Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Before Versailles by Karleen Koen

Title: Before Versailles

Author: Karleen Koen

Published: Crown, 28 June 2011

Pages: 400

Summary: Before Versailles is the luscious, sweeping story of the young Louis XIV in his first year as king of France. Told in the alternating perspectives of the young king and his first love, the woman who would become his mistress, Karleen Koen's newest weaves a portrait of court and country in turmoil with the legends of this colorful period in history, including that of the mysterious man in the iron mask.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: Scandal, drama and intrigue; those are the main three elements of Before Versailles.  It had some mystery to it as well and I love mysteries so I really liked the mystery element of Before Versailles.

I thought that Before Versailles was really interesting as I didn’t know much about King Louis XIV or French history so now I feel a lot more knowledgeable on the subject.  I like reading historical novels that are set in reality for that reason.  It’s based in truth so I like to read through and search bits on the internet to learn a bit more about the time and the people.

Before Versailles wasn’t really what I had expected.  I’m not sure what I expected it to be but it was definitely very interesting.  There was so much going on in Before Versailles that there was barely ever a dull moment.

There were so many colourful characters that I had strong feelings about quite a few of them.  In other words, some were really likeable and then some were definitely bad.  I did have a few favourites.  I definitely liked Louise, she just seemed very sweet and down to earth which is the kind of character I like.

Before Versailles provides some very interesting insight into Louis XIV for a few months of his life; as well as a few other prominent people at the time.  If you like French history and are looking for something with a bit of drama and a lot of scandal then I think you will enjoy Before Versailles.

Source: Crown Publishing for review

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