The Mark of the King
By: Jocelyn Green
Back Cover Blurb:
After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.
When they arrive in New Orleans, there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne’s brother, and searching for answers proves dangerous. What is behind the mystery, and does military officer Marc-Paul Girard know more than he is letting on?
With her dreams of a new life shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous, rugged land, despite never being able to escape the king’s mark on her shoulder that brands her a criminal beyond redemption.
Wow. This was such an incredible story that centered around a piece of history that I knew little about–the transfer of prisoners in France to the Americas to struggling colonies. The author’s descriptions are poetic and lyrical, painting pictures with words.
There were many well-written action and suspenseful scenes. The writer does not shy away from graphic scenes or dark moments of the characters’ lives. Though this may bother some readers, I felt this added an element of authenticity and depth to the story.
The story is filled with complex characters that have to make difficult decisions. While reading, I could feel the character’s inner struggle as they developed and grew as the story progressed. It explores the challenge between choosing grace and choosing to follow the letter of the law, even when the law isn’t just. Although the world has marked Julianne as irredeemable, I love how the author used that very mark to accomplish God’s purposes. It was so true to life. It is the very things that we view as weaknesses and flaws that God loves to use for His glory.
Though it might sound strange, it was refreshing to read a Christian novel in which the writer does not water-down how heartbreaking and bleak this period in history was. Though it is not a “glossed over” story, there is still beauty and hope that prevails despite the challenges and loss.
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Dive into the early history of Louisiana with The Mark of the King!