Review: In the Shadow of the Sun King

In the Shadow of the Sun King, by Golden Keyes Parsons

The Down and Dirty
The setting is 17th-Century and Louis XIV, the Sun King, reigns over France. In an effort to unify his country under Catholicism, the minority Huguenots are suffering from persecutions, imprisonment and slaughter.

Madeleine Clavell, a minor royal who has given up court intrigues for countryside family life, finds her family destroyed and scattered after the King uses religious pretenses to pursue a personal vendetta against Madeleine.
Something about the fallen nature of man loathes when another desires to praise God differently from one's personal concept of worship.
In the Shadow of the Sun King, by Golden Keyes Parsons
The Literary Criticism
In the Shadow of the Sun King is the first in a trilogy from author Golden Keyes Parsons, who is off to a very good start with this novel. Written by a Christian author and presented by a Christian publishing house, this historical fiction novel presents a fair and unbiased tale of religious persecution that should appeal to even a secular audience of readers.

Parsons' characterization of the conflicting religious sects is particularly admirable. She criticizes neither sect, instead wisely observing that each, in it's own turn throughout history, has played the role of both victim and oppressor. Indeed, the author expertly paints individuals as just that - an individual is defined not by what religion they espouse, but by their own character and actions. Kindness, like destruction, is the human condition and can be found in the most unlikely of places.

Louis XIV appearance in the novel is brief, but enlightening. Pressured by advisers and as petulant as only a person raised to be a king can be, the Sun King's misguided attempt to vanquish the new religion are, if not forgivable, possibly understandable in Parsons' expert hands.

Our Recommendation

If you enjoy historical fiction set in this time period, In the Shadow of the Sun King is certainly a worthwhile read. Religious overtones abound but don't detract from the historical aspect of the story at all. For Christians and non-Christians alike there are thought-provoking religious and moral dilemmas presented which will keep you thinking about it long after you've finished the novel. I look forward to reading the next installment of this series.

Title: In the Shadow of the Sun King
Author: Golden Keyes Parsons
ISBN-13: 978-1595546265
384 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Date: October 14, 2008

Additional Reviews floating around in BlogLand:

Myreadingfrenzy's Blog

My Own Personal Book Club
Want to Know What I Think?
Novel Teen Book Review Blog
Cornhusker Academy
Pudgy Penguin Perusals


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Michele. I have it waiting for me.

  2. Thanks for this review. I appreciate your mentioning that the Christian themes are appropriate for the time period and novel and will not be too much for those who do not generally read Christian fiction.

    A trilogy! Three new books for the TBR stack.

  3. I agree with Beth. I don't typically read Christian fiction, but this sounds like something I'd be willing to try anyway because I love historical fiction so much.


  4. I'm with Beth and Shana. This looked good, but I shied away from it. I may have to rethink that now! :-)


  5. Amy - I'm looking forward to reading your review on this one.

    Beth, Shana and Lezlie - seems like good hf can be hard to find sometimes, so yes, I think this one is worth it. It was easy to read and enjoyable for me, at least. :)

  6. I tend to shy away from Christian fiction as well but I find this time period so fascinating...

  7. This is awaiting my attention, too. Glad to see it's a good one!

  8. Very interesting review...I think I will look into this one.

  9. I do not generally read Christian fiction but that did not detract me from enjoying this good story. I reviewed it also on my blog.

  10. Kaye - I'm adding your review to my list right now! Thanks for letting me know....sometimes I miss reviews. :(

  11. Just a note to tell you not to worry when you see that I'm no longer "following" you on Blogger. I'm putting the Read & Review participants on my blog roll, so you haven't gotten rid of me that easily!

  12. No worries, Beth....I'm always messing around with my following stuff too, :) Besides, I can always track your sorry butt down on Twitter, ha!

  13. Hi Michele!
    I finally got my Kreativ Blogger Award finished and passed on. It was so much fun although with the holidays it took way too long to get it done. That seems to be happening to me a lot lately! I hope you had a very merry Christmas and will have the best new year!

  14. Sounds like an awesome book to read. I read, write and deeply appreciate Christian Fiction so it is nice to see a book with "Crossover" potential into the secular market. Peace.
    TL Boehm

  15. Oooooooooooh, this sounds very good. Another for my very long list of books I must read. Great review Michele.


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