by Sandra Gulland
Set against the magnificent decadence of the seventeenth-century French court, Mistress of the Sun is a riveting love story with a bewitching mystery at its heart.First Sentence:
Unmarriageable and too poor to join a convent, Louise de la Valliere enters the court of the Sun King as a maid of honor. The King is mesmerized by her athleticism and her striking grace. As their love unfolds, Louise bears Louis four children, is made a duchess, and reigns unrivaled as his official mistress - until a dangerous intrigue threatens her position at court, her place in Louis's heart, and even her life.
Internationally acclaimed novelist Sandra Gulland triumphantly resurrects a fascinating female figure from the shadows of history and illuminates both the power of true and perfect love and the rash actions we take to capture and tame it.
A Romany woman in a crimson gown flashes by, standing on the back of a cantering horse.
This book is set in one of my all time favorite historical eras; the court of the Sun King. I was immediately attracted to the main female character, Louise de la Valliere or as she's better known as, Petite. The book follows the life and the loves of Petite, which is constantly changing except for two things ... her infatuation of horses and her fear of the devil.
I absolutely fell in love with Mistress of the Sun. The characters are so well portrayed that you cannot help but become intertwined with their lives. However this can turn out to be a bad thing, because when Sandra Gulland says she does not like happy endings she isn't kidding. I became so involved in the story I had to force my self to turn the page because I was too afraid to read what would happen to my beloved Petite next. And of course, just like Petite, I fell in love with the Sun King himself ... which made the ups and downs of their affair even more painful to read. I look forward to reading this book again in the future and plan on buying Sandra Gulland's Josephine trilogy very soon.
I would definitely recommend Mistress of the Sun to anyone who enjoys reading. It is not just another historical fiction book, it is also a love story and has a bit of paranormal activity thrown in. The reader does not have to possess any knowledge of the time period before starting this book because Sandra Gulland has added wonderful extras including: a map of France at the time of the Sun King, an abbreviated genealogy of the royal families and a glossary of terms. It would also be a great read for long time lovers of historical fiction because Petite is not a "popular" historical female, so there are not many books about her life and for many people this will be their fist time reading about her.
Unfortunately I was too absorbed into the story to remember to write down the page number of quotes until I was more than halfway done with the book. ;) Also, it turns out, many of my favorite quotes would ruin the surprise twists in the story ... So, I will just share one that I believe is one of the main themes of the book.
She thought of herself as Louis's true wife, and the Queen as the wife of that other man, the King.
Title: Mistress of the Sun
Author: Sandra Gulland
Paperback: 400 pages
ISBN 10: 0743298926ISBN 13: 978-0743298926
Buy It: Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble
Review Number: 12
About the author:
Thanks to Sandra Gulland and her publisher Diane, I have received a second copy to giveaway. Unfortunately, being the poor college student I am, I can only ship to people within the U.S., I am sorry! The contest will run from May 20th to May 27th, 2009. The winner will be chosen by random.org and will be notified by email.
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