Customer Reviews for

Before Versailles: A Novel of Louis XIV

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2011

    Excellent

    I agree with the last reviewer that she is a great historical fiction writer - one of my favorites, if not the favorite. I absolutely loved her other books which follow the same people through different generations and was anxiously anticipating her latest book. I have to say though I was a little let down because it was not as intricately woven as the last one I read - "Dark Angles", but it was still better than most or all other historical fiction I've read so I'm not complaining. I think she did what the story called for, and that was just less intricasy as her last novel. Plus she was dealing with a true life person, whereas the last books were not, so she had to follow his life. All in all, I loved this book, but prefer her earlier works to this one. I have to say though, that she does create great characters that we come to identify with so strongly and really feel for them, and it was the same with the characters in this book. You really feel attached to these characters and want to see them succeed. Great book if you like historical fiction.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Immerse Yourself in the World of Louis XIV!

    I loved every word of this book, and could not put it down. Ms. Koen's novel takes place in the first few months of the young Louis XIV's kingship, when he is still unsure of himself and his future greatness. The setting is the fabulous palace at Fontainebleau, where the court is currently in residence. Beneath the glamorous and opulent facade of the court is seething ambition, jealousy, and endless intrigue. Into this steps warmhearted, shy Louise, a new maid of honor in a cynical and licentious court. No one suspects this shrinking violet could ever capture a king's heart. The author does a stunning job of characterization: charming Henriette, wife to the damaged and tragic king's brother Philippe; powerful, scheming Nicolas Fouquet; the gorgeous but treacherous Count de Guiche; the Queen Mother who hides a terrible secret, and so many more. All are vividly brought to life, as are the sumptuous chambers and gardens of magnificent Fontainebleau. Musketeers, dwarves, priests and cardinals, underservants, beautiful courtiers - all populate this gorgeous novel and bring the time and place to vibrant life. How I hope there will be a sequel - there is so much of Louis XIV's life yet to tell!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2012

    Best book about early french rulers

    Very intriguing book. Kept me going for days.

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  • Posted June 7, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Well-woven within the intricate story of Louis XIV's youthful da

    Well-woven within the intricate story of Louis XIV's youthful days as King of France is an account of a boy forced to wear an iron mask. Karleen Koen draws from a legend that has come down through French lore and literature. While her richly plotted tale details with interest the early loves and misalliances of the king, his brother, and several women of the court, it is the story of the boy--seemingly royally born--that I found most compelling. Who was he? Why was he hiden away? And who had much to lose? Or gain?
    Highly recommended.

    James Conroyd Martin
    Author of Push Not the River

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  • Posted February 25, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Romance, History, Intrigue---eee! Nice mix!

    OMG! WHy did the synopsis fail to mention Louise????!!!
    This is a well-written book and a must read! I found this a great balance between fiction and history and it is so interesting--this is one of the books I couldn't put down! It's lovely! Read it for yourself and you'll see. If you don't like this masterpiece, it's fine too, but I did. :)

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