Read To Dance with Kings by Rosalind Laker Online


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 sheOn 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....

Title : To Dance with Kings
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780307352552
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 624 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

To Dance with Kings Reviews

  • Marian
    2019-03-15 00:45

    Meh. A good friend of mine (whose opinion I seriously respect) has been recommending I read this book for YEARS. I finally borrowed it and I have to say, I'm a little underwhelmed.Like most have written, the concept of this book is brilliant: following four generations of women through Versailles. The problem is the execution. I couldn't really get invested in any of their stories and Laker's writing is really awful. I like a trashy romance as much as the next person, but I found myself rolling my eyes. That being said, this isn't your typical trashy romance. Laker obviously did her research and must have been incredibly passionate about the story. But if I read the would "sumptious" or "he knew her better than she knew herself" one more time I might light myself on fire.Various characters were interesting though, and the beauty of this book is in the details. I would have liked a little more involvement from the main women and something - anything - to relate to. So read if this is your genre, but for those of you who don't usually do historical romance, there are significantly better books out there to scratch that itch ;-)

  • Marita
    2019-03-13 21:07

    The blurb on the back cover of this novel proclaims: "An epic generational tale of loves lost, promises kept, dreams broken, and monarchies shattered, To Dance with Kings is a story of passion and priviledge, humble beginnings and limitless ambition." It pretty much sums it up.The historical romance genre does not have much appeal for me, and I wasn't sure that I would like this book, but there are redeeming features such as the wealth of historical detail which sweeps us through the magnificent court of Louis XIV right through to the horror of the Revolution. It was obviously very well researched and the plot is well developed and resolved. There are interesting characters (not all likeable!) and dialogue, and I chuckled at the encounter between Athénaïs de Montespan and Françoise de Maintenon as they meet on a stairway, one ascending and one descending:"Neatly Françoise began to ascend the staircase. As she met Athénaïs, she smiled sweetly. "I see you are well on your way down, Athénaïs. As you may observe, I'm on the way up,"" I recommend having a box of tissues handy when reading this.

  • Elena
    2019-03-06 23:55

    Versailles, 1664. Peasant fan-maker Jeanne Dremont gives birth to a daughter, Marguerite. The birth is witnessed by a drunken musketeer, Augustin Roussier, who promises he will be back for Marguerite in seventeen years. Jeanne is thrilled by the promise, and vows that her daughter will rise from her poverty and become a member of the royal court; to do that, she will become Augustin's mistress.So begins To Dance with Kings, a family saga which, starting from the reign of the Sun King and ending with the French Revolution, follows four extraordinary women: Marguerite, Jasmin, Violette and Rose.Actually, while the book spends much time on Marguerite, Jasmin and Rose, it does not really focus on Violette: we read about her childhood and then learn something of her turbulent adventures, but we do not see them directly. I was not overly disappointed by this, because I did not like Violette: she is quite unlikeable and loves no one but herself. However, she does lead a colourful life, so I would have liked to read at least some of her adventures. But this is my only complaint about a book I oherwise completely loved.It is hard for me to choose a favourite between Marguerite and her daughter Jasmin. Marguerite is initially a naive and superficial girl. Her mother raises her with the idea that she will become Augustin's mistress, but when (view spoiler)[both her parents tragically die (hide spoiler)] Marguerite proves herself to be a practical, independent woman who will give in to Augustin only when she is sure he really loves her. Her initial infatuation for the man becomes a more mature and realistic sentiment, and this is why I enjoyed their relationship so much. However, I also liked that (view spoiler)[she found happiness with her husband. Their love is different from the all-consuming, epic feeling that binds Marguerite and Augustin, but it is sincere nonetheless. (hide spoiler)]Jasmin grows up terribly spoiled by her father, while her relationship with her mother is difficult. I did not think I would like her, but she too is forced to grow into a strong, admirable woman when she is married to a cruel man. Her marriage is like a living hell, and I greatly admired her for keeping her strenght and her good character through it all. She makes some mistakes with her daughter, Violette, but they are understandable; and she proves herself to be a fantastic grandmother to Rose.Rose is a little less extraordinary than Marguerite and Jasmin, at least in my opinion. She is likeable, but she does not come wonderfully alive like the other two. The same goes for her plot: while Marguerite's and Jasmin's stories are completely gripping, the last part is weaker. It is still greatly enjoyable, but a little dragged on at times.The entertaining plot and the fabulous characters are united with a rich and beautiful setting. The book shows many different sides of the French society: the royal courts are splendidly represented, as well as the peasant life. I also enjoyed the time spent on the art of fan-making, and how this art was passed over the generations. (view spoiler)[The ending, where Marguerite's fan returns to Rose, was fantastic. (hide spoiler)]I know this book is labelled as a historical romance, but I actually found plenty to like in it: intrigue, politics, historical details and much more. I warmly recommend it if you are a fan of historical fiction.

