I received a free copy of Promised to the Crown for my honest review.
About the Book:
Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Paperback & eBook; 352 Pages
Series: Daughters of New France
Genre: Historical Fiction
Bound for a new continent, and a new beginning.
In her illuminating debut novel, Aimie K. Runyan masterfully blends fact and fiction to explore the founding of New France through the experiences of three young women who, in 1667, answer Louis XIV’s call and journey to the Canadian colony.
They are known as the filles du roi, or King’s Daughters – young women who leave prosperous France for an uncertain future across the Atlantic. Their duty is to marry and bring forth a new generation of loyal citizens. Each prospective bride has her reason for leaving; poverty, family rejection, a broken engagement. Despite their different backgrounds, Rose, Nicole, and Elisabeth all believe that marriage to a stranger is their best, perhaps only, chance of happiness.
Once in Quebec, Elisabeth quickly accepts baker Gilbert Beaumont, who wants a business partner as well as a wife. Nicole, a farmer’s daughter from Rouen, marries a charming officer who promises comfort and security. Scarred by her traumatic past, Rose decides to take holy vows rather than marry. Yet no matter how carefully she chooses, each will be tested by hardship and heartbreaking loss and sustained by the strength found in their uncommon friendship, and the precarious freedom offered by their new home.
About the Author:
Aimie K. Runyan, member of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and Women’s Fiction Writers Association, has been an avid student of French and Francophone Studies for more than fifteen years. While working on her Master’s thesis on the brave women who helped found French Canada, she was fortunate enough to win a generous grant from the Quebec government to study onsite for three months which enabled the detailed research necessary for her work. Aimie lives in Colorado with her husband and two children.
I don’t have an overwhelming knowledge (or interest for that matter) in US history history and I have absolutely NO knowledge of Canada’s history. This is one of things I love most about reading – I learn the most interesting things by virtue of the novelization of a tidbit of history. My third 5 star book of the year takes the historical fact of young women being sent from France to help colonize what became Quebec.
The book takes place starting in 1667 when the French crown was concerned that the British were going to take over their holdings in what we know as Canada. There were a dearth of women to keep the men settled on the land so the idea was to send some over to marry the settlers to start families and create more loyal citizens for France.
The book focuses on three young women each with a reason for leaving her country behind. They survive the long journey to New France and are taken in by the nuns where they are kept until chaperoned meetings can be arranged. Each girl finds an answer but the future is not going to be easy for any of them. The only constant for all of them is their friendship.
I was completely fascinated by this book. In fact I had the world’s worst time putting it down. The story was very original for me – an area of history I hadn’t been before so the feeling of discovery was delightful. The stories were compelling and the characters were all well drawn. They grew with their experiences as opposed to remaining the same throughout the book. The plots lines were unique and well drawn weaving in and out of each other very smoothly. It is the first in the series and I will look forward to the next book with enthusiasm.
You can purchase Duty to the Crown