Read Mistress of the Sun by Sandra Gulland Online


The author of the internationally acclaimed Josephine B. trilogy presents a new, irresistible historical novel, based on the life of Louise de la Vallière, who, against all odds, became the most beloved consort of France's Louis XIV, the charismatic Sun King.Set against the magnificent decadence of the seventeenth-century French court, Mistress of the Sun begins when the eThe author of the internationally acclaimed Josephine B. trilogy presents a new, irresistible historical novel, based on the life of Louise de la Vallière, who, against all odds, became the most beloved consort of France's Louis XIV, the charismatic Sun King.Set against the magnificent decadence of the seventeenth-century French court, Mistress of the Sun begins when the eccentric young Louise falls in love with a wild white stallion and uses ancient dark magic to tame him. This one desperate action of her youth shadows her throughout her life, changing it in ways she could never imagine.Unmarriageable, and too poor to join a convent, Louise enters the court of the Sun King as a maid of honor, where the King is captivated by her athleticism and her striking grace. As their love unfolds, Louise bears Louis four children, is made a duchess, and reigns unrivaled as his official mistress until dangerous intrigue threatens her position at court, her place in Louis's heart, and even her life. Louise must decide where she can best find the peace and fulfillment her souls has longed for, and which she has traveled so far to find.A riveting love story with a captivating mystery at its heart, Mistress of the Sun resurrects a fascinating female figure from the shadows of history and illuminates both the power of true and perfect love and the rash actions we take to capture and tame it....

Title : Mistress of the Sun
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780743298872
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 400 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Mistress of the Sun Reviews

  • ``Laurie Henderson
    2018-11-19 13:44

    I had never read a book by Sandra Gulland before but after readingI was curious to learn about more Louis XIV first mistress Louise de Valliere, the daughter of an impoverished knight.I was pleasantly surprised by Gulland's ability to bring to life the time and place of this era. I was soon engrossed as I read about de Valliere's childhood in the French countryside. All was going well until Gulland introduced the wild white stallion that Louise fell in love with as a child and her foray into ancient dark magic to tame said horse and which broke the beautiful reverie I was experiencing.Finally the story moves on from the above mentioned magical white stallion and I was delighted to continue reading the rags to riches story of de Valliere. Just when I was completely absorbed into Louise's life at the court of the Sun King that darn magic white stallion would suddenly turn up yet again making Louise sad as she longed to ride her childhood horse. Maybe I'm not a horse lover because I found the detailed horse training experience boring.This so called magical horse sure did have a long life span too.Other than that horse I enjoyed learning about the life of Louise and I felt a lot of sympathy for her predicament; she certainly lead a fascinating life.My next book to read will be Gulland's take on Athenais de Montespananother mistress of the Sun King. I'm happy to have discovered this talented author and recommend her books to anyone interested in this era of history.For those interested this book didn't contain vulgar love scenes.If not for that horse I would've given this book a 5 star rating instead of 4.

  • C.W.
    2018-11-27 11:27

    THIS REVIEW WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE HISTORICAL NOVELS REVIEW: In her first novel in eight years (following the international success of her Josephine B. trilogy) Sandra Gulland has chosen an enigmatic figure—Louise de la Vallière, mistress to Louis XIV and mother of four children by him. Louise has been overshadowed in history by her more glamorous successors and the flamboyance that characterized the later years of Louis’s reign, but in her captivating jewel of a novel Gulland offers an absorbing account of a woman who reluctantly became a royal mistress and paid the price. Gulland’s Louise has a fey spirit with the ability to enchant horses. In a desperate act of magic to save a feral stallion’s life she sets the course for her own destiny, one that will bring her equal measures of sorrow and joy. Uneasy with the cruel sycophantism of court, caught between her innate spiritual introspection and an impoverished lineage that compels her to noble servitude, Louise eventually catches the young king’s eye. Louis is handsome and vital, poised to assume his later embodiment as the Sun King; in Louise, he discovers incorruptible innocence and their romance flourishes under a secrecy that continues for years, even as he grows in stature and she wrestles with her conscience and the degradation of her illusions. Scandal ensues when Louise is brought into the open as Louis’s lover; this fateful moment also sets the stage for her decline. Fascinating details of life at the French court sparkle throughout the narrative, evidence of Gulland’s dedication to research; and while Louise may not be as ambitious or clever as those who followed in her footsteps, she imbues an unforgettable authenticity that gives credence to the belief that she was Louis XIV’s only true love.

