Review: Before Versailles – Karleen Koen

Louis XIV is one of the best-known monarchs ever to grace the French throne. But what was he like as a young man–the man before Versailles? 
After the death of his prime minister, Cardinal Mazarin, twenty-two-year-old Louis steps into governing France. He’s still a young man, but one who, as king, willfully takes everything he can get–including his brother’s wife. As the love affair between Louis and Princess Henriette burns, it sets the kingdom on the road toward unmistakable scandal and conflict with the Vatican. Every woman wants him. He must face what he is willing to sacrifice for love. 
But there are other problems lurking outside the chateau of Fontainebleau: a boy in an iron mask has been seen in the woods, and the king’s finance minister, Nicolas Fouquet, has proven to be more powerful than Louis ever thought–a man who could make a great ally or become a dangerous foe . . . 

My thoughts:
First I must mentioned that I have read this book before. I think that is a sign I have become too much of a book lover, I thought the title was familliar but the cover was different and, oh yes I started to read and look at that. I had read it before, well let’s just read it again then.
This is a book of many POVS, at times. Princess Henrietta’s maid of honor Louise  is a main character but there are many others that want to say something, or think something. Since there are many players at this court.
It takes place during 4 months in 1661, Louis XIV is a young ruler in love with his sister in law and they have an affair. Then Louise comes along as a maid of honor, and of course he starts an affair with her, madly in love again. Affairs are going on left and right. People are young and in love.
Viscount Nicholas is spying on everyone, someone is questiong the king about his paterneity, and in the woods a boy in an iron mask is seen. A plot thread involving the Queen Mother and Cardinal Mazarin.
You know it will not be a happy end for Louise (of course I checked). He was a young king and he grew tired and cast her aside. He will have many more lovers. But that is not the story here, no here they are in love, for a while. They are happy, for a while. They are young and silly. And he does what kings do.
Sometimes it was hard to get a feel for everyone. Maybe it was the short period of time we knew them.
Conclusion:
A book for the lovers of French history. Love, lust, betrayal and intrigues. 
Cover: Fitting

Pages: 480
Genre: Historical fiction
Published: Sep 1st 2012 by Sourcebooks Landmark (first pub 2011)Source: For review
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74 thoughts on “Review: Before Versailles – Karleen Koen

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