Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Enchantress of Paris by Marci Jefferson

Fraught with conspiracy and passion, the Sun King's opulent court is brought to vivid life in this captivating tale about a woman whose love was more powerful than magic.

The alignment of the stars at Marie Mancini's birth warned that although she would be gifted at divination, she was destined to disgrace her family. Ignoring the dark warnings of his sister and astrologers, Cardinal Mazarin brings his niece to the French court, where the forbidden occult arts thrive in secret. In France, Marie learns her uncle has become the power behind the throne by using her sister Olympia to hold the Sun King, Louis XIV, in thrall.

Desperate to avoid her mother's dying wish that she spend her life in a convent, Marie burns her grimoire, trading Italian superstitions for polite sophistication. But as her star rises, King Louis becomes enchanted by Marie's charm. Sensing a chance to grasp even greater glory, Cardinal Mazarin pits the sisters against each other, showering Marie with diamonds and silks in exchange for bending King Louis to his will.

Disgusted by Mazarin's ruthlessness, Marie rebels. She sacrifices everything, but exposing Mazarin's deepest secret threatens to tear France apart. When even King Louis's love fails to protect Marie, she must summon her forbidden powers of divination to shield her family, protect France, and help the Sun King fulfill his destiny.

Hardcover, 336 pages
Expected publication: August 4th 2015 by Thomas Dunne Books 
arc via netgalley
  France is not one of my regular stomping grounds, it's when my reading of English HF overlaps that I get my taste of the french.  I am trying to change that and what better place then with Marci Jefferson's Enchantress of Paris.  Having heard of the Sun King before but not knowing much background I looked forward to this book.  I'll admit it was the cover that initially caught my eye - look at it, gorgeous, then the author.  I've heard so many good things about her debut Girl on the Golden Coin but haven't read it yet.  Since reading Enchantress of Paris that book has been moved closer to the top of my tbr pile.  I had the privilege of meeting the author in Denver recently where we talked about this book (why didn't I take a pic?!).

The Mazarin's are also unknowns to me and I love that aspect of 'first time'.  There are no preconceived notions, no likes or dislikes just an open mind taking everything in.  It wasn't hard to like Marie, to dislike her uncle and be totally captivated with this book.  Marie is strong willed, independent and clashes so much with the Cardinal who is the opposite, ruthless and just as strong willed, a rather powerful man.

Anything I've read about French kings has always been how they lack control of their future, how then bend to the wishes of others (this is where I think of the English kings who married whomever they wanted to, so why can't the french do that too?)  Why couldn't Marie and the King would just run off and marry? The author does a great job of explaining the why and why not.  Her knowledge of the time period is evident and also the amount of research that went into writing this book.

This wasn't just an entertaining read but an educational one as well. Highly recommend to those that like character driven stories and the French court.

1 comment:

  1. This is such a pretty cover! It also sounds like a good story!