Thursday, December 18, 2008

Book Review: "In the Shadow of the Sun King" by Golden Keyes Parsons




French history at its best

The setting is France, the time is the reign of Louis XIV. Amidst the adventures of the musketeers and the splendor of the Sun King, the people of France are divided. There is a battle between Catholics and the Huguenots. Madeline Clavall and her family are swept up in this drama. They are Huguenots and must protect theirs sons from being taken to join the monastery. When the soldiers come and threaten their lives, Madeline makes a decision to return to court to Louis who was her childhood love. Will he remember their past and grant her family safety? Or will he force her to choose between the love of her childhood and the love of her one true God?

Sweeping and majestic are the only words to describe this book. The imagery in this book is absolutely fantastic. I'm not usually a fan of European history because there are so many kings and foreign names to learn but this book makes me want to change my mind. It brought to mind movies like The Man in the Iron Mask or Marie Antoinette. You could see the palace and the courtiers running around and envision the stark contrast between the wealthy and the poor. Religious oppression is something that has been happening since the dawn of time. Unfortunately we don't really know what that is like since religious freedom is one of rights and has been since the country was created. Reading about how scary it would have been killed, tortured or watch your children being taken away from you simply because your religious beliefs disagreed with the king was almost hard to comprehend. The Clavalls were totally believable as a French family and their staunch faith was something to be admired. It was obvious that a lot of research had gone into creating this book. And the cover is just to die for! There's romance and adventure in this book, perfect for when you want to escape back into history. It's a great alternative to all those historical romances that are bodice rippers in disguise. This was a wonderful debut for Parsons and I am eagerly looking forward to my next history lesson from her. For historical fiction fans this is HIGHLY recommended.

In the Shadow of the Sun King by Golden Keyes Parsons is published by Thomas Nelson (2008)

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