  • Jing Rainbole
    2018-11-13 10:46

    When I finished the book, I sat and stared out the window, and just replayed the whole story in my head. Gulland's writing really made me connect to the character, Petite, or Mademoiselle de la Valliere. I love this book so much, and I fell in love with Petite, her morals and strength, characteristics I want to remember and try to live up to.The story follows the life of Louise, a mistress of King Louis XIV. From her childhood where she demonstrated her courageous character through her passion for horses, to her youth where she was caught between her love for Louis and her own guilt of sin regarding this forbidden love, and ending with the complex emotions and thoughts she had to endure as Louis took up his second mistress (also Louise's close friend). What is amazing is the way Gulland told this story of Louise without having Louise directly express her thoughts and feelings, but other descriptive ways. One could really feel the passion and the pain experienced by Louise herself. As someone that tends to skip atmospheric descriptions in novels, I enjoyed Gulland's writing, and the length of these scene setups were perfect. Just as I was starting to yearn for actions and events, she gave me that. I also loved how realistically Gulland set up the culture and society. From the religious to the medicinal perspectives, she really provided enough information about the time period for her readers to imagine how it could have felt to live in that time period. The multiple mentions of the fear of the Devil and his demons gave a sense of where religion stood at the time and exactly how great of a role it played in these people's lives.I absolutely loved this book, and I cannot wait to read it again in the near future.

  • Erika Robuck
    2018-12-05 17:26

    “The astrologer present at Petite’s birth had written…that her ‘affective sensibility tended to overheat,’ concluding with the warning that her mild manner veiled a voraginous passion. Petite had yet to discover what voraginous meant, but because of a line in the Aeneid (“Neptune came upon them, with all his vorages and his waves full of scum”), she thought it might have something to do with a whirlpool.” (Chapter Eight)Mistress of the Sun, by Sandra Gulland, was published in the spring of 2008. I first read and loved Gulland’s Josephine Bonaparte series last year upon the recommendation of a friend, and couldn’t wait to read Mistress. Lately, I’ve been meandering through other genres, straying from my true love, historical fiction. Mistress marked my return to the past, and it was a wholly absorbing, fascinating, and gratifying journey.Mistress of the Sun tells the story of Louise de la Valliere, or “Petite”, as she is nicknamed because of her diminutive, pixie-like physique. From the beginning, it’s clear that in spite of her angelic countenance, Petite has a wild streak in her–a characteristic that she tries to tame like the horses she cares for. This passion leads her to great joys and terrible sorrows as mistress of Louis the XIV, “The Sun King.”I can’t praise this book enough. Gulland has a particular talent for endearing her protagonists to the reader. She perfectly balances history and fiction, and creates complicated, multi-layered characters. Themes of inner struggle over good and evil are prevalent throughout, and come to a satisfying conclusion. I hated when the book ended, and was pleased to read that Gulland will continue to write about the court of The Sun King, and that Petite will show up, often, in her future works.I often measure how much I enjoy a book by how quickly I read it, how much sleep I lose over it, and if it sends me searching the internet for more information about its characters or the author. I read Mistress of the Sun in three days, and spent an hour online after completing it, very late at night. Gulland has made a devoted fan of me. I will always buy her books.

  • Karína
    2018-12-06 11:53

    Loved this book, I was a bit wary in the beginning but it did have me hooked. Was very excited as I realized towards the end how it relates to the TV series Versailles which is one of my favorites. Great read.

  • Elisabeth
    2018-12-05 11:50

    I have to admit, I was actually somewhat disappointed with this book. I really enjoyed the Josephine B. trilogy, and have read it a few times, and had really expected more from Sandra Gulland's second work. I felt that the characters were rather undeveloped --many of the characters felt very one-dimensional, despite opportunities to really flesh them out.Also, the plot felt very patchy and unevenly paced. I didn't really care for the entire first section of the book, where I think the character development of Petite and her relationships with her various family members was especially lacking. It felt like a rather awkward set up for the rest of the story. Throughout the rest of the book plot themes from the very beginning would go unmentioned for chapters, and then suddenly make a rather sudden and unexpected appearance, only to disappear again and later abruptly reappear. Some major plot threads could have been more developed, especially a one that appeared near the end, which probably could have been tied in better throughout the rest of the story.I realize that when writing about actual historical figures and events, there is only a certain amount of leeway that can be allowed, but I think a little more literary license would have gone a long way here--even more so than Ms. Gulland admits to have taken. This was a fascinating time and an interesting take on the court of the Sun King, but I felt that it could have gone a lot further into that world. The overall feel of the book was much more romantic drama and much less sweeping saga--I would have preferred a little more sweeping saga. Still, it did entertain

