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Friday, July 29, 2011

Review: Before Versailles by Karleen Koen

Publisher: Crown
ISBN: 0307716570
Pages:480 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction/French  
Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazonclip_image001_thumb_thumb, Powell's, Indiebound clip_image0013_thumb_thumbclip_image0014_thumb_thumb

Summary from publisher:

Louis XIV is one of the best-known monarchs ever to grace the French throne. But what was he like as a young man—the man before Versailles?

After the death of his prime minister, Cardinal Mazarin, twenty-two-year-old Louis steps into governing France. He’s still a young man, but one who, as king, willfully takes everything he can get—including his brother’s wife. As the love affair between Louis and Princess Henriette burns, it sets the kingdom on the road toward unmistakable scandal and conflict with the Vatican. Every woman wants him. He must face what he is willing to sacrifice for love.

But there are other problems lurking outside the chateau of Fontainebleau: a boy in an iron mask has been seen in the woods, and the king’s finance minister, Nicolas Fouquet, has proven to be more powerful than Louis ever thought—a man who could make a great ally or become a dangerous foe . . .

Meticulously researched and vividly brought to life by the gorgeous prose of Karleen Koen, Before Versailles dares to explore the forces that shaped an iconic king and determined the fate of an empire.

My Review: 

I am a complete and utter sucker for anything French history. I have always been fascinated by the subject. I was thrilled to read and review this between cupcake batches this week.

Louis XIV is one historical character that I always either love or want to throttle with a blunt object depending on my mood and how he is portrayed. I was caught in between in this one. I thought Koen did a great job in portraying him so I think it was just the general persona of his character that made me want to bludgeon him. I loved this historical detail. It was rich and it was well researched.

I loved so much about this book. I loved this historic details, I loved the richness of the descriptions and the realistic portrayal of all the characters. I also enjoyed that this book was not solely focused on the scandals, mistresses and drama. It had some great historical foundation.   I did feel a disconnect with some of the characters. Like they never really got a chance to develop a voice. But overall, I am a history fanatic and that’s what really mattered.


*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review.   My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies   made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the  blog.

1 comment:

  1. This time period both fascinates and horrifies me in equal measure!

    I'm so glad you enjoyed this one. Thanks for being a part of the tour.



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