Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Enchantress of Paris by Marci Jefferson

Opening Paragraph: Footmen threw open the front doors of my casa, my sanctum of peaceful exile in madrid for near a decade, and a whiff of spices and the gleam of moonlight filled my front hall. Olympia brushed in, tall and fashionable as ever in black French silks and familiar diamonds, looking only half of her forty years. though she had come to Madrid for her own exile three years earlier, I had not seen my older sister since her arrival visit. She took one look at my Spanish garb and frowned her disdainful courtier's frown. "Really, Marie, hyave you lost all sense of style?"

Back Cover Blurb:

Fraught with conspiracy and passion, the Sun King's opulent court is brought to vivid life in this captivating tale about a woman whose love was more powerful than magic.
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, in thrall.
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 destiny.

Review by Mirella Patzer

This fictional account of the life of Marie Mancini is a definite 5 star read! It kept me engaged from first page to last. I adored the love letters between Marie and King Louis that author Marci Jefferson recreated. Everything about this story was well done--from the historical details to the characters to the oppulence of the French Court! Utterly compelling. I love a good villain, and the Cardinal fit the bill. Duplicitous, sneaky, mean, and conniving, he never failed to keep me entertained.

Well crafted, nicely researched, and vibrant with detail of the 17th century French court, this was one book that I devoured in two sittings. Definitely highly recommended. One of my favourite books for 2015.   

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Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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