  • Misfit
    2018-11-15 13:46

    Clearly I'm in the minority but I do not get all the hype. The author has stuck so many little details of 18C life (factual? I don't know) that in no way move the story along and it became quite irritating. Very slow paced, I gave up at page 200 and L&L are barely getting better acquainted. IMO you're better off reading Dumas' take on Louise and skip this. I wish I had.

  • Emma
    2018-11-25 13:32

    Deserted Island Book Rating System --4 stars: Reread but only because there are no libraries on deserted islands.I loved the main character for her morals, her drive, basically everything about her. I don't think there was a single other character I liked though. I felt that all characters aside from Petite herself really lacked depth, though they easily could have been fleshed out.The pacing of this book felt so incredibly lopsided to me. So much time is spent telling us all about Petite's childhood in incredible detail - much of it unnecessary, in my humble opinion. And then when we get to the time in her life when she serves as a waiting maid to the Sun King's sister in law, great leaps of time lapse between chapters which, I believe, lead to my next problem...I thought this book was about Petite's life in regard to her relationship with the king. It certainly covered her life but as for her relationship with the king, we see very little of it. The king visits, he leaves. She bears him a child, the child is sent away. We see very few snippets of their conversations and time together so in the end the effect is that we're told they're in love but never shown it.I still really enjoyed this book despite the issues I've listed here, thus 4 stars and my willingness to reread it if I were stranded on a deserted island.

  • Teddy
    2018-11-28 13:42

    I just finished this very good work of historical fiction. Here are the links to my (Please vote if you feel so inclined): Blog (I would love to hear about the books you have read on thistopic or books by Sandra Gulland): Many Precious Books, So Little Time

  • Brenna
    2018-11-17 16:28

    I bought this after reading Gulland's Josephine B trilogy which I loved! This one did not cut it for me though. There were so many times where I just wanted to toss it away and wipe my hands of the whole thing. I persevered though, barely.

  • Mary Montgomery
    2018-11-23 10:43

    I like this author a lot and I've read widely about the court of the Sun King. (Don't be impressed - almost all fiction.) This is one of my favorites, next to Karleen Koen's books.It moves quickly, it's interesting, and even though I thought I knew something about the subject there were a lot of things I didn't see coming.

  • ♔ Jessica Marie
    2018-12-04 12:50

    This book is set in one of my all time favorite historical eras; the court of the Sun King. I was immediately attracted to the main female character, Louise de la Valliere or as she's better known as, Petite. The book follows the life and the loves of Petite, which is constantly changing except for two things ... her infatuation of horses and her fear of the devil.I absolutely fell in love with Mistress of the Sun. The characters are so well portrayed that you cannot help but become intertwined with their lives. However this can turn out to be a bad thing, because when Sandra Gulland says she does not like happy endings she isn't kidding. I became so involved in the story I had to force my self to turn the page because I was too afraid to read what would happen to my beloved Petite next. And of course, just like Petite, I fell in love with the Sun King himself ... which made the ups and downs of their affair even more painful to read. I look forward to reading this book again in the future and plan on buying Sandra Gulland's Josephine trilogy very soon.I would definitely recommend Mistress of the Sun to anyone who enjoys reading. It is not just another historical fiction book, it is also a love story and has a bit of paranormal activity thrown in. The reader does not have to possess any knowledge of the time period before starting this book because Sandra Gulland has added wonderful extras including: a map of France at the time of the Sun King, an abbreviated genealogy of the royal families and a glossary of terms. It would also be a great read for long time lovers of historical fiction because Petite is not a "popular" historical female, so there are not many books about her life and for many people this will be their fist time reading about her.

