Friday, May 1, 2009

Review & Giveaway: Mistress of the Sun by Sandra Gulland

Little Louise de la Valliere, known as "Petite" by her family, was crazy about horses from the time she could walk. When she was six years old she found an untameable white stallion at a gypsy horse fair and convinced her father to buy it. The white horse, named Diablo, was aggressive and would not let anyone near him. Petite had heard of a dark magic spell that was said to tame horses. She tried it while her family was away, committing her soul to the devil (she believed) to work the magic. She was successful, the horse was tamed and allowed her on its back.

The trouble began as soon as her parents returned. The sight of Petite on Diablo caused her beloved father to collapse. He recovered but did not live long. On the day he died, Diablo disappeared. Soon Petite's mother sends her son to school and Petite to a convent so she can find a rich husband.

Louise-Franciose La Baume Le Blanc de la Valliere

It takes a few years, but eventually Petite's mother marries a Marquis and gets Petite a place at court as a lady-in-waiting. There she captures the eye, and heart, of young King Louis. Their affair catapults Petite from the heights of happiness to the deepest of grief. The years they spend together are the formative years of Louis as King, he repairs the damage done to the country by corrupt officials and France becomes prosperous and wealthy once more. The couple have four children together. Through it all, Petite is haunted by the memory of the white horse, guilt over the death of her father and her belief that she was cursed by her long-ago spell.

King Louis XIV

I must admit, Petite won my heart on the very first page. Her feisty personality leaps off of the pages and I was rooting for her the whole time. The book is packed with Sandra Gulland's excellent detail of France in the seventeenth century. I was already a fan of Ms. Gulland, I read and loved all of her previous books, The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B., Tales Of Passion Tales Of Woe and The Last Great Dance on Earth (The Josephine B. Trilogy). This was an exciting, rich historical novel and I was sorry to see it end!

Many thanks to the author and publisher for providing my review and giveaway copies!

Mistress of the Sun is published by Touchstone. ISBN 978-0-7432-9892-6

I have one copy of Mistress of the Sun to give away! This contest is open WORLDWIDE. To enter, please leave a comment here telling me who your favorite historical figure is. Three extra entries for anyone who becomes a follower (or follows already), blogs about the contest, or tweets on twitter. (Please leave me a separate comment if you do any of these). Enter until midnight eastern time on May 18. Winner will be drawn at random and notified via email, please make sure you leave your email address so I can contact you if you are the winner! Good luck!

61 comments:

Liyana said...

Marie Antoinette. She's a historical figure, isn't she? I'm a follower! :D

loony_balooga_91@hotmail.com

nfmgirl said...

My favorite historical figure would probably be Tsar Nicolas, the father of the infamous Anastasia. You read his biography, and you just have to feel for this guy who never wanted to be the ruler of a country, and then in the end is persecuted and slaughtered along with his family.

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

nfmgirl said...

I'm a follower

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

teabird said...

Oh dear. Everytime someone asks who my favorite historical figure is, I have a different answer. Today I'd have to say Mme. de Sévigné.

teabird 17 **at** yahoo dot com

I follow you in Bloglines, and I follow your blog...
thank you for the Giveaway!

Riva said...

Abraham Lincoln. Poor guy had so much trouble in his personal life and then had to fix the country too.

Please enter me.

Thanks!
dulcibelle [at] earthlink [dot] net

Riva said...

I follow you on Google Reader

mindy said...

kennedy if that counts he relly made a difference thanks for the giveaway

LuAnn said...

I'd love to win this book. It sounds great.

LuAnn said...

I'm a follower!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Intriguing concept... but no need to enter me. I'm determined to shrink Mt. TBR before my floor falls in.

Thanks for the e-mail, too. I've got this listed at Win a Book for you.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Favorite historical figure: Lincoln - endlessly fascinating trying to figure him out!

Please enter me!

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

bermudaonion said...

Let me think, my favorite historical figure - I'm going to say Joan d'Arc. milou2ster(at)gmail.com

Karen in TN said...

Joan of Arc

I subscribe via rss

Karen
Books On The Knob

MJ said...

Hard question....Ben Franklin.

mj.coward[a]gmail.com

MJ said...

I follow.

mj.coward[a]gmail.com

Becca said...

Sounds great! Please enter me. Thanks
rebecca.bradeen(at)verizon(dot)net

Becca said...

I'm a follower.

rebecca.bradeen(at)verizon(dot)net

Amber said...

My favorite historical figure is Nicholas Tesla - very smart man, probably much smarter than Edison!

Thanks for the giveaway :)
hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

Alyce said...

My favorites change depending on what mood I'm in. Right now I'd say Shakespeare because I love watching his plays, and also reading fiction written about his life.

akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

Alyce said...

I follow your blog.
akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

Alyce said...

I tweeted:

http://twitter.com/AtHomeWithBooks/status/1673472070

liane66 said...

Abraham Lincoln is my fave guy from history.
Thanks for the giveaway!
kimspam66(at)yahoo(dot)com

Shannansbooks said...

I already follow you and my favorite historical character is Henry VIII.

Email address is Shannanusar(at)aol(dot)com

Victoria said...

My answer to this depending on what book I'm reading... right now I'd say Queen Elizabeth. Thanks! utgal2004[at]yahoo[dot]com

Rachel said...

My favorite historical figure would is probably Anne Boleyn... even though the world seems to be obsessed with her and Henry VIII.

