In “The Mark of the King” by Jocelyn Green, midwife Julianne Chevalier is imprisoned and branded after a client accuses her of murder after the death of a new mother. Julianne knows that she is not guilty, but nevertheless she is sentenced to life in a women’s prison in France. Her parents died and she was left to raise her little brother, Benjamin. He left home to join the French army and she thought him to be in Louisiana, a new French colony in the New World. When she was offered a chance to trade her prison sentence for transportation to the new colony, she accepted and hoped that she would find her brother. In order for the female prisoners to be able to sail to the New World, they first had to marry. Male prisoners who also were to be transported were their choice. The man Julianne chose for her “mate” tried to be a good husband. However, tragedy struck and Julianne’s life was turned upside down again. Conditions were harsh in this new community. Humidity, insects, swamp animals, Indians and lack of food and shelter combined to provide a miserable existence. However, Julianne was determined to survive.
I do not want to spoil the reader’s enjoyment of this novel, so I will just say that I read this book in record time because I could not put it down. I found the historical references to be well researched and presented. Although this is a work of fiction, the reader is treated to well-written descriptions that provide an almost visual understanding of this time in history.
I was sent a complimentary print copy by LitFuse Publicity in return for my honest review. Go to their website for more information about the book: http://litfusegroup.com/author/jgreen.