Thomas Nelson Publishing had a fabulous idea: invite bloggers to select from a collection of available titles and mail them books in exchange for posted reviews. My first choice was Golden Keyes Parsons’s In the Shadow of the Sun King, a fascinating work of historical fiction set in France during the reign of Louis XIV.

The family of Madeleine Clavell, the main character, has enjoyed a prosperous and respected position in France. All that changes, however, when France becomes a dangerous place for French Protestants, or Huguenots, who must convert or face death or imprisonment. Madeleine grasps at her only hope of saving her family: she and the king were childhood friends and once in love.

The story moves from the Clavells’ country estate, to the French court, to Geneva, Switzerland, painting an intriguing picture of this turbulent period of French history. As a wife and mother, I found myself constantly asking what I would do in Madeleine Clavell’s position, and how my family would handle this kind of religious persecution.

The book also contains a beautifully portrayed scene of regeneration and conversion to Christianity.

Interestingly enough, In the Shadow of the Sun King was partially based on an old family journal that came into the author’s possession.

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