Medici: Legacy (Masters of Florence, 3)

Written by Matteo Strukul Richard McKenna (trans.)
Review by Mike Ashworth

When Francis, heir to the throne of France, is found dead, many at the French court use the opportunity to make political mischief and throw suspicion on Catherine de’ Medici. After all, with Francis dead, her husband Henry is now the heir.

Catherine is a foreigner and hated, with little influence at court. However, she has enough problems without regicide being added to the list. Her husband has little time or affection for her. To secure her position, she must produce an heir and hope to survive the vicious court intrigues until her husband ascends the throne. She must find allies who will help her survive, not only politically but physically. She needs to acquire power, but power comes at a cost.

This is the third in the Medici trilogy. With a strong plot and characters, the story vividly conveys the life, times, and culture of the French court in the 16th century. Catherine is characterised as a strong, single-minded woman who has the ruthless Medici streak: no wallflower! The novel completes a magnificent trilogy, although it can be read as a stand-alone. If you are looking for skullduggery, murder, and buckets of intrigue, this is for you. Recommended.