In the Shadow of the Sun King (Darkness to Light Series #1)

In the Shadow of the Sun King (Darkness to Light Series #1)

4.6 17
by Golden Keyes Parsons
     
 

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Madeleine Clavell--beautiful, fiercely faithful, and...an outlaw.

As Huguenots in 17th-Century France, Madeleine Clavell and her family defy French law daily. Though they live in comfort and happiness in the French countryside, their Protestant Christianity is considered traitorous. But they are wary. Persecution is surely at hand.

Overview

Madeleine Clavell--beautiful, fiercely faithful, and...an outlaw.

As Huguenots in 17th-Century France, Madeleine Clavell and her family defy French law daily. Though they live in comfort and happiness in the French countryside, their Protestant Christianity is considered traitorous. But they are wary. Persecution is surely at hand.

Then King Louis XIV's dragoons arrive, forcing the family from their country estate. Madeleine must gather her courage and seek out the king in his royal palace at Versailles.

Because Madeleine has a secret. Though years and a thousand choices have separated them, Madeleine and King Louis have a history together. One she feels certain he has not forgotten. She will risk everything to speak to him again. But will the impetuous king choose to save her...and her family? And if so, at what price?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Madeleine Clavell, the heroine of this fast-paced if narrow historical (the first in a planned series), is a former lover of Louis XIV and, unfortunately for her and her family, a Huguenot. When her family is harassed by Louis's dragoons, she goes to Versailles to exploit her past relationship with the king, but her plan backfires and soon her husband is a galley slave, her daughter is sent to a convent for Catholic re-education and she and her sons are headed to Switzerland for protection. There, with the help of a courtier and her unshakeable faith, she reunites with her husband and daughter and escapes the influence of Louis XIV without forsaking her religion. While the importance of faith and surrender to God is repeatedly used as a blunt instrument and many of the characters are thin caricatures, Parsons dramatizes nicely the historical period and its religious strife. Parsons is intent on ensuring happy endings for the Clavells, and readers of a similar worldview should enjoy following the family's travails. (Oct.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

In Catholic France, the estate of Huguenots Francois and Madeleine Clavell is seized by Louis XIV. Once the king's lover, Madeleine makes a high-stakes move to try to help her family, one that may ruin their lives. The first entry in a historical trilogy by a debut author.


—Tamara Butler

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781418571627
Publisher:
Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date:
09/13/2010
Series:
A Darkness to Light Novel , #1
Sold by:
THOMAS NELSON
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
137,106
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Golden Keyes Parsons is the author of the highly acclaimed Darkness to Light series. She's been nominated for several awards, including the ACFW Book of the Year. She and her family live in Texas.

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In the Shadow of the Sun King 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
CheekyJS More than 1 year ago
I received the book, In the Shadow of the Sun King by Golden Keyes Parsons, from Thomas Nelson free of charge as long as I agreed to review it. If you are interested in becoming a book review blogger as well, click here.

I ordered this work of historical fiction with a bit of trepidation. I don't usually read these types of books, but this summer I enjoyed reading a work of fiction about Marie Antoinette, so thought I'd give this book a chance.

When I received the book and saw that it was more than 350 pages, I was a bit worried that I might not finish it or might get bored with it. I started reading it and was initially put off by the sickly sweet description of the stereotypical French provincial setting. But I always give myself 5 pages before deciding not to finish a book. About an hour later, I realized I had lost all track of time and was a good 75 pages into the book, and definitely into the storyline.

At times I did a bit of skimming over some of the more spiritualized parts of the book. Although I applaud the author's ability to take an actual family history, combine it with historical fact and add a great dash of creativity in developing a story, I still found myself tripping over the religious "moments" portrayed by various characters throughout the book.

Though long in pages, the storyline keeps moving very quickly with some unexpected as well as some totally predictable twists and turns in the character's interactions.

