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It's the winter of 1564 and the beautiful young Princess Margot is summoned to her mother's household, where her true education begins in earnest. Known across Europe as Madame la Serpente, Queen Catherine is an intimidating and unmoving presence in France, even as her country recovers from the first of many devastating religious wars. Among the crafty nobility of Queen Catherine's royal court, Margot learns the intriguing and unspoken rules she must live by to please her manipulative family.
Eager to be an obedient daughter, Margot embraces her role as a pawn to be married off to the most convenient bidder. Despite her loyalty, Margot finds herself charmed by the powerful and charismatic Duc de Guise and falls for him even as she is promised to another. Finally setting aside her happiness for duty, Margot leaves the man she loves for Henri of Navarre, a Huguenot leader and a notorious heretic. Yet Queen Catherine's schemes are endless, and Margot's brother plots vengeance in the streets of Paris. Forced to choose between her family and what's right, Margot at last finds the strength within herself to forge her own destiny.