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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.