On a May morning in 1664, in the small village of Versailles, as hundreds of young aristocrats are coming to pay court to King Louis XIV, a peasant fan-maker gives birth to her first and only child, Marguerite. Determined to give her daughter a better life than the one she herself has lived, the young mother vows to break the newborn’s bonds of poverty and ensure that she fulfills her destiny—to dance with kings. Purely by chance, a drunken nobleman witnesses the birth and makes a reckless promise to return for Marguerite in seventeen years. With those fateful words, events are set into motion that will span three monarchies, affecting the lives of four generations of women.
Marguerite becomes part of the royal court of the Sun King, but her fairy-tale existence is torn out from under her by a change of political winds. Jasmin, Marguerite’s daughter, is born to the life of privilege her grandmother dreamed of, but tempts fate by daring to catch the eye of the king. Violette, Marguerite’s granddaughter, is drawn to the nefarious side of life among the nobles at Versailles. And Rose, Violette’s daughter, becomes a lady-in-waiting and confidante to Marie Antoinette. Through Rose, a love lost generations before will come full circle, even as the ground beneath Versailles begins to rumble with the chaos of the coming revolution.
An epic generational tale of loves lost, promises kept, dreams broken, and monarchies shattered, To Dance with Kings is a story of passion and privilege, humble beginnings and limitless ambition.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: To Dance with Kings|
|Release Date: 05-22-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Crown Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||To Dance with Kings|
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To Dance with Kings
With the crimson, emerald, and purple plumes of their hats streaming out behind them, four young men rode at speed into the village of Versailles one May morning in 1664, scattering squawking geese in their path.
"We should have been here hours ago," Augustin Roussier yelled to his companions, making his horse rear as they halted to view the busy scene. "All the best lodgings will have been taken by the look of it!"
The rutted streets were crammed with elegant traffic more at home in Paris, from which most of them had come, than in these countrified surroundings. The sun glinted on gilded coachwork and harness, the warm air hazy with dust thrown up by wheels and hooves. Six hundred of the nobility had been invited to the first grandfete ever to be held at the nearby hunting lodge, which was a small place with only accommodation enough for a few of the king's special guests to stay.
"Is it any use trying the inns to see if there's a room left?" asked one of his companions as they moved their tired horses forward at a more restful pace. "There are three hostelries, I believe."
"I'd say we've lost that chance, Leon. See! Even those miserable hovels have been taken." Augustin flicked his gloved hand toward some old stone houses they were passing. Well-dressed arrivals were stepping fastidiously inside, never having set foot in such humble places before, their servants carrying in their boxes and baggage after them. "Those we left behind us on the road will be lucky to get a stable at this rate."
He was the natural leader of their high-spirited group. They had become friends during thei