  • Nightfalltwen
    2018-12-04 12:33

    I finished this a couple of days ago and decided to hold off on my review because I wasn't quite sure what I thought about it. After some time away from the book and some time to mull over my opinion, I have to say that I didn't hate it, but I didn't absolutely adore it either.I found the plot would speed up and slow down repeatedly which made the entire book read very choppily.It's hard to review historical fiction when it's based on people who actually existed. You've got Louis XIV and Louise de la Vallière who lived lives and although the author has the flexibility to deviate from the historical time line, she can't make it too different without labelling her work as "alternate universe." So there were things that bugged me about the *people* in the books and there was nothing I could do about it. Okay, yeah, I get that this is historical *fiction* and I shouldn't be taking it at face value. But like, there comes a point when you just want to say "Louis give up your crown and run away with Petite!" but you know that he can't because he's the king of France. The Sun King. Someone noteworthy.In any case, Gulland didn't really make me love these characters. And that's the job of a historical fiction writer. Is to make these real people someone I *want* to know about.It wasn't necessarily a bad story. I read it until the end and there were parts I quite enjoyed, but I didn't absolutely love it.

  • Maia B.
    2018-11-10 17:51

    This book has an excellent premise, is set in a marvelous time period, and is full of mystery, intrigue, Lots of it. And yet it falls flat.Petite and Louis's romance seems more based on sexual attraction than love. They don't talk to each other that much - mostly he pressures her into spilling other people's secrets (at least once) and they thrash around in bed, on the floor, outside... The two of them do not seem particularly well-matched and Petite seems to have trouble asserting herself under much strain.Besides this, the writing is clunky and jerks along at a strange pace, much like the plot (which slows and starts, slows and stops, starts and slows, stops and starts, slows and stops. Finally.). Most sentences have a strange rhythm, and most paragraphs don't flow together. Sentences are placed side by side which have no relation to each other. The writing is really annoying at worst, simplistic at best.I have not read the Josephine B. trilogy, since I wanted to go into this without holding it up to the other series, which I've heard was "a masterpiece," "a work of art," etc. Neither of these phrases can in all fairness be applied to this book. Petite is not particularly interesting, Louis is overbearing and pretty vile towards the end, and while this could have been a really excellent book it just...isn't.Honestly, the first word that springs to mind when I think of this book is "meh."

  • Anna Karras
    2018-12-10 16:27

    Man, I am a sucker for historical fiction.And I am super lucky that as I librarian I get to review books for Library Journal. My editor Wanda, sends me about 6 historical fiction books a year, and I get to read them. This was the latest.While in the past I have mostly been enamored of Tudor history, I have read a few on the French Court. This particular book was one of the mistresses of Louis XIV, better known as the Sun King. This is the king who built Versailles, and made France the greatest kingdom in the world.Louise de Vallieres was a young girl who came to court while Louis was still a young, vibrant man. Petite (As she is affectionately known) was a great horsewoman and she caught the king's attention with her skills on horseback. Their secret was an affair for many years, and she bore him 4 children, 2 of whom survived. While the plot of this book was rather quiet for a story of the intrigues of court, I loved the inner world of Petite that was created by the author.I hope someone writes novels about other famous mistresses, like Madame du Barry, or Madame Pompadour.Bring it on.

  • Julia
    2018-12-10 17:38

    I read Sandra Gulland's Josephine Bonaparte trilogy and was totally in love with it, so I went for Mistress of the Sun imagining it to be as great as the trilogy I recognize the hard researching work Gulland had to do for this book and I am in no way saying that I hated the novel. I managed to finish it, so it couldn't be too bad. But it was just such a disappointment.I liked Gulland because she wrote about strong women and the Josephine books were full of them. But in Mistress of the Sun we follow the life of a girl who falls obsessively in love with a king and becomes his mistress, and even though he seems to like her at first, he turns to also humiliate and mistreat her but she doesn't manage to leave him. When she finally does she becomes a nun.Sorry but how much worse can a story get? So, this girl becomes the sexual object of a man but as soon as he doesn't want you anymore the only way out is to isolate yourself and marry Jesus? (No offense to Jesus, of course)No. No, thanks.