  • Maia B.
    2019-03-20 18:50

    After three hundred pages I gave up.This isn't because I don't like long books. I do. Emma, Gone With the Wind, The Once and Future King - all long books, and all among my favorites (well, GWtW isn't, but I do really like it). The reason I bought this one was because it was long and it looked silly and it would admirably fill a few long summer days.Not really.It's a multi-generational story, but what this really means is that it would be ten times better as a series of four books. Violette, from what I can see (third generation), is basically skipped over so we can get right to Rose. All four generations (Marguerite, then Jasmin, then Violette, then Rose) of women are really the same - impetuous, passionate, beautiful, all that stuff. After Marguerite - who I managed to finish reading about by sheer force of will, because she REALLY ticked me off - and halfway through Jasmin, I just couldn't keep going. I skipped through and I pretty much know what happens.At one point there's a four-page (note: these pages have about four hundred and fifty words on them; most books have at most three hundred and twenty-five) soliloquy on the part of Louis XIV; at the end of these sixteen hundred words we find out that he's still pissed at the madwoman who shouted at him twelve years ago. Then ten years can pass in a sentence, so you have to pay close attention to the bad writing.Yeah. I'm done.

  • Naksed
    2019-03-18 18:06

    Neither has the substance to stand as a satisfying historical fiction nor does it succeed as historical romance, with its basically NA plot dressed up as some lofty historical generational saga. [email protected]%.(view spoiler)[ridiculous plot twist has H leaving h for OW he has impregnated and whom he marries for the sake of the child. But don't worry, his true heart remains with h til his death. If that is not typical NA trope, I don't know what is. I continued the story until h herself gets married and has a daughter, hoping at least the daughter'story would be better but when she was even stupider than her mother, and embroiled in yet another cliche love affair with a married man who promised her he was in the midst of annulling his marriage, I gave up. (hide spoiler)]

  • Sandra
    2019-02-26 17:50

    800 strani iscitani so zadovolstvo ... Poveke traese ama vredese..

  • Sheree
    2019-03-07 01:08

    4.5 StarsThis is an intricately told tale set during the reigns of Louis XIV, XV & XVI with a backdrop of the splendours of the French court, culminating with the turbulence & horror of the French Revolution. This sweeping saga chronicles the rise and fall of Versialles, spanning four generations of women from the one family, Marguerite, Jasmin, Violette and Rose, all of whose destinies are entwined with those of their monarchs.Rosalind Laker's superb imagery and historical accuracy bring 17th & 18th century France to life. From the architectural detail of the Palace of Versailles, the rich colour of changing court fashion, the art of fan-making, the persecution of the Heugenots (Protestants) & the lavishness of court in direct contrast to the plight of the peasants.In 1664 hundreds of nobles descend on the village of Versailles to pay court to the sun king, King Louis XIV. Augustine Roussier witnesses the birth of a peasant fan maker's daughter and christens her Marguerite promising the mother that he will return for Marguerite on her seventeenth birthday ...and so the story begins."Marguerite becomes part of the royal court of the Sun King, but her fairytale 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."My small criticism of 'To Dance with Kings'- this is quite a lengthy book & Laker devotes very little time to Violette's character which I found a little disappointing considering her attention to detail with the other characters. However I loved her most sympathetic & to me, more honest portrayal of Marie Antoinette. I was completely enthralled & touched by the Queen's intelligence, courage & love & appalled at the use of her initial extravagant & carefree behaviour as a scapegoat for the King's failings. Don't expect this to be a quick read, it is however well worth the time. This beautiful story is a definite keeper for my historical fiction shelf.

