A Prisoner of Versailles (Darkness to Light Series, Book 2)
by Golden Keyes Parsons
This is the second book in Golden Keyes Parsons’ Darkness to Light series, and in my opinion is not a book that can stand alone. I read the first book in the series, In the Shadow of the Sun King, earlier this year, and much of the action from that story is referenced here. However, there isn’t a lot of explicit plot rehashing, so while you can follow the narrative thread of A Prisoner of Versailles without reading the first book, much of the character history/development will be lost.
WITH that caveat out of the way, on to the review! A Prisoner of Versailles picks up life with the Clavells as they prepare to leave Switzerland and journey to the New World. Unfortunately, a spy has been reporting their plans to King Louis XIV, who just isn't ready to give up on Madeleine. Whether his love for her is truly the affection of their youth or a stubborn insistence to get what he wants could make an interesting debate. His soldiers interrupt their preparations and force Madeleine and her oldest son Philippe to return to the court of Versaille as 'forced guests,' and Madeleine must slide back into her flirtatious court manners to protect her family. But even her charms cannot protect Pierre Bovee, the man who rescued her husband despite his own love for Madeleine, from the wrath of the Sun King...
Like 'In the Shadow of the Sun King', Parson's sequel follows the conventions of much Christian fiction. The main characters, all of them Huguenots, insist on sticking to their beliefs when it would be so easy to give in and conform to Louis XIV's demands to 'convert' back to Catholicism. This determination and dedication is admirable. Madeleine is the only exception; misfortunes pile up around her and she angrily turns her back on God, but even this is smoothly remedied by the end of the book.
I think that’s the major problem with this Darkness to Light series, and Christian fiction in general. From a literary standpoint, it really helps kill the suspense when you know your main characters will always eventually be saved from doom by the grace and goodness of God. When a major character from the first novel was killed off early on, I thought, “Oh boy! There might be some drama in this one!” but the rest of the story followed a predictable course, with all the major plot lines neatly tied up with Godly intervention whenever needed.
I saw the book described as a 'religious historical romance' and I think that sums it up rather succinctly. It's very definitely written for a Christian audience, and will appeal to those historical fiction fans who like a little faith mixed in with their reading. I read it in a single day, so it is very fast-paced, and fans of the first book will delight in continuing the adventures of the Clavell family.
To read more about A Prisoner of Versailles, buy it or add it to your wishlist click here.