I especiallly love this period of French history and with Louis XIV as my absolute favourite king, it was easy for me to dive head first into Before Versailles. First of all let me say that the research in this book must have been of the most meticulous! The juicy parts and descriptions that entail mystery and kept me fascinated were impeccable in accuracy. I loved reading about palace life and the very details of day to day- the glamour, the splendour of this time- truly sweeps you off your feet. Koen is master at doing this in Before Versailles.
Having read loads of history on this fabulous king, I must say that such a detailed look at the period and events in his life (taking place over only a few months!)- was practically like having been there myself-true indulgence! So much detail (history buffs and lovers of all that is French will be in heaven:)
There is so much to this book; an iron-masked boy; mystery, intrigue and somewhat of a love triangle. About that- there’s just something I had a little trouble with; Henriette’s character portrayal. Let’s just say that I’m more used to reading about her kindness and some frivolity- yes of course...but for the most part she is the darling of this period. It's really her husband that history rather portrays as being the all-around awful one with a deceiving and warped mind along with kinky male preferences. So I had some adjusting to do when it came to reading of Henriette as a little on the scandalous side. But since the book is so well researched, I will attribute this all-time party girl portrayal on the fact that the story takes place in such a brief time span. I should also mention that there were most tender and very touching moments where I got teary more than once..
So, not only is this book an absolute extravaganza into French history in all of its glory, the other thing that is for sure; Before Versailles has made me fall in love with Louis XIV even more! Awhile back I read Koen’s: Dark Angels and was absolutely enthralled by it- Well- apparently Before Versailles is its prequel. So, if you can, try to read both of these (I’m going to reread Dark Angels again for sure!) Talk about a mega dose of delicious Louis XIV.
Giveaway of this perfect French historical!!
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Karleen Koen’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:Tuesday, July 5th: 2 Kids and Tired Book Reviews
Wednesday, July 6th: Broken Teepee
Thursday, July 7th: The Bookworm
Friday, July 8th: Historical-Fiction.com
Monday, July 11th: In the Hammock
Tuesday, July 12th: Living Outside the Stacks
Wednesday, July 13th: The Maiden’s Court
Thursday, July 14th: Royal Reviews
Monday, July 18th: Unabridged Chick
Tuesday, July 19th: Enchanted by Josephine
Wednesday, July 20th: Laura’s Reviews
Thursday, July 21st: Historical Tapestry AND Adventures of an Intrepid Reader
Friday, July 22nd: Books Like Breathing
Monday, July 25th: Stiletto Storytime
Tuesday, July 26th: Hist-Fic Chick
Wednesday, July 27th: Life in Review
Thursday, July 28th: Reading, Reading & Life