  • Lori
    2019-03-22 20:54

    I absolutely loved this novel!!! The story of Chateaux Versailles' royal court during the reigns of three kings and told through the lives of four generations of woman!!! A must read for any historical fiction fan!!! So, so sad that the journey is over!!!

  • Marie
    2019-03-08 18:45

    Here is my review on my blog:

  • Dimitar Jovanovski
    2019-03-20 20:09

    Amazing book! Fantastic historical story told through four generations of strong women. A story full of love, twists, intrigues... One of my favourites, definitely.

  • Katie Scarlett O Hara
    2019-02-27 17:55

    Recenzija je na blogu.

  • Elizabeth S
    2019-03-14 23:48

    It has been a couple of years since I read this novel, and so I will keep my review brief for the sake of not jumbling any facts.As I’m sure plenty of readers have pointed out already, the description of this book is rather misleading. That’s fine with me, since as a lover of historical fiction, I’m happy to read something new and eventful, even if it’s not necessarily what I signed up for in the first place.However, I will say I do not think this book was for me. While fairly well-written and based on a clever premise, even this novel, set in one of my favorite time periods, failed to enrapture me in the way I wish it could have.To Dance with Kings follows multiple generations of women, which is something not many books I read do. If anything, this was the novel that turned me off from multi-generational stories, because even though I found myself somewhat interested in the first story, it all went downhill from there.Jasmin already began to irk me, and so by the time I got to Violette, I found myself utterly relieved Laker barely covered her life. At that point, I simply did not care about yet another woman in this family free, and what we did see of Violette merely proved my point even more. To that point, Rose was fine, but she had little to draw me in and redeem the previous two women I laboriously read about when my interest was already waning.On a more complimentary note, Laker certainly did her research, and the settings, as well as the various points of contention, were likely my favorite parts of the novel. Though those usually play very important roles in books and can easily make or break a book, I am usually a very character-focused reader, and so it was a bit of a disappointment to me that I couldn’t seem to really root for any of them and prefered just to take in the other aspects.While this book was not for me, and so I am hesitant to recommend it, I would say that for someone who loves multi-generational stories (even when some generations get hard to love), historical fiction, and France, this could make for an enjoyable read.

  • Christie
    2019-02-28 00:59

    First Sentence: "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." To Dance with Kings follows 5 generations of women in France. Jeanne is a peasant woman whose chance meeting with 4 musketeers in the village of Versailles on the day of her daughter's birth makes her dream for an aristocratic life for her daughter she would have never thought possible before. Marguerite, Jeanne's daughter, becomes caught up in the Sun King's court at Versailles and begins a passionate love affair which changing political tides cut short. Jasmin, Marguerite's daughter, leads a charmed life until she catches the eye of Louis XV and is banished from court. Violette, Jasmin's daughter, has a rebellious streak that leads her to the dark underworld of Versailles. Finally, Rose, Violette's daughter, as Marie Antoinette's lady-in-waiting finds herself caught up in the violence and terror of the French Revolution. This book was the kind of historical epic that I very much enjoy. There are many real-life main characters, including: the kings Louis XIV, Louis XV, and Louis XVI, their consorts, mistresses, and enemies. The Palace of Versailles plays a large role in the book almost as a main character itself. The book follows it beginning with it's transformation from a rarely used hunting chateau to the premier royal residence in Europe to its downfall in the revolution. The rooms are described with such vivid detail that you almost feel you are there. Then there are the women themselves which are who the book focuses on. They are very well-drawn and it is very easy to get swept away with their stories. You feel their tragedies and triumphs, their great romances and great losses. I did not really have a favorite among them, I loved reading about all. They were all quite fascinating. The big thing I disliked about this book was that Violette got no attention at all in the book. It was like she was just there to bridge a gap. I think her story would have been just as fascinating as the other women yet you only see her at birth and young adulthood. The other women are followed from the beginning of life to the end. You only get hints of what Violette was up to during her absences from the story, the whole story would have been nicer. It's not a huge detraction from the book, but it did leave me a bit disappointed. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes big historical epics, especially if they are interested in French royalty or the Palace of Versailles. Royalty Reading Challenge: Read a book where a castle/palace figures prominently.

