The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green

mark-of-the-king

From the publisher: “After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.
“When they arrive in New Orleans, there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne’s brother, and searching for answers proves dangerous. What is behind the mystery, and does military officer Marc-Paul Girard know more than he is letting on?
“With her dreams of a new life shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous, rugged land, despite never being able to escape the king’s mark on her shoulder that brands her a criminal beyond redemption.”

A whole lot happens to Julianne and those she loves throughout this novel. Sometimes a plot like this can get too ambitious – to the point of being ridiculous. Yet, I didn’t find that to be the case here. I felt that Green did a marvelous job of maintaining the adventure and tension of Julianne’s story, while keeping it plausible enough that I didn’t have to roll my eyes with each new twist.

I did, however, find my eyes doing other things…like tearing up. The depth and range of emotion Green manages to fill the pages with was absolutely lovely. And her characters were wonderfully variegated, speckled with intricacies that brought them to life. Fear, love, redemption, terror, joy, desperation…so much in one novel.

I really did enjoy this sweeping historical drama. It was a welcome diversion while it snowed, then rained, then blew like mad, then snowed…ugh! I would recommend you snatch up a copy.

Many thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for the chance to read this novel. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own. 🙂

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