid of their enemies. What I found fascinating about this were the real life characters who wound up embroiled in the infamous L’Affaire des Poisons which was a major scandal in the court involving accusations of witchcraft and murder. What didn’t work for me were the way the characters were depicted. It wasn’t just that they were unlikable, I usually find flawed characters intriguing. No, these were all rather flat, cardboard cutouts, which made forming a connection with any of them an impossibility. Despite this, there was much I enjoyed, including the supernatural details added to the history. Overall, Poison Priestess wasn’t perfect, yet I’m still glad I read it. If there is a third book in the Lady Slayers series I will definitely give it a try.