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Daughter of the King

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Member Reviews

I am descended from French Canadians through Acadia and know much of the history of the settlement of New France, but I discovered something that I did not know in Kerry Chaput's new novel Daughter of the King - the story of the Filles du Roi.  As the French settled in Canada, making their mark in the new world and engaging in the fur trade, men were plentiful, but women were not.  What woman would want to make the treacherous trek across the Atlantic Ocean to start anew in a wild and dangerous land full of peril?  Not many, as it were, which is where the Filles du Roi came in.  The Filles du Roi (Daughters of the King) were often girls and women who were down on their luck - orphaned, penniless, "ruined," persecuted - who were given a second chance at life through this program.  They were made honorary "daughters of the King," and were given respect, power, and privilege in exchange for moving to the New World, marrying, starting a family, and helping France gain a foothold in North America.

Daughter of the King, the first novel in the Defying the Crown series, follows Isabelle Colette, a French Protestant who is finding herself persecuted in the Sun King, Louis XIV's, rule over France.  "Huguenots" are being tortured, maimed, and killed for their beliefs.  So far, Isabelle has resisted the pressure to convert to Catholicism, but she feels she is running out of choices, which is why she agrees to become a Filles du Roi.  As a Catholic convert (who secretly holds on to her Protestant beliefs), Isabelle travels to the Quebec colony, where she is expected to make a match.  But life in New France holds its own host of problems, which Isabelle soon discovers, including matters of the heart.

One part historical fiction, one part romance, Daughter of the King is a sweeping, adventurous novel of a not often talked about piece of history.  I loved learning about the Filles du Roi through Isabelle's story, and I also found my eyes opened to the plight of the Huguenots, with which I was also not familiar.  Chaput writes of the persecution that the Huguenots faced with such raw and unflinching heartbreak, and brings to life the tension that was felt throughout France in the 1600s.  Isabelle's time spent as a Filles du Roi and her life in New France is not written as vividly as that of her Huguenot storyline, but is still intriguing; for those who enjoy love stories, this is where the story takes on a more romantic tone as Isabelle tries to choose between two men.

Daughter of the King is a strong start to the Defy the Crown series.  Readers should know that the end of the book is very much-so set up for a sequel, so don't expect things to be tied up at the end of this richly detailed read.
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Daughter of the King is the first book in the story of Isabelle and her faith as a Huguenot. The book takes place when it was not safe to state your religion. Religion wars were deadly if you were on the wrong side of the faith. I read about this in school but didn't find it as interesting as I found this book to be. 

In eighteenth century, France, the Protestant Huguenots were now being tortured and dying. A fiercely devout and courageous young woman has seen what has happened to those she loves and knows. Isabelle is branded and hides this as well as her faith while trying to care for those that need help. Her faith is important to her, but she is tired of running, of being hunted. Isabelle gets to know a Catholic soldier and takes refuge from a Catholic priest. Her freedom and peaceful existence are in danger as important men take an interest in her. She will become "a daughter of the King" in order to escape these men. Isabelle will arrive in Canada as part of the plan to populate and start a new country under France's King.

This was an interesting way to tell the story of the Huguenots, religion and the beginnings of Canada. I found this to be a much more interesting way to learn about these events.
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A great historical novel that revealed so much about religion freedoms that I was not aware of.  There is so much we can learn from reading these types of novels. I love the way the author weaved so much truth and history into the story.  I look forward to rereading this one and reading more from this author. That you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review.
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I was extremely excited to read "Daughter of the King." I was attracted to the book by the cover, along with the story blurb. I thought I was prepared to read about the dark times of 1661 France. Let me be honest here - I struggled reading this book - it felt clunky and stilted. The characters were one-dimensional. I craved to see them better but was only met by the violence and darkness of the period that kept being shoved in my face through choppy dialog and details. When I finally got the rhythm of the writing, the story itself became darker, when I was hoping it would get down to brass tacks a bit and lighten up. I didn't believe the handsome soldier cared about a dirty protestant girl, even though he had roots in the same faith. I wanted to care about Isabelle but only saw her as a selfish, stubborn, bullheaded woman who admired many others, but not very much for her mother. I only got as far as the fourth chapter and put the book down. The story takes place in La Rochelle, France, 1661, in a very dark period in French history. When reading the book, I was in bed fighting off COVID - maybe a more lighthearted story would have been helpful. I don't doubt the book's research was very well done because it was indeed dark, violent, and believable - so much so that I couldn't continue reading it. I almost feel my rating is unfair because I didn't finish the book and go on the journey to New France. Maybe I will pick up "Daughter of the King" again and give it another go, but I will let it sit in my Kindle Library for now..
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Historical fiction is rapidly becoming my favorite genre. Daughter of the King takes place in the 1600’s in France and then in Canada and covers an event that I really knew next to nothing about.

