Before Versailles...Review

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About the book:
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 . . .

Meticulously researched and vividly brought to life by the gorgeous prose of Karleen Koen, Before Versailles dares to explore the forces that shaped an iconic king and determined the fate of an empire.

This wasn't an easy book to read.  It seems to be well researched and is a fictionalized account about the first 4 months of the reign of King Louis XIV of France and has all the makings of a great novel. It's a story full of mystery, adultery and intrigue and the French court was lavish and decadent.

There is a cast of characters listing in the front, but I still had a hard time keeping people straight and I think it's because the POV didn't stay with one particular person.  It was hard to find a connection with either Louise or Louis.

Honestly, I ultimately didn't like the characters or the book.  But, I can pretty much guarantee that mine will probably be one of the only negative reviews on the tour.  This book is one that has received high marks on Goodreads and Amazon and fans of historical fiction should enjoy it.

Thanks to Lisa at TLC Book Tours. You can learn more about Karleen Koen here.  You can purchase your own copy here.  You can see other reviews on the book tour here.

Tuesday, July 5th:  2 Kids and Tired Book Reviews
Wednesday, July 6th:  Broken Teepee
Thursday, July 7th:  The Bookworm
Friday, July 8th:
Monday, July 11th:  In the Hammock
Tuesday, July 12th:  Living Outside the Stacks
Wednesday, July 13th:  The Maiden’s Court
Thursday, July 14th:  Royal Reviews
Monday, July 18th:  Unabridged Chick
Tuesday, July 19th:  Enchanted by Josephine
Wednesday, July 20th:  Laura’s Reviews
Thursday, July 21st:  Historical Tapestry AND  Adventures of an Intrepid Reader
Friday, July 22nd:  Books Like Breathing
Monday, July 25th:  Stiletto Storytime
Tuesday, July 26th:  Hist-Fic Chick
Wednesday, July 27th:  Life in Review
Thursday, July 28th:  Reading, Reading & Life

Read 7/11

* *
2/5 Stars


  1. Sorry this didn't work for you - I'd probably struggle with all those characters too.

  2. Darn, I'm sorry you didn't like this one ... it had such promise.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.


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