Hall of Mirrors
A Novel of Historical Fiction
by Roxanne Lalande
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Pub Date 30 Sep 2021 | Archive Date 06 Oct 2021
The year is 1682, and the place is the palace of Versailles, where the Sun King, Louis the Fourteenth, reigns supreme over four thousand resident courtiers. Their social and political lives are intricately intertwined within a rigid hierarchy of etiquette.
Behind the brilliant facade of lavish festivities lies a shadowy world of intrigue, promiscuity, sorcery, and murder.
When human remains and a silver locket are unearthed on the neighboring estate of her husband’s lover, the duchess Elisabeth Charlotte d’Orleans investigates their origin and jeopardizes her own safety when her discoveries lead to the criminal involvement of her most powerful enemies at court.
“The discovery of a heap of charred bones and a silver locket looms over this spirited and lush tale of political intrigue, romance and mystery set in the 17th century court of the Sun King — Louis XIV of France. In Hall of Mirrors, Elisabeth- Charlotte, the brilliant, outspoken and, sadly, ostracized second wife of the King’s brother, unravels layers of deceit while investigating a secret society and the possible death by poisoning of her husband’s first wife. Lalande brings the eccentric personages of the court, as well as the unforgettable Elisabeth- Charlotte, vividly to life with meticulous historical accuracy and rich prose.” — Laurie Loewenstein, Author of Death of a Rainmaker
“Les Francais seront toujours moitie tigres et moitie singes,” Voltaire once penned in a letter. (“The French will always bepartly tigers and partly monkeys”…) e famous philosopher of the French Revolution might well have been describing the power-jousting surrounding the court of the Duke of Orleans from the previous century, particularly the suspicious death of Henriette d’Angleterre. There’s certainly a lot of monkey business (think “court intrigue,” think “serial poisoners,” think hyper-jealous homosexual lovers with a penchant to punish their rivals) going on in Roxanne Lalande’s Hall of Mirrors—and, as the mystery gets solved, you’ll want to know how, and why, the tiger pounced. —MARK WILL-WEBER, Author of Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt
Book to be released Autumn, 2021
Book to be released Autumn, 2021
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 69 members
An amazingly good novel, set in my favourite period and place. I cannot recommend this too highly, I would give it six stars if I could. Painstaking historical research brings the court of the Sun King, at Versailles, to life and the characters involved, such as the second Madame, Mathilde, Catherine, and Julie were explored beautifully. Thank you netgalley and the publishers for letting me have an advance copy of the book.
Smoldering beneath the glamour of the Sun King's Versailles lurks danger and courtly intrigue. The walls have ears, rumour spreads fast and vile, jealousies, secrets, dead bodies. This novel is full of dark secrets and surprises and, of course, some little romance as well. At its center is Elizabeth Charlotte (Liselotte), second wife of Phillippe d'Orleans, brother of Louis XIV, who wants to find the truth about her predecessor's death: was it murder that killed Henrietta Stuart, as she suspects, or was it caused by illness, as the court physicians maintain? If it was murder, who killed her?
This novel was extremely well researched, down to the many long letters Liselotte wrote in real life. I'm curious, whether some of them are original. I was captivated by the author's descriptions of the OTHER Versailles, of the need to shine, to please the king, to lead a life wholly in service to the king's whims and in defense against so many enemies. Not only was the book well researched and intelligently written, it was also immaculately edited and proofread. Liselotte was alive in these pages, and I could feel her fear, ennui, and disgust. Not so with the other persons: Mathilde and Catherine, Robin and Chrétien appeared somewhat colourless to me. At times, the story also lost momentum, but then picked up again to reach its surprising (and saddening) finale. I felt most sorry for Liselotte at the end.
I enjoyed this book, and would recommend it to all those readers who look for veracity in their historical novels. Thank you to NetGalley and The Book Whisperer for an enjoyable ARC
I love anything related to Versailles and the Sun King so I was immediately drawn to this book. I actually find it highly appropriate to be given an ARC of this book see an I came from an island which was named after it's protagonist. Hall of Mirrors is just really good historical fiction and I'm grateful that I was given the chance to read it. Thanks Netgalley and The Book Whisperer for the opportunity to read this!
Hall of Mirrors by Roxanne Lalande is an incredible book! I loved the writing and the plot so much, very well done!