At this same time, France is trying to colonize Canada. It needs women to become wives of the rugged settlers in New France (Quebec.) The King of France has the idea to send peasant girls who can withstand the harsh conditions and aren’t afraid of hard work. They are called The Filles du Roi and there were about 800 of them sent to Canada.

The story begins in France where the protestants are being prosecuted, tortured and killed by the catholics. The only way to save yourself is to convert to catholicism, which is what our main character, Isabelle Collette does. But it is a conversion in name only, she remains a protestant at heart. However, she is one of those chosen to become a Filles du Roi.

What I liked and disliked about the book:

This was a time in history that I know little about and I was afraid it would be bogged down with dates and timelines and lots of names and facts. It’s not. It tells you enough of what’s going on so that you do learn about the settling in Canada, the treatment of Huguenots and the perils of the early settlers, but it doesn’t go into extreme detail.

The characters were a bit stereotypical, but still relatable.

There was a love story carried throughout with plenty of longing and anguish.

I enjoyed the book and since it says “Defying the Crown Book 1” I am assuming there will be more in this series. I will definitely read them.
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What an eye-opening historical novel. This story about the persecuted Protestant French by a tyrannical Catholic French king was told in such a way that it was an amazing story while being a history lesson at the same time. The characters were described in such a way that I could picture them and the torture and sadness they were enduring. I’m hoping there will be a second book about these characters as they are much beloved. Thank you to #netgalley and the publisher for my requested ARC in exchange for my honest opinion. #daughteroftheking #kerrychaput
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Daughter of the King introduced me to a part of history that I was unaware of. Learning about the brave young women who immigrated  to New France (Canada) was worth picking this book up. The storyline itself is fast paced and gritty dealing with the best and worst of mankind. The main focus of the novel is on Isabelle, a Huguenot in 17th century France. who has a "wild spirit" and refuses to convert to Catholicism. Circumstances in her life lead her to flee overseas and the reader is thrust in a brutal, ruthless world that Isabelle approaches with hope and courage. There are plenty of incredible action-packed scenes describing the dangers of traveling and colonizing a new world, in my opinion this is where the book excelled. The romantic angle was frustrating to me since Isabelle was otherwise a strong character. Thanks to Netgalley and Black Rose Writing for a copy of this fascinating historical fiction story. The review is my honest opinion. If you love strong female characters who shaped history I highly recommend reading this gem.
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I was given an advance reading copy (arc) of this book by NetGalley.com in return for a fair review. I was intrigued by this book because of its title--'Daughter of the King'. I have been researching my family history (from French Canada) and have found two Filles du Roi in my own ancestry. What a brave group of women who braved not only the Atlantic Ocean, but a new world in the Canadian wild during the late 1600s. This book, however, fell short for me. The main character, Isabelle Colette, was a Huguenot who was persecuted for her faith. After a lot of grisly deaths all around her, she gave up and became a Catholic. Still, trouble seemed to find her along with a young, Catholic soldier whom she became infatuated with. Long story short--Isabelle escaped the madness by becoming a Fille du Roi and sailing to New France. Lo and behold, she found her handsome soldier, but now she wasn't so sure she really loved him. I am not a fan of romance novels and this particular book took that kind of turn much to my disappointment. The characters seemed one-dimensional and the sense of true adventure that I was looking for just never materialized. Suffice it to say, I will not be looking for the next installment in this series. The woes of Isabelle Colette were just not for me.
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Isabelle Colette is a Huguenot in 17th century France. Life has not been kind to her and other Protestants – they face starvation, torture and death. Living a life of fear and secrecy, they are cast from their homes and villages. When faced with the same, Isabelle is saved by James, a Catholic soldier. Questioning everything she has ever known, she eventually finds herself on a ship as a Fille du Roi – a Daughter of the King. Landing in Canada, Isabelle is given opportunities she never thought would be in her reach. But she soon learns that only those with fire burning in them will survive in the wild and hostile land.