  • Kristen
    2019-03-15 17:47

    This was a long, fairly engrossing book, and I learned a lot about the lead-in to the French Revolution, and the Revolution itself, by reading it. I didn't know a ton about French history going into this, so that was interesting. I found the different generations of women to be a little too similar for my tastes--I felt like they weren't individual enough as characters--but I did find the arcs of their stories to be satisfying and realistic. My biggest gripe with this book was the extreme violence against women that it portrayed. I know that it is historically accurate, but it's just something I, as a reader, find really hard to read, and hard to make it through. If you are less sensitive to this, then you may be able to connect to this book more than I did. It's not that I didn't like it--I did!--I just didn't love it the way lots of other readers have.

  • MAP
    2019-03-14 00:43

    I tried, but I never could be swept off my feet by this one. The characters all seemed to blend together: when the women were young, they all had the same characteristics. As they got older, they all matured into a different set of same characteristics. Many actions and reactions seemed slightly off -- some from their historical counterparts (like Marie Antoinette) and some just from general human behavior. And the various romances and relationships never seemed to have any foundation, and therefore always felt rushed and flat. Overall, none of the people in the book ever really felt human for me, which is a pity, because the idea of following 4 generations of women through Versailles is fascinating. The execution was just a little underwhelming.Recommended if you like French pre-revolutionary history, but not enthusiastically.

  • Debbie
    2019-03-10 19:46

    phewww....glad to be done with it!! Not my usual genre anymore but I wanted an epic muligenerational family saga and that's what this is, I just should have picked somewhere other than France. I know nothing of the language or any of the areas that were frequently mentioned throughout this book. If you like this kind of thing, you'll probably like this book, but I found it incrediably B-O-R-I-N-G!!! A 600 page snoozefest, although thruthfully I died out and skipped the last 50 pages. It was nothing but politics and I don't think I missed anything by skipping to the end. Ho-hum is how I would describe this book.

  • Marie80
    2019-02-27 01:00

    Многу ми се допадна!Повторно би ја читала..... и повторно..... и повторно.........

  • Barbara Peters
    2019-03-23 18:02

    An interesting historical novel covering four generations preceding the French revolution. Lots of romance and hopefully fairly accurate portrayal of that period.

  • Eve
    2019-03-12 20:48

    At over 600 pages, this novel is an epic saga that follows several generations of women throughout the Versailles era. It effectively depicts the roles and plight of women at the time, and the history is very interesting. Although the novel is engaging and I wanted to keep reading to know 'what happens next?,' I wasn't clear on the 'what am I reading for?' part. When I read a book, I need to know why I keep reading. Is it to know what happens to the main character? Is it to know if love conquers all, etc.? In this case, reading about one generation after the next often left me wondering when the story would be done. Would it be when the last descendant died? It's by reading reviews while reading the novel that I realized the true "story" was about Versailles and would end with its fall in the late 1700s. Despite this one issue, To Dance with Kings is a fascinating book to read to better understand the Versailles era, from both social and economic perspectives.

  • Denise
    2019-03-17 21:09

    Beginning with a peasant fan-maker in the tiny village of Versailles giving birth to her only child, a girl named Marguerite, in May 1664, To Dance With Kings chronicles the lives of four generations of women, their fates all shaped in one way or another by the glittering court of Versailles from its inception under Louis XIV all the way to the French Revolution. It's an epic family saga and a vivid portrait of the reigns of three kings all in one.I very much loved the concept of this book, which allowed for a close look at not only one brief period of events in history but the changes wrought by the passage of time over more than a century. While I didn't much care for any of the four women whose lives the book followed (although all except Violette had sides I found likable), I enjoyed the bigger picture immensely.

  • Lindsey
    2019-03-01 01:04

    This is a mix of historical romance and a multi-generational view of the decadence and the collapse of the French royal court. The blend of these two themes was done well-although the story starts slowly and rather improbably as a nobleman makes a drunken promise to come back and court a peasant baby whose birth he has just witnessed. Once this promised courtship began however, the story really became interesting as the political undercurrents flowed around the couple and their subsequent generations. Although this is a romance, I appreciated how no one truly got their happily-ever-after with no cares in the world. This made it more real. Definitely a good read for anyone interested in the culture of Versailles and the spark of the French Revolution.

