Book Review: The Mark of the King
The Mark of the King written by Jocelyn Green comes on the market January 3rd.
Sweeping Historical Fiction Set at the Edge of the Continent
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
So the back overview sounds good, the cover is pretty, what could go wrong?
I really don't know one particular reason why I didn't care for it. I loved the idea of the story, but the ending could have been so much better. It was too sad; too much death.
So I'm gonna have some spoilers, and I don't normally do this, but to show why I didn't like the book I'm going to need to do this.
Julianne was put into prison for a crime she didn't even commit. She was given the mark of the king (a tattoo), a lilly flower on her shoulder. It marked her as a criminal forever. Julianne finds out that there is a way out of this prison; to travel to a fledgling French colony named New Orleans. This doesn't sound all that bad to Julianne because her younger brother, Benjamin, lives there.
Little does Julianne know that she will be forced to marry another criminal before the journey even begins.
This part sounded like it could be made to work out. Sure, she doesn't know the man , or his criminal history, but surely she could/can still fall in love with him.
She marries the one man that makes her feel strong and keeps eye contact with her. They reach New Orleans, a few more interesting things happen, and then Julianne begs her husband to go looking for her brother Benjamin. She realizes that she can make this marriage work and that she does love her husband, she also finds out she's expecting his child while he's gone.
And while Julianne's husband finds her brother, he also gets beaten with a hatchet, scalped, and he's now dead.
Julianne reacts by going on with life, and keeping her work as a midwife.
She thinks her brother is dead, her husband died for naught, and later gets beaten for a crime she didn't commit, and her baby dies.
Julianne remarries a prominent man, one who knew her brother before he "died." She can't have kids and she wants kids very bad.
More things that are sort of interesting happen (You'll have to read to find out.) And then her brother visits her.
Her husband isn't home at the time and he thinks she doesn't love him anymore and has found someone else, so he pouts and ignores her.
At the end of the book she find out her brother is a traitor and he dies trying to save her.
I just didn't enjoy it. It was good writing, held potential, and was correct in its facts, but I just couldn't enjoy it. There was too many deaths and too much violence.
Give it a try though, you might like it.
I am only going to give it two out of five stars, because I liked the cover, I got into the storyline well enough, I just didn't like the things that happened, or didn't happen.
If you have any comments or questions leave them below!
I was given a copy of this book by NetGalley for a complete and honest review.