Title: Enchantress of Paris
Author: Marci Jefferson
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publish Date: August 4, 2015
Source: I received a copy from the publisher; however, this did not affect my review.
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "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,
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
My Two Cents:
"Enchantress of Paris" is the latest historical fiction offering from Marci Jefferson. I really enjoyed her last book, "Girl on the Golden Coin," so I was excited to read this book. In this book, we see the court of King Louis XIV of France, also known as the Sun King, through the eyes of one of his most beloved mistresses, Marie Mancini. Louis and Marie truly loved each other but it was a forbidden love with the King's mother and Marie's uncle trying to keep the lovers apart because of their own wants and more importantly, their own secrets!
This story is told from the perspective of Marie in first-person point of view. I really loved this because it allowed me to have a front seat to what it must've been like to be in France at the time. Marie and Louis fall hard for each other and it is a true love. Marie really doesn't seem to care that Louis is the king and Louis is ready to give up the throne for her if it means that they can be together. I had never really known much about Marie Mancini so I liked getting to know her through this book.
As the title suggests, there is an element of magic added to this book that I also really enjoyed. The author is able to weave in some magical realism details that really made this book sparkle for me. Marie comes from a line of family members who have been able to weave some enchantment through their lives and Marie also has that power. The element is subtle but really works for this book!
I also have to mention how much I enjoyed this setting. I've read a lot of historical fiction set in France but I haven't read too too much about the Sun Kings Court. It was such an interesting time and Francis history and I really enjoyed getting to know it a little bit better through this book. Overall, the authors writing and the characters that she includes make this book a great pick for historical fiction lovers.