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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Book Review: For the King by Catherine Delors

For the King by Catherine Delors
ARC, Hardcover, 329 pages
Dutton Adult
July 8, 2010
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Genre: Historical Fiction

Source: Received from the publisher for HFBRT June Event
"The Reign of Terror has ended six years earlier, and NapolĂ©on Bonaparte has seized power, but shifting political loyalties still tear apart families and lovers. 
On Christmas Eve 1800, a bomb explores along Bonaparte’s route, narrowly missing him but striking dozens of bystanders. Chief Inspector Roch Miquel, a young policeman with a bright future and a beautiful mistress, must arrest the assassins before they attack again. Complicating Miquel’s investigation are the maneuverings of his superior, the redoubtable FouchĂ©, the indiscretions of his own father, a former Jacobin, and two intriguing women. 
For the King takes readers through the dark alleys and glittering salons of post-revolutionary Paris. It is a romantic thriller, a tale of love, betrayal and redemption” .
On the surface For the King tells the story of the investigation into the attack on Napoleon Bonaparte, but deep down it tells a tale about the politics of Paris after the Revolution. There was constant speculation as to who had carried out the bombing and which side was to blame. There were also the internal political games that were played within the police department – who owed a favor to who and what they could hold over the heads of someone to make them do what they want. The political aspect was very interesting to me because I had not read anything set during the reign of Napoleon and really didn’t have much knowledge of the period either.

I did enjoy how this was similar to a police procedural. I always enjoy watching these types of shows on t.v. and I was a criminal justice major in college, which made it that much more interesting to me. I had not really thought about how crimes were investigated in the past – especially with the limited technology that was available at that time. I would classify this as more of a procedural rather than a mystery because you get to see the perspective of both the bad guys and the good guys. The reader is aware of who the perpetrators are and their motives, while the police are out of the loop – you are able to watch the investigation start to come together while knowing what is going on. That isn’t to say that there are not some secrets kept from the reader and twists along the way.

My complaint with this book comes with the ending. While I really liked the main character, Roch, I didn’t really feel connected enough with the other characters to really care what happened with them in the ending. I also felt that the ending was a little abrupt. As a whole bunch of things happened, it then just ended – I would have liked to have a little bit more in the end.

You can read an excerpt of the book to get a taste of what this book is like. You can also check out the author’s blog for some very interesting posts about France.  Or you can watch this beautiful book trailer.

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia

Also by Catherine Delors:

mistress of the revolution
Mistress of the Revolution

Find Catherine Delors: Website | Blog

Other HFBRT events going on today:



Copyright © 2010 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. HF with a sense of procedural, interesting and different. The end finishing quickly can be a bit of a bummer though. I'll keep my eye out for this one. THanks Heather :)

  2. Funny, because I posted my review a few minutes ago without having yet read any of the other HFBRT reviews and I used the exact same word to describe the ending: "abrupt".

    Since I love this time period, I really enjoyed this book. You will probably find MISTRESS OF THE REVOLUTION more to your liking - all the events are explained in detail and the story itself is wonderful. It's quite different from FOR THE KING so if you weren't thrilled with this one but still liked the author's writing style, you'll enjoy it.

  3. That must have been so cool for you, with your background, to get the feel of how things were done back then.

    For me, this book was just what I needed-read like a detective story in my very favourite period. I'm now very curious to read her first novel as well.
    Thanks for the review Heather!

  4. Thank you for the review. Very interesting. There seems to be a problem with many books having abrupt endings lately. You get the feeling they either got tired of writing, met their word limit for the book, or were just tired of dealing with the story. I have read several good books in the past year that suffered the same "abrupt" endings that really diminished the story.


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