Genre: Historical Fiction Publication.Date August 2015 Pages: 316 Published By: St. Martin's Press Author Marci Jefferson Enchantress of Paris Goodreads My review copy: From the author in exchange for an honest review
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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.
“God help me, I laughed! I clapped my hands across my mouth, but the thought of the king marrying me was nonsense. D'Argencourt had failed without aspiring so far. And she would by in a convent by dawn. I am doomed.”
“He must be convinced subtly, and that will take time. But when I'm ready to tell the king what I know, it will shake the very foundations of Paris.”
I am a HUGE fan of historical fiction and once I saw this cover and read the synopsis, I couldn't image life without reading it.
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, Marie's uncle and cardinal Mazarin brings his niece to the French court, but not for her enjoyment, for Marie's uncle is working her in order to gain more power. 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. However, King Louis is paying more attention to Marie Mancini every single day and Marie can't seem to stop him.
"The king marched in by himself, dripping mud with each heavy step. He didn't spot me until the moment he passed. He looked up. Smiled. "Marie"! I shoved him as hard as I could. He fell back a step. All four guards advanced. The king held up his hand, and they halted. he glared at me, astonished. I balled my hands into fists and went after him, pounding his shoulders, his chest, and then his hands as he fended me off."
Enchantress of Paris: A Novel of the Sun Kings Court" is a fictional account of the life of Marie Mancini, and her rise and very public fall to fame as mistress to Louis XIV of France.
The story begins with an aging Marie and her sister Olympia having a discussion. At this point, the reader has no idea what the discussion pertains to, which is quite the enchanting beginning to an epic novel.
I was blown away by this novel. I'm a HUGE historical fiction fan but have never read Marci Jefferson's first novel so I had no idea how amazing her character development was. I devoured this book in only a few sittings. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction!
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About the author:
Years after graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University, immersing herself in a Quality Assurance nursing career, and then having children, Marci realized she’d neglected her passion for history and writing. She began traveling, writing along the way, delving into various bits of history that caught her fancy. The plot for GIRL ON THE GOLDEN COIN evolved slowly after a trip to London, where she first learned about the Stuart royals. Marci is a member of the Historical Novel Society. She resides in the Midwest with her husband, making hair-bows for their daughter, trying not to step on their son’s Legos, and teaching a tiny Pacific Parrotlet to talk.