  • Katie
    2019-03-03 21:47

    I read this book because it popped up on a search for books similar to Pillars of the Earth and World Without End. Somewhat similar genre, but nowhere NEAR as good as POtE or WWE. I liked the descriptions of style of clothing and court life of Versailles.

  • Jerrel
    2019-02-27 21:40

    I have to admit that I read this book YEARS ago but I remember LOVING it and recommending it to tastes change and I would imagine I would still enjoy it but perhaps it would be a 4 instead? I don't know. I can only go based on memory. Perhaps I'll pick it up and read it again.

  • Lisasue
    2019-02-20 17:52

    Improbable plot, and eventually repetitive, but still compulsively readable.

  • Angela Scott
    2019-02-25 17:52

    Definitely a good book with great historical facts!

  • Adelein
    2019-03-23 17:03

    3,25 tähteä.Kuningas kutsuu tanssiin on massiivinen historiallinen romaani: sivuja tästä järkäleestä löytyy 726 kappaletta, ja juoni seuraa saman suvun naisten kohtaloita neljän sukupolven ajan. Rosalind Lakerin teos tarjoaa monipuolisen katsauksen Ranskan hovielämään Aurinkokuninkaan ajasta vallankumoukseen asti.Ylivoimaisesti onnistunein osuus kirjasta on alkupuolisko, joka kertoo Margueritesta. Vaatimattomissa oloissa syntynyt viuhkantekijän tytär pääsee seuraamaan, kuinka Ludvig XIV rakennuttaa Versailles'n metsästysmajan loisteliaaksi palatsiksi.Kirja kuitenkin kaatuu omaan suuruuteensa. Seuraavat sukupolvet eivät tuoneet tarinaan juuri uusia näkökulmia, ja pidin erityisesti Jasminin linnaan jumittunutta elämää kyllästyttävänä luettavana. Tuntuu, ettei Laker ole onnistunut tekemään päähenkilöistään tarpeeksi erilaisia, vaan tyttäret toistavat äitiensä luonteenpiirteitä ja tapoja. Ainoastaan rämäpäinen Violet vaikutti erilaiselta, mutta hänen elämänsä käsitellään läpi erittäin pikaisesti.

  • Myersakrawiec
    2019-03-13 20:56

    This book had been on my TBR list for several years so when I joined the Philadelphia Free Library, I was very excited to find that it was available as an ebook. This is a really long book which I didn't realize until I started it and it took me 30 min of reading to get through 2-3% of the book on my Kindle. It was an enjoyable book that I think could have done with a few less characters and maybe ended after 3 generations. Some of the length of this book could have been cut down with a little less description of the fan painting and construction as well as the business of selling the fans. Overall though, I am glad I read it and I thought the historical events were very well researched.

  • Krista
    2019-03-10 00:48

    Laker writes the most beautiful historical fiction. In this novel, she brings Versailles to life, revealing all its underlying honor, treachery, and pageantry through the stories of four generations of women: beautiful Marguerite, the first to come to court; her daughter, Jasmin, ambitious and daring; her granddaughter, Violette, who falls victim to the temptations of the court; and, finally, Rose, Violette's daughter and a lady-in-waiting to Marie Antoinette, whose story brings the saga full circle.

  • christina m effinger
    2019-02-21 00:07

    Wonderful historical fiction about the French revolution during Louis XIV rein. The description of how and when Versailles was built is magnificent. Then add four generation of women, that start from peasant, and end a aristricate. Rich history of France. This book is long, but I personally enjoyed it. Being a fast reader, the author had time to develop her characters, so you really got to know them. Romance, betrayal, lust, religious differences, this book has it all.I

  • S
    2019-03-09 23:48

    Wow, I have to give this one 5-stars, which I don't often do. Yes, the book was long and there were areas that were rushed, but overall the story was exceptional giving us glimpses into what life in Versailles could have been like. All of the women in the book were strong women, in spite of the trials and tribulations they went through. This was my first book by Rosalind Laker, but I can assure you it won't be my last.