The Duke of Saint-Simon, the best scandal monger & genial chronicler of the court of Louis XIV, would have been very proud of Ms Lalande's astonishing and brillant novel about the dangerous world of Versailles at the tail-end of the 17th century and its atmosphere of lust, hate, envy and very poisonous, intents, a royal golden trap where undigested slights, underhandness, bitchiness and smoldering jealousies reign supreme.
A cesspool of very devious sycophants and deceitful snakes in the entourage of the king's brother Philippe, the suspicious death of the latter's first wife, the beautiful Henriette Stuart and some malevolent secrets discovered by Liselotte, his second wife are at the center of this magnificent novel build with a plot as twisty as the many corridors of the royal palace and blessed with a cast of unprepossessing and disgusting characters.
I just loved this novel and I must definitely command its author for the amount of research she must have done prior to diving into its writing. Bravo👏👏
A higly recommended historical thriller elegantly written & a boisterous tale of Royal shenanigans.
Hopefully this wonderful novel will be translated into French. I do hope so!
Many thanks to Netgalley and the Book Whisperer for this terrific ARC
Louis XIV, the Sun King, brought light and prosperity to his country, but beneath the glitter and glamor of court life lurked dark secrets and dangerous intrigues.
Mathilde and Rob have been friends since childhood, but they are no longer children. While exploring their growing feeling for each other deep in the woods near Versailles, they find a locket with a mysterious symbol and an enigmatic message. In looking for other treasures, they discover charred human remains buried under the hearth of an abandoned hut.
Robin swears Mathilde to secrecy. The land belongs to the Marquis d’Effiat, Robin’s uncle, and Robin, as his heir, doesn’t want to bring unwanted attention to the man. Mathilde, however, can’t resist letting her best friend Catherine in on the secret. In turn, as more disturbing information is revealed, Catherine’s would-be lover Chret’ian gets involved.
The clues lead them to a deadly cult whose members are powerful men highly placed in society, including men with close ties to the king’s brother, Philippe. They find help from Mathilde’s mistress, Elizabeth Charlotte, known as Liselotte, Philippe’s long-suffering and ill-treated wife, and Catherine’s mistress, Victoire, the wife of the crown prince, who have good reasons for wanting to bring down the vile miscreants.
The author combines historical characters and real events with a fascinating mystery to bring Louis XIV and his reign to life on the page.
Versailles, the Court of the Sun King and two mysteries to solve. Who could ask for more. Great characters along with a compelling story line that will keep you up late to keep reading. I really liked it. Thank you to NetGalley, the author and publishers for an e-arc in exchange for my honest opinion.
I loved this time period and locale. So vivid and intriguing. I didn’t know anything about the Sun King. Thank you NetGalley! A great read. Highly recommended!
The Silver Locket
When Mathilde finds a silver locket while sheltering in an old ruin with her friend Robin she doesn’t know the can of worms she has just opened.
The story is a mystery which four young people try to solve with the help of the girls employers. Caroline and Mathilde are handmaidens to a royal family. Robin is next in line for a title when his Uncle is gone and Chretien is the son of the groundskeeper. Quite an unlikely set of sleuths.
They will discover items and circumstances which will shock and disgust them. They will find out that their families , especially Robins, are hiding dark secrets.
Although they seek to find the secret of the locket and how it is linked to the murders they will never know the real story. The story twists and turns and you will not guess how it ends.
This is a mystery of royal families , hidden secrets, betrayals and jealousies. It is a story of mystery and of intrigue. The book was different than what I usually read, but it was a good book.
Thanks to Roxanne Lalande, The Book Whisperer, and NetGalley for allowing me to read a complimentary copy for my honest review.
The book is based on a historical event which is a mystery to all but two youngsters found out the traces which their elders have hidden for they-don’t-know how long.
People were missing every now and then but nobody dared to talk about it.
The book provides you with the proper amount of suspense to keep you hooked. However, I found some bits confusing (e.g. the names of who’s who from the past) but overall the story is quite gripping.
Beneath the glamour and opulence of the court of the Sun King in Versailles lurks a secret, danger and court intrigues are abound.
This is a very well historical researched book with compelling characters, by combining historical characters and real events with a fascinating court mystery it brings to life the reign of Louis XIV and will keep you reading until you finish the story, you want to know what happens.
I recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction.
Thanks Netgalley, Book Whisperer and the author for my ARC.