I can definitely recommend the book without reservations to fans of Christian romantic historical fiction books. As the first in this series I would not hesitate to continue reading the chronicles as the author continues the saga of Madeline and Francois Clavell.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Clavell family finds themselves at the mercy of King Louis XIV¿s merciless dragoons, soldiers who terrorize the Protestant Huguenots and try to force them to convert to Catholicism, the state religion. Madeleine Clavell, who knew King Louis when they were both very young, believes she can persuade him to call off the dragoons. Her husband, Francois, and her mother, Elizabeth, both try to dissuade her from traveling to Versailles, but Madeleine is desperate. Surely the king cannot be heartless. Surely he must remember what they once meant to each other and he will show mercy to her and her family. It is a gamble which could cost her everything. I had no idea that such persecution went on in France in the 1600¿s. I found it very intriguing to ¿experience¿ through this story what it was like to be persecuted simply for believing a different doctrine. A dramatic story of love, betrayal, and persecution! This is a powerful, fast-paced story that kept me guessing what might happen until the very end. I thoroughly enjoyed this family¿s story. I can hardly wait to read the next book in the series, to find out how things turn out for each of the family members. I highly recommend In the Shadow of the Sun King.
Janna6 More than 1 year ago
This book has a gorgeous cover, an enticing title and it was newly out so I hadn't heard anything about it yet - I was intrigued. I finally got my hands on this book and got really excited when I realized it is set in 17th century France during the reign of King Louis XIV and the persecution of the Huguenots. I have French Huguenot blood through my paternal grandma's side of the family, but I really don't know much about what that means. This book was an eye opener. I would say this is an excellent read for anyone studying this time period, I learned more in the 2 page Historical Perspective opening than in any other book I've read about the French Huguenots. From the viewpoint of someone that just loves a good story, it's even better. I really loved this book!


Madeline Clavell's family was once in the court of the King, quite closely, but is now married and living with her husband and children at their estate in the country. The King's troops invade their home and in an effort to save her family, Madeline travels to Versailles to seek the favor of the King in hopes they will not be persecuted for their Huguenot faith. The consequences are more than she could ever dream and as her life quickly unravels we follow her frantic efforts to save her family. Can true love really triumph?

I am glad that Golden is making this first in a series, because I can't wait to see what happens next - put it on your Christmas list - did I say that I loved this book???
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this book. It's one of my favorites. The historical detail is amazing and helps bring this story to life. Highly recommend it!
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TrishPerry More than 1 year ago
In the Shadow of the Sun King is not your average historical novel. Madeleine Clavell and her family hit the road running, quite literally, within the first few pages. Readers never have to wade through long passages of dense, dry narration, yet author Parsons manages to bring the French countryside, as well as the opulent court at Versailles, vividly to life. The storyline constantly surprises, changing as quickly and drastically as a dangerous, fickle king's fancy. Parsons creates believable characters who demonstrate human frailty, selfish ambition, and sacrificial nobility. And in a particularly fine scene, she demonstrates the possibility of surrendering one's life to God without the influence of organized religion or the interference of man. I'm thrilled to see that another book in this series will release in the fall of 2009. Highly recommended for teens and up.
ReviewYourBook.com More than 1 year ago
In The Shadow of The Sun King
A Darkness to Light Novel ¿ Book 1
Golden Keyes Parsons
Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 9781595546265
Reviewed by Debra Gaynor for ReviewYourBook.com, 12/08
5 stars
Entertaining Christian Fiction¿
When King Louis XIV threatens the Clavell family, Madeleine tries to persuade the King to have mercy on her family. Golden Keyes Parsons illustrates French history in In The Shadow of The Sun King. The Protestants were persecuted in Catholic France. The author draws on her own family history in the telling of this story. In The Shadow of The Sun King is a fast-paced, high-action read. I love this story. Parsons is a talented author, and I will be watching for more of her books.
Deborah_K More than 1 year ago
Sweeping and majestic are the only words to describe this book. The imagery in this book is absolutely fantastic. I'm not usually a fan of European history because there are so many kings and foreign names to learn but this book makes me want to change my mind. It brought to mind movies like The Man in the Iron Mask or Marie Antoinette. You could see the palace and the courtiers running around and envision the stark contrast between the wealthy and the poor. Religious oppression is something that has been happening since the dawn of time. Unfortunately we don't really know what that is like since religious freedom is one of rights and has been since the country was created. Reading about how scary it would have been killed, tortured or watch your children being taken away from you simply because your religious beliefs disagreed with the king was almost hard to comprehend. The Clavalls were totally believable as a French family and their staunch faith was something to be admired. It was obvious that a lot of research had gone into creating this book. And the cover is just to die for! There's romance and adventure in this book, perfect for when you want to escape back into history. It's a great alternative to all those historical romances that are bodice rippers in disguise. This was a wonderful debut for Parsons and I am eagerly looking forward to my next history lesson from her. For historical fiction fans this is HIGHLY recommended.
Novel_Teen_Book_Reviews More than 1 year ago
When King Louis¿ soldiers descend on the Clavell estate, Madeline Clavell and her husband, Francois, send their two sons into hiding to protect them from the soldiers. Madeline, once a close friend of the king, travels to Versailles to persuade him to protect her family. But Louis demands a price far too dear and Madeline refuses.