Even though I’m Canadian, I really only knew about the Filles du Roi in passing. I read a Dear Canada book about them, but we never learned anything about these amazing young women in school. This book really put into light what they went through and how, for the very first time, these women had a say in their own lives and futures.

This book is heart wrenching. The descriptions of how the Huguenots lived and how they were treated are brought to life and show the horrible realities thousands of people had to face. Isabelle sees it in her everyday life and experiences it first-hand, but her spirit never dies. She’s an incredibly strong character, though not without her faults.

I enjoyed the bittersweetness of this novel. It kept me on my toes and even at 90% read, I couldn’t guess how it would end. It’s left open to a sequel and from the author’s site, it looks as though this will be a series. I can’t wait to read the rest of the books.

Thank you to NetGalley and Black Rose Writing for the opportunity to read an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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It's historical fiction like this is that makes me read until I finish! Isabelle is facing religious violence, fear, tragedy and survival in a harsh world both in France and Canada. Her story is hard yet full of courage. It is incredible to think these young women, called Daughters of the King, helped build a nation. The history is well researched and I enjoyed reading this and am looking forward to the next book in the series! 

There are some scenes that may be difficult for some readers - and this is not a romance at all despite some romance scenes. I was hoping for more of an ending with a HEA which is why I do not give it five stars.
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This fast-paced historical fiction follows Protestant Isabelle from her hometown of La Rochelle as she faced many trials and tribulations, forcing her to convert to Catholicism and travel across an ocean. This books was so powerful to me to see Isabelle blossom and stay strong and kind in the face of many challenges. As a descendant of Huguenots, this was intriguing to give me a glimpse into their experiences. I highly recommend this if you enjoy fast-paced historical fiction and the harrowing choice women made.
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This historical fiction is about time period in which I know next to nothing about.  I don't remember learning about it in school in either my history classes or my French classes. But it was a fairly fast paced novel for historical fiction at least for me, and it kept my attention from beginning  to end.  Not to mention that I learned something.
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I love historical fiction and learning new things while enjoying a story. This book has so many scenes of detailed torture and cruelty that I had difficulty reading it. I also thought the way the story was structured was a bit disjointed, and that the paragraphs and chapters just were written and plopped down into the book willy-nilly. The characters themselves seemed one dimensional, and I could not relate to them. I do appreciate all the extensive and deep research the author has put into this book.
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Not quite as evocative as I prefer in a historical novel, with a little too much romance.  Still, it told an interesting, although at times quite harrowing, story.  

Thanks to NetGalley for providing an ARC copy for my review.
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"You've always been bright and warm like the sun, despite the dark places you've seen. You're a magnificent creature, Isabelle. I'm proud to call you my friend."


This is exactly how I felt after finishing <b>DAUGHTER OF THE KING</b> and glimpsing into the life of our heroine, Isabelle Colette. 

Isabelle used to have the life most of us dream about, even in today's day and age. She had a family with wealth and status, but all of that was taken away during the long conflicts between Catholics and Huguenots and her life went from having a future to planning each day by day. A series of events that took place between her nineteenth and twenty-fourth years left her to escape her life as a converted Catholic and a fille du roi. 

Filles du roi, or the king's daughters, were hundreds of girls and women who immigrated to the colony of New France in the 17th century to help populate the colony with themselves as well as their offspring with their chosen husbands. This was probably my main reasoning for requesting this book as I've always wanted to delve deeper into these stories and timelines. Although this story is fictional, Chaput weaves masterful history and storytelling into one colorful and emotional blanket that just covered me with warmth and satisfaction. Knowing that this is the first of a series really excites me, but I am a little bummed that I have to wait awhile for the next installment! I definitely recommend this novel for any fan of historical fiction, romance, and literary fiction.