  • Jean Marie
    2018-11-13 09:51

    I probably love this book for two reasons. One the story is brillantly written and the emotion of the mistress, Louise, is channeled perfectly, almost as if she herself had written this tale. The other reason I love this book is it was the book I was reading during my move away from home and during the part of the story where Louise moves away really touched me during the upheaval of my life. The story is about Louise de la Valliere who was one of the many mistresses to Louis XIV of France, the Sun King. She was one of the most interesting of his mistresses and the predecessor of the more famous Madame de Montespan. It chronicals her life from child, to maid to lesser royals to being the mistress to the king, and there after. Louise's emotions are brillantly portrayed with her love for the king and her love for god, and fear of the devil. Louise isn't the ideal royal mistress with her fire for god and being stubborn, but she definitely was one who had more of a heart than so many others in the halls of history. This is a definite read of French fans.

  • Vanessa
    2018-11-24 12:53

    For some reason I feel like saying "It's not you, it's me" to this book. I am sure it was meticulously researched, but I just never really connected with the story or the characters. The first 100 pages or so were about Louise's childhood, and I found that part to be really boring. It got a little more interesting once she was older and got her position at court, but there was just way too much day-to-day minutiae for my taste. Don't get me wrong --- I like my historical fiction to be written in a very descriptive and visual way, but there *is* such a thing as too much! Because, well, at some point reading about every little sneeze and move that anyone makes gets very boring ...! My thoughts kept drifting off, and I actually ended up skimming pages for about the final third of the book.I'm sure there are people out there who will enjoy this book, but I'm not one of them.

  • Allie
    2018-11-16 15:29

    Well this was my first book to read after two months of studying for the my first part of the CPA exam. I enjoyed its simplicity. The constant references to witchcraft were interesting. I enjoyed learning about Versailles, especially since I am traveling to Paris in August and hope to convince my hubby to visit the palace with me!! Anyway a pretty good book... I will continue to read French Historical Fiction until I visit on August 15th.. Any suggestions anyone?!?! I have some lined up but will gladly take suggestions!! Happy reading everyone and glad to be back even if just for a little while!

  • Colleen
    2018-12-09 17:41

    This book was pretty much everything I want in a lighter read. I'm not sure how Guilland managed to make a page-turner out of this plot, but she did. And the writing was strong enough that I didn't feel like my verbal skills were actively diminishing as I read.The tropes around Petite as a "cool girl" (is that the right reference? Gone Girl?) were tired and got obnoxious, but like I said, sometimes you're just looking to be entertained without killing too many brain cells.

  • Recynd
    2018-11-15 14:51

    I rather enjoyed this story of Louise de la Valliere, a low-born noblewoman with a penchant for horses who caught the eye of the young Sun King, ultimately becoming his acknowledged concubine. Sandra Gulland is as deft a writer as she is a historian and the tale she weaves with "Mistress of the Sun", while perhaps not wholly original, was certainly worth the time it took to read and ultimately left me feeling a little better informed about the era than when I started.

  • Susan Ortega
    2018-12-05 12:33

    Love that Petite, a lesser nobleman´s daughter who becomes the mistress of the King of France, is torn between her love for Louis the man, and the church. A horse whisperer, early in the book, tells young Petite that the devil gives away nothing for free. It is a delight to see this theme played out in several ways in the book. It´s a page turner.

  • Catherine Delors
    2018-11-25 11:32

    Atmospheric and deeply moving, the life of Louis XIV's most discreet mistress, from Versailles to the Carmel.Interview of Sandra on my blog:

  • Lynn Bornath
    2018-11-22 12:48

    This book had everything from love and betrayal to grand parties and frightening medical practices. It was an excellent read and I recommend it. Read the full review.

  • Diana
    2018-12-09 09:40

    I just saw Sandra Gulland in SMA for a book reading. She was delightful and I am enjoying this book.

  • Danelle
    2018-12-03 10:26

    Although I didn't 'mourn' after finishing this book as I did with the Josephine B. trilogy, I devoured it just the same!

  • Gaile
    2018-11-22 14:50

    I found this so enthralling I read it twice!

  • julia
    2018-11-12 14:38

    excellent writing and captivating storyline. once again, brings history to life and humanizes the people of generations' past.

  • Laura Lee
    2018-11-25 10:34

    Historical fiction, mistress of Louis IV. Really enjoyed it. This is not a bodice ripper. Good stuff.

  • Nanci
    2018-11-28 09:30

    A fantastic book. Reading this reminds me how much I enjoy French history, even though I don't spend as much time on it/reading about it as I should.