The Mark of the King By Jocelyn Green

History is among my favorite subjects; therefore historical fiction is at the top of my genre list. This book is exceptional! I never knew what a rich beginning Louisiana had. In fact, I knew very little about its beginning as a settlement. The deprivation, cruelty, and hardship of those first brave settlers shocked me. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I learned. Ms. Green weaves the historic facts and life in that era, seamlessly with her characters and their experiences.
The story begins in 1719 in Paris, France. Julianne Chevelier is a midwife and though young very skilled. An older midwife once her teacher is placed under her for the delivery of a wealthy patient which conjures up jealousy. When the mother and child die in childbirth the old midwife accuses her of murder and she is sent to prison. Julianne receives a tattoo of the Fleur de lis, which will brand her for life as a murderer. Instead of being imprisoned for life, she manages to be sent to the settlement of New Orleans. They are in great need of more people to work and establish the area. What she was hoping in the promise of new found freedom turned out to be difficulties, injustice and suffering beyond what she ever imagined.
She is forced to marry another convict and consummate their marriage in barn before leaving. She found her and the other prisoners were being sent simply to populate the colony. The details not only of their voyage to America but the beginning of their new life in Louisiana were graphic and dreadful. Lacking in supplies, food, building materials the new arrivals were expected to make a home with nothing. They lived more like animals than people, while the military was comfortable and lacked nothing. To make matters worse there were Indian wars not only with the French but also between tribes. It was a dangerous situation.
Marc-Paul Girard is a respected soldier of the King of France. Unlike the others he had character and a strong faith in God. After the death of Julianne’s husband, Marc-Paul tries to protect and help her. Romance very slowly blooms but the path it follows is not a flowery one. Instead of infatuation theirs is based on character, trust, courage and strong faith. This book will surprise, astonish, and entertain you in the very best of ways!
I was provided a review copy of this book by Chosen Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, with no expectation of a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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