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Download Before Versailles: A Novel of Louis XIV Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Before Versailles: A Novel of Louis XIV Audiobook, by Karleen Koen Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (908 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Karleen Koen Narrator: Grover Gardner Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2011 ISBN: 9781470802103
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New York Times bestselling author Karleen Koen offers another delightful historical novel that will transport you to another time and place.

Louis XIV is one of the best-known monarchs ever to grace the French throne. But what was he like as a young man—the man before Versailles?

After the death of his prime minister, Cardinal Mazarin, twenty-two-year-old Louis steps in to govern France. He’s still a young man, but one who, as king, willfully takes everything he can get—including his brother’s wife. As the love affair between Louis and Princess Henriette burns, it sets the kingdom on the road to unmistakable scandal and conflict with the Vatican. Every woman wants him. He must face what he is willing to sacrifice for love.

But there are other problems lurking outside the chateau of Fontainebleau: a boy in an iron mask has been seen in the woods, and the king’s finance minister, Nicolas Fouquet, has proven more powerful than Louis ever thought—a man who could make a great ally or become a dangerous foe.

Meticulously researched and brought vividly to life by the gorgeous prose of Karleen Koen, Before Versailles dares to explore the forces that shaped an iconic king and determined the fate of an empire.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “In this magnificently written and researched novel, Karleen Koen brings to vibrant life the early years and loves of the future Sun King.”

    Jean M. Auel, New York Times bestselling author

  • Before Versailles captivated me from start to finish! With exquisite finesse, Karleen Koen weaves history and myth into a sumptuous portrait of young Louis XIV, his intrigue-laden court, and the passionate, ambitious, often dangerous women who loved him.”

    C. W. Gortner, author of The Last Queen

  •  “This is a powerful, rich telling of a few months in the life of King Louis XIV. How clever to pick these particular months when so much is changed…It’s enthralling, fascinating, and wonderful story telling…Bravo!”

    Romance Reviews

  • “Following solidly in the footsteps of Dumas…with her focus on the time just before Louis becomes the unrivaled Sun King, [Koen] finds the era ripe for intrigue and romance.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “With a handsome ruler as charismatic as Britain’s Henry Tudor, this focused retelling of the emergence of the Sun King will attract fans of the English king as well as Francophiles.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Period detail and costumes abound throughout this lively royal romp.”

    Booklist

  • A Library Journal Best Book

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ashley | 2/19/2014

    " A little slow to get into but then it really picked up and I liked it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jami Buchanan | 2/12/2014

    " I loved this book. As someone who adores Tudor historical fiction, this book ranked right up there with The Other Boleyn Girl. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carrie | 1/21/2014

    " I loved this book! The ending left me a little bummed as you don't really know what happened or why but I guess that is because we don't know why in history either. But it was a real page turner if you like historical fiction. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Beth | 12/31/2013

    " Did not enjoy this one -- have loved all of Koen's other books. Read to pg. 100 -- felt like this one was very repetitive and just rambling along -- no interest in continuing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 12/21/2013

    " An interesting insight into 4 months at the beginning of Louis XIV's reign with all the palace intrigue. Makes me want to know a little more about what happened next so I will be looking for another book on the life of Louis. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Courtnie | 11/28/2013

    " I love historical fiction! I don't know much about French history but I really enjoyed this book. This was about Louis the XIV early life. It did just end so I am assuming that another book is coming about Louis XIV later life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Siobhan | 11/27/2013

    " Quietly enjoyable historical novel set in the early days of Louis XIV's court. The first 250 pages or so were spent setting up the chess pieces, then things take off and start to get more exciting. Rather disappointed in the ending--it stops short. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 C | 11/24/2013

    " I have always been a devotee of English historical fiction and non-fiction, but after reading this novel, I now feel compelled to read more about French history and Louis XIV's reign in particular. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Deanna | 11/21/2013

    " I just could not get into this novel, no matter how hard I tried. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle | 11/20/2013

    " Fabulous... Would love to see this author continue this story from where she leaves it. *sigh* "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Milli | 11/12/2013

    " i forgot i read one of her books before and found it one of the most difficult, boring, and dry books to read. i appreciate her concern for historical detail, and trying to capture the essence of the period, but i really trudged through this one. now i am way behind on my reading goal :( "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 7/31/2013

    " I really enjoyed this story of 4 months in the reign of Louis XIV when he was 22 years old. It shines a light on life in the court and the game of influence peddling and corruption. Similar to the Wolf Hall plot but in France with sex. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Catherine | 6/30/2013

    " The best kind of historical fiction- draws you in and keeps you reading right up until the last page. Fascinating look at the early days of Louis XIV's reign. Loved this and ready for the next installment. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ashley Hall | 5/15/2013

    " Absolutely loved this book! I've been looking hard after reading 2 books around the French Revolution for more historical novels about France. I have just bought two more books by this author and look forward to reading them! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jamea | 7/29/2012

    " I enjoyed Koen's book but not to the degree of other books by her. I did find it informative historically and recommend it in that respect. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sarah | 5/28/2012

    " It was enjoyable to read, and I thought Louis was fascinating as a character. His transformation into a serious leader, and the changes that entailed in him was my favorite part. "

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About the Author
Author Karleen KoenKarleen Koen is the author of Now Face to Face and Through a Glass Darkly, which was a New York Times bestseller and featured a much older Alice Verney (known in that novel as the Duchess of Tamworth). The author lives in Houston, Texas. Visit her online at karleenkoen.com.
About the Narrator

Grover Gardner (a.k.a. Tom Parker) is an award-winning narrator with over eight hundred titles to his credit. Named one of the “Best Voices of the Century” and a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine, he has won three prestigious Audie Awards, was chosen Narrator of the Year for 2005 by Publishers Weekly, and has earned more than thirty Earphones Awards.