Enraged, Louis orders the Clavell estate burned, the servants executed, and Francois sent to the Bastille. Madeline tries to race the soldiers home to protect her family from Louis¿ wrath before it is too late.

I knew little of church history between the Catholics and the Huguenots, so I found that part very interesting. The book got off to a bit of a slow start, but once things got moving, I couldn¿t put it down. The characters were complex and the storyline was gripping. The book leaves some unanswered questions for a sequel that is coming out soon. I look forward to what happens next with Madeline Clavell. Recommended.
Ladystorm More than 1 year ago
During the reign of King Louis the French Protestants had to either convert or face imprisonment. Some thought that they would be protected, but they were not.

When the dragoon's storm on to the Clavell's estate, they soon found out that even being former people of the court would not protect them from being persecuted by King Louis soldiers. The Clavell's send Their two boys off with their uncle to a cave to save them from being taken and put in Catholic school's.

While they are hiding, Madeleine Clavell, who use to have a relation with King Louis when he was younger thought that if she pleaded with the King, he would save her family. Though she soon finds out that King Louis is not the same King she knew when she was younger.

Out raged by her not accepting to be his mistress, he orders her estate burned. Nobody would make a mockery of the King. Madeleine tries to reach home before the Dragoons get there but she is too late. Her husband and little girl are gone, but she still has her two boys and their uncle and some of her servants, so they must travel to Geneva for save haven.
But what has happened to her husband? Her daughter? And who is the unlikely ally that they make along the way. Madeleine made a gamble trying to save her family, but now they must trust in God to guide them to find each other again. Will they be able to get out from under the Shadow of the Sun King?

Golden Keyes Parson weaves a great tale using what she knew about her french ancestors and historical fact to give us a extraordinary tale. I am deciding that I am not a huge fan of historicals unless there is a bit of romance in it, but I did find this book interesting. I believe that if you are a great fan of historicals set in the Seventeenth Century, then you will like this book.
jameserobinson More than 1 year ago
It's the oldest cliche' of them all...but I couldn't put this book down! Not particularly well-read in the realm of historical romance, I was nonetheless instantly engaged by this story of intolerance and violence imposed upon the Huguenots in 17th century France. Madeleine Clavell proves to be a brave yet complex heroine as she fights to save her family from the persecution imposed by King Louis XIV. Golden Keyes Parsons shows impressive skills as a storyteller, weaving elements of brisk pacing and----even though the book is rich with historical detail----a swift immediacy that carried me along as if I had known this world all my life. A truly fine debut; I eagerly await this author's next work! --James E. Robinson, author of the novel, The Flower of Grass
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