To Dance with Kings

Written by Rosalind Laker
Review by Andrea Connell

To Dance with Kings is a lengthy, absorbing, and richly detailed family saga that follows the lives and passions of four generations of women who are bound to the privileges and fates of the Chateau of Versailles and its inhabitants.

The novel chronicles the rise of Marguerite, a peasant’s daughter, to become part of the royal court of the Sun King. The winds of political change threaten her fairy-tale existence, but through her creativity and wit, she flourishes. When her daughter, Jasmin, catches the eye of King Louis XV, her life is thrown into unexpected turmoil and misfortune. Jasmin’s daughter, Violette, is attracted to the wild side of court life. Violette’s daughter, Rose, becomes a lady-in-waiting to Marie Antoinette, and her life is embroiled in the chaos of the French Revolution.

I loved the vivid descriptions of Versailles: the book breathes such life into it that I felt like I was there. The plot is satisfyingly unpredictable with many unexpected twists and turns. The novel is a hefty 576 pages, yet I still felt it wasn’t long enough. While reading the first hundred pages, I was discouraged by what I felt was too much description, rather then having the story tell itself; however, the action soon picked up tremendously, and I found myself unable to put down this entertaining and vibrant book. All in all, I highly recommend this novel for its colorful descriptions, its historical portrayal of 17th and 18th century France, and its dramatic flair.