Milady

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 wron...

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Title:Milady
Author:Laura L. Sullivan
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Milady Reviews

  • Heather Webb

    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!

  • Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)

    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!

  • Tori

    4.5

    Laura 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

    4.5

    Laura 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.

  • Willow

    One of my all-time favorite books is

    , 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

    . It truly is a masterpiece. However, like most great things it didn’t come entirely from Dumas. Large portions of the story come from

    by Charles de Batz de Castelmore. What’s even worse,

    One of my all-time favorite books is

    , 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

    . It truly is a masterpiece. However, like most great things it didn’t come entirely from Dumas. Large portions of the story come from

    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

    . 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

    as well as the

    . 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

    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

    --

    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

    .

    This is where Athos, aka the Comte de La Fère, hangs Milady because he sees that she has been branded with the

    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.

    So 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

    ?

    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

    by Antonia Fraser. For instance, when Milady starts a romance with George Villiers, I just started laughing. That was awesome.

    However, Sullivan's

    is definitely not my idea of

    . 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

  • Kelley

    ARC received courtesy of Berkley Publishing

    This 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 Publishing

    This 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.

  • Amy Bruno

    "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!

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    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.

  • Mackenzie - PhDiva Books

    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

    , we see the story of Clarice (aka Milady de Winter), a spy, villainess, and antagonist of the classic book,

    . I have re

    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

    , we see the story of Clarice (aka Milady de Winter), a spy, villainess, and antagonist of the classic book,

    . I have read Dumas’s

    , 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.

    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

    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.

  • Erin

    Find this and other reviews at:

    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:

    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.

  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    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...

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