Rachelhwallen@gmail.com

avalonne83 said...

My favourite historical figure is definitely William Shakespeare.

avalonne83 [at] yahoo [dot] it

Belinda said...

Susan B Anthony would be my favorite.
Thanks!
1bmore @ gmail . com

Nicole said...

My favorite historical figure would be any of the Tudors. I really can't choose between them LOL!!

choateorama(at)gmail(dot)com

Ladytink_534 said...

My favorite historical figure other than Walt Disney is probably either Anne Boleyn or Cleopatra.

Already a follower!

Ladytink_534(at)yahoo(dot)com

Marie said...

My favorite historical figure would be Queen Elizabeth the First, although I could pick many others :-)

marielay@gmail.com

Marie said...

I am a follower.

marielay@gmail.com

BUSY BEE said...

Hard to choose a favorite! I guess mine would be Martha Washington - I am reading a great book regarding her life right now.

Thanks - This book looks fantastic! I am really hoping to read it soon!

Debs Desk said...

My favorite historical figure is Anne Boleyn. Please include me in your giveaway.
Thanks
Debbie
debdesk9(at)verizon.net

Debs Desk said...

I am a follower.
Thanks
Debbie
debdesk9(at)verizon.net

Cheryl S. said...

My favorite historical figure is George Washington.

Please count me in - Thanks!
Cheryl
megalon22[at]yahoo[dot]com

Alyce said...

I blogged about it here:

http://athomewithbooks.blogspot.com/2009/05/giveaway-roundup-may-2.html

Llehn said...

My favorite historical figure is William Shakespeare the bard himself!

I'm a follower!

lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

Blodeuedd said...

It sounds so fun :D

blodeuedd1 (at) gmail (dot) com

My fav, well I just have to go with Alexander the Great cos he did much in a short time. Too bad he didn't stop

Lady Roxi said...

Love to have this. My favorite is Cleopatra.

Thanks,

darkfyre1(at)gmail(dot)com

nightdweller20 said...

My favorite historical figure is Anne Frank. She seemed like such a sweet girl.

jaam121388 at yahoo dot com

nightdweller20 said...

I follow.

jaam121388 at yahoo dot com

Deborah said...

My favorite historical figure is Infanta Catalina de Aragón y Castilla, also known as Catherine of Aragon, first wife of Henry VII. She was such a strong and steadfast woman, which was so rare in that time. asthenight at gmail dot com

Deborah said...

I'm already a follower. asthenight at gmail dot com

Chris said...

Favorite historical figure at the moment? Cleopatra. Gotta love a woman who knows what she wants!

danunepthys(at)hotmail(dot)com

Holly said...

I follow via google reader. My favorite historical figure? Hard to name just one. Michelangelo, Laura Ingalls Wilder, someone else said Martha Washington and I agree!

Mom of 5 Boys said...

My favorite historical figure? Hard to say! I do enjoy reading about Henry VIII, although I do not like what he did during his life! Others would be Queen Elizabeth, Ramses, George Washington, and anyone from the Bible.

Mom of 5 Boys said...

I just became a follower on igoogle today. Great blog!

jwx4 said...

I'd have to say Nikola Tesla. The man was way ahead of his time.
jwx4(at)yahoo(dot)com

Keyomi said...

My favorite historical figure would probably be Tsar Nicolas for sure. there might be a few others too...but cannot remember them right now.

spellbound18@Hotmail.com

Zibilee said...

I have seen this book all over the place, and am really intrigued by it. I would love to win a copy! My favorite historical figure was Anne Boleyn, she was just so evil, I can't seem to get enough of her story!

zibilee@figearo.net

Carol said...

Nefertiti

Carol M
mittens0831 AT aol.com

Carol said...

I'm a follower.
Carol M
mittens0831 AT aol.com

nfmgirl said...

I blogged it:

http://cerebralgirl.blogspot.com/2009/05/book-giveaways-in-blogworld-05-10-09.html

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

gaby317 said...

thank you - my favorite historical figure is gandhi

gaby317nyc AT gmail DOT com

gaby317 said...

i follower you through googlereader


thx

gaby317nyc AT gmail DOT com

sue14625 said...

LEONARDO DA VINCI/ BEETHOVEN /THE VIRGIN QUEEN /I like history

Shauna said...

Please count me in! I would l♥ve to read this book! Thanks for the chance! tryingtostaycalm@gmail.com

quelleheure4 said...

I'm really interested in Joan of Arc.
quelleheure4[at]gmail{dot}com

quelleheure4 said...

I'm a follower!
quelleheure4[at]gmail{dot}com

quelleheure4 said...

I tweeted! http://twitter.com/quelleheure4/status/1835241094

Wanda said...

Abe Lincoln!

Thank you!!

Thank you to Beth at Beth Fish Reads and to The Blogger Guide for helping me to customize my template and to Andrea at The Little Bookworm for improving my header!!

About Me

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New Hampshire, United States
Bibliophile, Anglophile, Traveller... I have been an avid reader all of my life, since I took the Dr. Seuss Dictionary away from my Mom when I was less than a year old because I wanted to read it myself. In college, where I earned my degree in English Literature, I was often asked "What are you going to do with it?" Now I finally have the answer to that question!!! Being employed as a Flight Attendant for twenty years has given me a lot of life experience and, better still, a lot of time to read. I love to travel for fun, too.