Duchessina was the first book I'd read by Carolyn Meyer. I had read many of Ann Rinaldi's books, but hadn't found an author that wrote such interesting historical fiction as her. There really isn't much out there for young adults/ teens in that genre. However, when I found the Young Royals series in the library, I was ecstatic!
I was very pleased with this book. The pacing was pretty well done, albeit slower than Ms. Meyer's other books, until the end. The last few chapters were very VERY rushed. After the lovely description and detail of before, it wan't enjoyable. I felt as if I was skimming, even though I wasn't. This is the primary reason I took a star off. As for the rest of the book, the detail was enough, but not too much that the story started to become boring.
I found this book highly informational for someone new to the subject. Some topics I knew very little about that I got a good amount of information on from this book were the life of Catherine (Caterina) de' Medici, the way Italy was governed in the 1500's, a little about Catholicism in the 1500's, the renaissance, and more.
I would recommend this book to fans of Ann Rinaldi, Susan Dunlap, and Carolyn Meyer's other books.