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To Dance With Kings by Rosalind Laker
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To Dance With Kings (1988)

by Rosalind Laker

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This follows four generations of mothers and daughters from 1664 to 1793 and is set in Versailles through three reigns from the Sun King to Marie Antoinette, from the age of Lully and Moliere to that of Mozart and Voltaire to that of Robespierre.

It begins with the birth of Marguerite, the daughter of an artisan and a fan maker; she's named by a drunken musketeer who jokes he'll be back for her when she's seventeen. Her mother Jean takes the joke seriously though, and raises her daughter to expect a greater destiny than the poverty that's her legacy. About a third of the novel tells her story, of her rise through her own entrepreneurship and the patronage of a nobleman, giving us a portrait of the fabulous Versailles of Louis XIV, and his persecution of the Huguenots. We then turn to her daughter, Jasmin, a childhood playmate of Louis XV and a friend of Madame de Pompadour. Finally we follow her granddaughter, Rose, a loyal lady-in-waiting and confidant of the Queen of France, Marie Antoinette.

Laker writes a decent, flowing omniscient narrative, at times redolent of romance aisle, but I found the picture of French history leading to the Revolution and of the various heroines engrossing, and the last chapters dealing with the French Revolution quite suspenseful. If you're a fan of romantic historical fiction, this is an entertaining even if not an outstanding novel, a good, thoroughly enjoyable read. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Apr 20, 2011 |
To Dance with Kings by Rosalind Laker (1988)
  tichwi | Sep 10, 2010 |
But I have to recommend it as a classic example of it's genre- that of the multi-generational Romance. It's from back in the day when rape was kind of a given in historical romance. ( )
  ewalrath | Jul 18, 2009 |
The reviews for this book were very good on amazon and elsewhere. However, I was disappointed. Touted as a historical novel taking place over 4 generations, it was really a kind of cheapy romance novel with mostly preposterous plots. I was able, though, to set in my memory the kings of France for that period: XIII-XVI. ( )
  lindawwilson | Feb 22, 2009 |
Showing 4 of 4
Nicely done and certain to please readers of Laker's earlier books, as well as win new fans.
 
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To My Granddaughter, Jenny
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With the crimson, emerald and purple plumes of their hats streaming out behind them, four young men rode at speed into the village of Versailles one May morning in 1664, scattering squawking geese in their path.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307352552, Paperback)

On a May morning in 1664, in the small village of Versailles, as hundreds of young aristocrats are coming to pay court to King Louis XIV, a peasant fan-maker gives birth to her first and only child, Marguerite. Determined to give her daughter a better life than the one she herself has lived, the young mother vows to break the newborn’s bonds of poverty and ensure that she fulfills her destiny—to dance with kings. Purely by chance, a drunken nobleman witnesses the birth and makes a reckless promise to return for Marguerite in seventeen years. With those fateful words, events are set into motion that will span three monarchies, affecting the lives of four generations of women.

Marguerite becomes part of the royal court of the Sun King, but her fairy-tale existence is torn out from under her by a change of political winds. Jasmin, Marguerite’s daughter, is born to the life of privilege her grandmother dreamed of, but tempts fate by daring to catch the eye of the king. Violette, Marguerite’s granddaughter, is drawn to the nefarious side of life among the nobles at Versailles. And Rose, Violette’s daughter, becomes a lady-in-waiting and confidante to Marie Antoinette. Through Rose, a love lost generations before will come full circle, even as the ground beneath Versailles begins to rumble with the chaos of the coming revolution.

An epic generational tale of loves lost, promises kept, dreams broken, and monarchies shattered, To Dance with Kings is a story of passion and privilege, humble beginnings and limitless ambition.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:17:50 -0400)

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Tells of four women whose fates are bound to the palace and the politics of Versailles.

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