mark of the king book coverReviewed by Meg Massey

Julianne Chevalier is a gifted young midwife in 18th century France. When a patient dies suddenly, Julianne is considered a murderer, and sentenced to life in prison. Longing to escape her life in prison, she agrees to be exiled to the fledgling French colony of Louisiana. In order to make the journey, however, Julianne must be married. Male and female convicts are paired together in marriage, so Julianne becomes the wife of the fiery and reckless, yet compassionate Simon LeGrange.

Once she is in the colony, Julianne is determined to try to make a new life for herself, but fears that there is no redemption for her past. She also hopes to be reunited with her brother Benjamin, whom she lost touch with after he became a soldier in Louisiana. When searching for answers about her brother proves to be dangerous for Simon, Julianne wonders what fellow soldier Marc-Paul Girard isn’t telling her about her brother’s disappearance. Will she find Benjamin and make a new life for herself, or will her past come back to haunt her?

Jocelyn Green’s The Mark of the King is a beautifully written historical novel of redemption and finding new hope. Julianne is a complex character who faces more trials in one life than any woman should. Marc-Paul is a good and honorable man who recognizes the good in Julianne despite her past, and longs to help her and Simon in their new lives. The novel portrays the struggle of colony life, from brutal practices and war-related combat to the colonists relations with Native Americans. At times some of the content can be quite hard to read, as there is some violence and disturbing behavior from characters in the novel. Rich with history and drama, this is a tale you won’t soon forget.

Meg lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Ryan. Library professional by day, freelance writer by night, Meg writes about life, entertainment and everything in between.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Bethany House Publishers. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.