Thursday, March 02, 2017

Review: The Mark of the King

Jocelyn Green
By Jocelyn Green
Bethany House, January 2013

About the Book

After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.

When they arrive in New Orleans, there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne’s brother, and searching for answers proves dangerous. What is behind the mystery, and does military officer Marc-Paul Girard know more than he is letting on?

With her dreams of a new life shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous, rugged land despite never being able to escape the king’s mark on her shoulder that brands her a criminal beyond redemption.

My Review

Passionate, vividly written, and thrilling, The Mark of the King is Jocelyn Green’s finest tale to date—and I’ve loved them all.

The story of young midwife Julianne Chevalier is set in a period and place I knew little about—the settling of New Orleans in the early 1700s—which intrigued me for that reason alone. Then I found the characters to be so well-drawn and believable that I quickly identified with them and their plight and came to care a great deal about their fate. The love story that developed as delicately and sweetly as an unfolding rose kept me reading and hoping for their happiness.

I loved the way Green wove her stellar research throughout in such a natural and intrinsic way that I not only learned a lot about this period in America’s history, but it also helped to define the characters and their motivations. Added to that, the plot takes numerous unexpected twists and turns right up to the riveting ending, which made the book exceptionally hard to put down.

All I can say is bravo to the author! Green has raised the bar in historical fiction with this gripping story.

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