Being free is not what she thought it would be... The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green (Blog Tour Review & Giveaway)

The Mark of the King
by Jocelyn Green
Christian Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 416 Pages
January 3rd 2017 by Bethany House Publishers


Sweeping historical fiction set at the edge of the continent

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.

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My Review

THE MARK OF THE KING was a heartbreaking story of one woman's life as she goes from a skilled midwife accused of a crime that will keep her imprisoned for life to the possibility of being free in a new land. The author bluntly describes the roughness of the land and the people who are torn by survival and war. Hardship is especially prevalent in the story. Those who enjoy women's fiction with an inspirational and romantic twist and who don't mind the blunt situations may enjoy this one. Would also recommend to those who enjoyed The Wood's Edge by Lori Benton.

I enjoyed the first chapter and how well it set the stage for the story. I also enjoyed the romance, which was sweet and heartfelt. I loved sweet Lily as well as Julianne, Marc-Paul, and their friends. I was also pleased that things ended somewhat happily. Beyond these, this story was a very difficult read. I think too, I was expecting a lighter and happier read, especially from this publisher, so that surprised me as well.

I think if the author had left more things to the imagination or cut things off sooner, I would have enjoyed it more. I don't need to get the gist of what is going on by specific details most of the time (such as rape - I mean I can get the gist without further descriptions like women screaming and such). For some, maybe they need all those details, to be able to envision exactly what is happening. For me, it just made for a less-than-enjoyable story. Of course there are really terrible things that happen by really terrible people, so maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part. I just really never felt like there was much of a break from the depressing things. To me, it was a depressing story with a little bit of light or happiness thrown in a few times.

There was a line that stuck out to me that I really loved:

We all have scars, my beautiful one. They make us who we are, and if we let them, they bring us together.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was very well written, but not my type of story. In the end, it just felt rather depressing.

Content: Some blunt descriptions consistent with the situations and time period, some rather crude. References to rape, attempted and committed, whippings, prostitution, and violence (including the suggestion of a baby being murdered). Would recommend for at least 18+. 

Source: Received a complimentary copy from the publisher through Litfuse Publicity, which did not require a review nor affect it in any way.

About the Author

Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage as the award-winning author of ten books to date, including Wedded to War, a Christy Award finalist in 2013; Widow of Gettysburg; Yankee in Atlanta; and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, which she coauthored with bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman. A former military wife herself, her passion for military families informs all of her writing as well as her numerous speaking opportunities. Jocelyn graduated from Taylor University with a BA in English and now lives with her husband and two children in Iowa.

Author Giveaway

Have you read any books set during the French colonization of Louisianna? What's your current historical favorite?

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