Author: Karleen Koen
Date: June, 2011
Posted on 2011-12-30, by 4bookholic.
Before Versailles: A Novel of Louis XIV
Karleen Koen | Crown | June, 2011 | 480 pages | English | pdf,rtf,epub,lit,lrf,mobi,fb2,pdb
Louis is the center of a young court in flux: the Queen Mother's affiliation with Mazarin and the loyalties bred of that union; lady-in-waiting Louise de la Baume le Blanc, an anomaly in a jaded court; the malleable Philippe, made more vulnerable by his weakness; Jean-Baptiste Colbert, silent chronicler of the government's excesses; a mysterious boy in an iron mask; the enchanting Henriette, basking in admiration, tempted by a flirtation with the king; and the ambitious Louis XIV, still subject to the vagaries of his heart, betrayed yet resolute, carrying the weight of France's future on his shoulders. While the male characters are defined by ambition and the arrogance of entitlement, Koen's females are equally devious: a Queen Mother clutching her crucifix with an iron fist; the thwarted affection of Countess de Soissons; the claculated intrigues of the Duchess de Chevreuse; foolish Duchess d' Orleans, inhaling the heady air of celebrity, tampering with men's affections; and the kind-hearted Louise, her lack of guile a balm to a besieged king. With a delicate balance of threat and subterfuge, Louis's secret schemes come to fruition in a breathtaking climax as the dominoes fall in a swift yet delicate execution forged of patience and deliberation.
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