Promised to the Crown
Aimie K. Runyan
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“An engaging, engrossing debut.”—Greer Macallister, USA Today bestselling author of The Magician’s Lie
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.
“An absorbing adventure with heart.”—Jennifer Laam, author of The Secret Daughter of the Tsar
First book in new series!
Promised to the Crown by Aimie K. Runyan is the first book in the Daughters of New France series. Louis XIV is looking for young women of good moral character to send to New France. The men there need brides and the King wanted to see this new area prosper and grow. Elisabeth Martin, Nicole Deschamps, and Rose Barre have decided to go to this new world (three of many). They are each looking for a new start. Elisabeth is the daughter of a baker father (who recently passed away) and a mother who quickly got over her husband. Her mother is looking to marry off Elisabeth (and she does not like the choice). Elisabeth is hoping to find a compatible husband in New France (who will appreciate her baking talent). Rose is an orphan who grew up in The Salpetriere Charity Hospital (and orphanage) after her aunt threw her out of their home (her uncle was abusing her and the aunt blamed Rose—a 12-year-old child). Rose is currently working at Salpetriere, but it is like living in a prison. Rose will take a chance and go to New France, but she is not sure she will be able to marry (hard to overcome what her uncle did to her). Nicole is a farm girl who is getting over a broken engagement. Her fiancé broke it off with her when Nicole no longer had a dowry (methinks it was not true love). Nicole believes her family will be better off with one less mouth to feed. Come join Nicole, Rose, and Elisabeth on their journey to a new life in New France (will become Quebec). Will they find husbands that are right for each of them? Can Rose overcome her past so she can have a happy future? You will have to read Promised to the Crown to find out!
Promised to the Crown was a good novel. It is a historical romance novel, but I enjoyed it. We get to see what happens to each woman and I liked the ending. Promised to the Crown is well-written, good pace, and characters that are interesting (and likeable which is important to enjoying a book). The story is told from the three young women’s point-of-view (in third person). We get to see their joys and sorrows and how they fared in this new country. These girls were leaving everything they knew and going forward into an unknown future. That was quite brave. The King (France) paid for their passage across the ocean and they were given lodging and food until they married. There are a couple of slow areas, but they are brief. I give Promised to the Crown 4 out of 5 stars. I will definitely be reading the next book in the series.
I received a complimentary copy of Promised to the Crown from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review of the novel.