HOW DO YOU KEEP THE LOVE OF THE KING OF FRANCE?
1676. In a hovel in the centre of Paris, the fortune-teller La Voisin holds a black mass, summoning the devil to help an unnamed client keep the love of the King of France, Louis XIV.
Three years later, Athénaïs, Madame de Montespan, the King’s glamorous mistress, is nearly forty. She has borne Louis seven children but now seethes with rage as he falls for eighteen-year-old, Angélique de Fontanges. Athénaïs must do something to keep the King’s love and secure her children’s future, but how? And at what length is she willing to go?
At the same time, police chief La Reynie and his young assistant Bezons have uncovered a network of fortune-tellers and poisoners operating in the city. Athénaïs does not know it, but she is about to be named as a favoured client of the infamous La Voisin.
“This book kept me reading into the night...luxury and squalor, royal scandal and sorcery...how could it not?” —Fay Weldon, author The Life and Loves of a She-devil
“I enjoyed it enormously…you brought The Affair flooding back to me with added excellent detail…It really is a remarkable achievement.” —Anne Somerset, author The Affair of the Poisons
“Reading Charlatan, you are sure to be both entranced and repulsed by Braithwaite’s depictions of Machiavellian scheming, sorcery, and lust.” –University of Toronto