"I look up now into the oval mirror and see barely a trace of the mud-splattered girl tearing through the woodland on her horse, or the barefoot girl wading at Schonbrunn... I have become what Mama set out for me to be. Majestic. A Dauphine and eventually a Queen."
So writes the headstrong 13-year-old Maria Antonia--future Queen of France--in her diary on October 23, 1769. In this engrossing addition to the Royal Diaries series (Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the House of Tudor, Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile), Kathryn Lasky invents a diary of the young Marie Antoinette in 1769--the year she is to be married off to Dauphin Louis Auguste, eldest grandson of the French king Louis XV. Arranged marriages were common in that day and age--as the Empress Theresa (of the Holy Roman Empire of the Germanic Nations) sought to consolidate power among nations by marrying off her children. Thus, the future of Austria and France falls upon Maria Antonia's young shoulders.