In Mistress of the Sun, we are introduced first to a young Louise de la Vallière. Petite is a charming, smart child who is completely in love with horses. It becomes apparent to those around her, that at a young age, she has a way with the animals. When her father purchases a seemingly untameable White from a Romany circus, Petite uses bone magic to tame him and what follows changes her life forever.
From a convent to the home of high born aristocracy where she becomes a maid in waiting to a set of princesses, fate leads her to her first meeting with The Sun King. And she appears to fall in love with him instantly – despite the fact that she has no idea he IS the king. Fate once again intervenes, and some time later, she finds herself in the household of someone close to Louis, and they meet again. She becomes his mistress, has many children by him (though not all survive) and has struggles with her religious views and the fact she believes the devil is inside her.
Gulland paints a story rich in detail and the amount of research she puts into her projects is second to none. She has this way of making you feel that you’ve been to the places you read about in her books, seen the things the characters have seen, felt what they felt. I’m such a ‘history nerd’ and being able to learn something from a book makes it even better to me. She gives her characters multiple dimensions and makes us love them or hate them or feel as if we know them by the time the story ends. Nothing in the book is ‘filler material’ which I appreciate in a read. If you adore history and captivating characters, love stories and personal journeys, and if you appreciate a writer who takes the time to develop a story worth reading, you need to pick up this book, tout suite!