|The Sun King Conspiracy by Yves Jego, Denis Lepee, and Sue Dyson (translator)|
|Category: Historical Fiction|
|Reviewer: Amy Etherington|
|Summary: An ambitious historical tale set during the early reign of Louis XIV which sounds promising, but doesn't completely blow you away. While the plot is certainly full of intrigue and mystery, the novel is interesting if ultimately a little underwhelming.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 448||Date: April 2016|
|Publisher: Gallic Books|
Who can I trust in this nest of vipers? The year is 1661 and Cardinal Mazarin, the Chief Minister to King Louis XIV of France, lies dying. As the health of the man who once governed France deteriorates, the ambitions of those beneath him strive for power in order to succeed him. Secret papers have been stolen from the Cardinal, papers that could change the course of France forever, and have fallen in to the hands of Gabriel de Pontibrand, a young actor who has become unwillingly involved in this strange conspiracy. Surrounded by scheming politicians and a secret brotherhood, the contents of these coded papers will change Gabriel's life and have the power to change the future of France.
The premise of The Sun King Conspiracy sounds incredibly exciting; full of mystery and intrigue and all set during a politically important period which led to Louis XIV's ultimate rise to power. The story itself began well and at first I enjoyed it, but instead of being on the edge of my seat thirsting for more, it left me feeling confused and a bit disappointed.
The set-up sounded amazing and I have no doubt that both Yves Jégo and Denis Lépée did an impeccable job with their research – the decadence of the French court and descriptions of seventeenth century Paris are wonderful. In terms of plot however, it just felt like too much was going on which left me feeling bewildered and unable to completely immerse myself in the story. Gabriel is at the centre of the novel and you follow him as his accidental possession of these mysterious papers set him on a dangerous path, but the narrative deals with the involvement of numerous other characters and their ambitions which made the story feel complicated. It's got plenty of action but this is a novel where you have to concentrate to know what's happening, so don't anticipate an easy read because I found it quick to get muddled if I lost focus.
I myself am a lover of seventeenth century history, and particularly love to read novels concerning the reign of The Sun King himself. In that respect, the book was interesting to read in order to see the authors' fictional take on such historical figures as Louise de la Vallière and Nicolas Fouquet. The chapters are also incredibly short and that was reassuring at times but it meant that as one part of the story was taking off, it would come to an abrupt pause and then immediately plunge the reader in to a different section of the plot! It's fast moving, but at times a little rushed.
If you enjoy historical fiction mixed with elements of mystery then you may enjoy this, and despite my issues with the book I would say to any readers interested in historical fiction set during the reign of Louis XIV to give this a go because while I didn't love it, I'm glad I read it.
Thank you to the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag. For further reading set during this period I would recommend Monsieur Montespan by Jean Teule or for historical fiction set a little earlier then The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas and Will Hobson (translator)offers great adventure where The Sun King Conspiracy falls short.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Sun King Conspiracy by Yves Jego, Denis Lepee, and Sue Dyson (translator) at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Sun King Conspiracy by Yves Jego, Denis Lepee, and Sue Dyson (translator) at Amazon.com.
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