If you love sweeping historical novels featuring the kings and queens, you won't want to miss Marci Jefferson's latest novel, Enchantress of Paris. Marie Mancini might not be a household name, but the story of her love for Louis XIV, the Sun King, will break your heart.
Marie Mancini was the third of five beautiful Italian sisters, nieces of the powerful Cardinal Mazarin, who, along with the Queen Mother, governed France while King Louis was young. The Cardinal was the guardian for the young Louis XIV, and guided him in all political matters, while accumulating power and a vast fortune for himself. And, his five stunning nieces were tools to be wielded in his political maneuverings. First, Olympia, and then Marie were sent to enchant the king. What Mazarin didn't count on was the love that grew between King Louis XIV and Marie.
Marie was sent to a convent at an early age because her superstitious family believed a prophecy foretold by her father. "One day you will disgrace your family in ways no woman has ever done before." When her oldest sister died in childbirth, though, and Olympia married, Marie was the next choice to attend the court. Cardinal Mazarin had plans for the King, but Marie Mancini proved to be as manipulative as her powerful uncle.
As in her earlier novel, Girl on the Golden Coin, Jefferson brings to life a royal court of the seventeenth century in an atmospheric story. Enchantress of Paris is a powerful, character-driven historical novel. It's an emotionally intense novel of love and passion and politics. And, it's a surprising story of strong women, a group of sisters who married well, but found their own ways to live their lives despite loss. And, as mentioned earlier, it will break your heart.
Marci Jefferson's website is www.marcijefferson.com
Enchantress of Paris by Marci Jefferson. St. Martin's Press. 2015. ISBN 9781250057099 (hardcover), 336p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.