Monday, February 6, 2017

Review: The Mark of the King

The Mark of the King
By Jocelyn Green
Bethany House, 2017


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 thoughts

The Mark of the King is an epic and intense story of courage, determination, betrayal, loss – with hope and redemption running in a steady current along the way. This is the first novel by Jocelyn Green that I’ve read and this skilled author has immediately become a favorite. The Mark of the King is literally a work of art, reflective of a quality that is rare in Christian fiction, and I long for more novels like this.

I was totally captured from the very first page and quickly became completely immersed in the characters, setting, and history. The Mark of the King is a seamless blend of historical detail and fiction, inspired by the mass marriage of convicts in Paris, who were then sent to populate New Orleans in the early 1720s. The story is faithful to the era, realistically gritty at times, and I enjoyed learning more about my favorite period of American history. The complexity between the major players – France, England, and the Indian tribes – is fleshed out in a manner that is easy to understand.

The prose is exquisite, almost poetic at times, and the characters are well defined. Marc-Paul and Julianne are captivating and will be remembered long after the last page is turned. Marc-Paul is a man of honor who serves his country well, and Julianne is a survivor who personifies the essence of strength. Their love story is truly stunning.

Themes of judgment and grace are contrasted and God’s hand is clearly seen throughout. We also see other spiritual themes, such as loving our enemies and the difference between knowing about God vs. truly knowing Him.

The Mark of the King is simply exceptional and goes on my favorites list. Very highly recommended.

I was provided a free copy of this book through Litfuse Publicity. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


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.

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  1. Stellar review, Carole! This one is on my must read list.

  2. I've never read anything by this author, but this book sounds intriguing! Great review. : )

  3. Great review, Carole! Thanks for sharing about this book. It sounds like a good choice for my book club.