Reviewer notes: be aware of themes of sexual and physical abuse and torture throughout this novel.
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I knew about the history of the protestants of France, in la Rochelle, in 1661, but this author has brought it to life for me, and it was a very painful history. Narrated in beautiful prose, the author tells the story and her heroine suffers a great deal, and her fellow protestants as well. I found it deeply moving. Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for giving me a copy of the book.
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Daughter of the King is historical fiction at its best. It is full of important history that is delivered in an entirely readable package with characters who have immense depth. 

When we meet Isabelle she is a peasant teen living with her ailing mother in France. The Catholic King is persecuting the Protestant Huguenots, taking their property and torturing them trying to force them to convert or be killed. Isabelle's mother is staunch in her beliefs and Isabelle is fiercely loyal to her mother and her people. She runs the streets trying to find food and often finds herself intervening when she sees people being persecuted or women being taken advantage of. She gets a bit of a reputation and is forced to flee. Her love interest tries to convince her to covert to survive but when she refuses he helps her find a place where she can be somewhat safer. She lives as a servant there hiding her identity until circumstances force her to flee again. This time she is chosen as a Daughter of the King, selected to travel to the new colony in Canada to marry and help stabilize the colony. There she crosses paths with some old acquaintances and the natives and finds herself really advocating for the women she traveled with and the betterment of the colony.

I always love stories of the colonies and the adventure and romance of starting something new, but I haven't read a lot of the Canadian colonial era. I was really intrigued by the Daughter of the King concept and how women who weren't previously empowered were suddenly in a position of choice. As always, that is daunting to some and downright terrifying for others. I was quite intrigued by how much Isabelle grew during the years and yet often still made a choice that was safe or to please someone else rather than herself. There comes a time where fulfillment and living an authentic life is equal to survival and we see each character reach that point in their own time.

Thanks to Netgalley for access to this novel. All opinions above are my own.
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4.5🌟

I love books based on true events and this story went above and beyond. It was so emotional and heartbreaking at times, I didn’t want to put it down. Isabelle cares not only of herself but others around her. I loved the connections she made and how she was willing to stand up for what she believed in even after the times she was beaten down. A gripping story filled with romance, drama, and some suspense about a part of history that I didn’t know much about. After reading I want to learn even more about these events, and I am excited that this is only the first in a series.
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Do you love adventure stories based on true events? Historical fiction? Woman-centered story? With a bit of romance? Can you handle reading about torture? 

I loved escaping to 17th century France and learning about the plight of the Huguenots. History unfolded through the eyes of a loyal and fierce 19-year-old, Isabelle Colette from La Rochelle and I eagerly soaked it up! Protestant Isabelle has been harassed, tortured, and intimidated because of her religious beliefs and is desperate to escape persecution by the Catholic King. When a chance comes, it’s an impossible choice: she’ll have to adopt the religion that killed her family and branded her an outcast. 

Betraying everything she believes in, Isabelle flees to Canada as a Daughter of the King and reluctantly accepts money, protection and a fresh start. In short, to populate the colony of New France, orphans and poor single women like Isabelle were sent to marry trappers/settlers/soldiers. It isn’t an easy life and Isabelle’s angst over difficult choices continues to plague her in the new world. 

I loved the theme of triumph over adversity running through this novel as well as the focus on Canadian history. Canadian Grade 10 Social Studies students learn about the settlement and Les Filles Du Roi but are not educated about the previous life the orphans faced. I was shocked. It’s interesting to think that the French Canadians today are descendants of these 800 brave women! 

This first in the Defying the Crown series is a must for historical fiction lovers. A slight warning for those who are queasy about torture or find a ‘foot in the door’ romance uncomfortable. 

Drafted in 2017, shelved for 2 years, and finally resurrected, Kerry Chaput’s five-star debut was worth the wait. Isabelle has been patient in waiting to tell her story. I can’t wait for book 2. 

Publishes December 16, 2021. 

I was gifted this advance copy by Kerry Chaput, Black Rose Writing and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.
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