Paris, 1660. As the daughter of itinerant actors who once lit up the Parisian stages, Claudette always thought her future lay in the theatre. But a series of chance encounters pull her into the alluring orbit of the most powerful woman in France, Athenais de Montespan, the unofficial mistress to Louis XIV and reigning "Shadow Queen." Impetuous by nature, Athenais wields a disconcerting amount of power in court - a fact that has ruffled many of the Sun King's key advisers. Claudette leaves the world of theatre to serve Athenais, only to find that court is very much like a stage.