Julianne Chevalier can't catch a break.
First she loses her brother, away with the army in the new territory of Louisiana. Then she loses one of her patients. Then she loses her midwife practice. And at last, she loses her freedom and is sentenced to life in prison.
The only thing she's managed to keep a hold of is her chance for a new start in Louisiana. Of course, the leaders of the trip forgot to mention she'd have to marry a fellow prisoner to be welcomed aboard. Funny how details like that slip one's mind.
Like those details about what Louisiana is really like. And those details of what would be expected of her.
And maybe, like those details about her brother. But as to what those details are? No one knows.
The Mark of the King is a raw, real story about a desperate marriage and a desperate family. At times I wanted to grab them both, shake them by the shoulders, and beg them to just talk to each other, to just straighten their secrets out. The story takes us from dark to light in a shattering journey. The good guys aren't all good and the bad guys aren't all bad. While the light plays across the swamps in a strong wrap-up at the end, the journey to get there may just be stronger.
Sadly, The Mark of the King is based on true events. Thousands of prisoners were married against their will and shipped off to populate a failing colony. Due to that, The Mark of the King has some more mature relational and violent content that, while not graphic by any stretch, was unexpected, especially compared to the other novels of Jocelyn Green. She doesn't shy away from dealing with tough dilemmas, which is necessary in this story. Still, it makes The Mark of the King a clearly adult book.
Don't choose The Mark of the King if you're not ready to wade through the swamp. But for those who do choose to make the journey, I doubt the light will disappoint.
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