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Extended Audio Sample Dark Angels: A Novel 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 (2,033 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Karleen Koen Narrator: Rosalyn Landor Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2006 ISBN: 9780739332474
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Alice Verney is a young woman intent on achieving her dreams. Having left Restoration England in the midst of a messy scandal, she has been living in Louis XIV’s Baroque, mannered France for two years. Now she is returning home to England and anxious to re-establish herself quickly. First, she will regain her former position as a maid of honor to Charles II’s queen. Then she will marry the most celebrated duke of the Restoration, putting herself in a position to attain power she’s only dreamed of. As a duchess, Alice will be able to make or break her friends and enemies at will.

But all is not as it seems in the rowdy, merry court of Charles II. Since the Restoration, old political alliances have frayed, and there are whispers that the king is moving to divorce his barren queen, who some wouldn’t mind seeing dead. But Alice, loyal only to a select few, is devoted to the queen, and so sets out to discover who might be making sinister plans, and if her own father is one of them. When a member of the royal family dies unexpectedly, and poison is suspected, the stakes are raised. Alice steps up her efforts to find out who is and isn’t true to the queen, learns of shocking betrayals throughout court, and meets a man that she may be falling in love with—and who will spoil all of her plans. With the suspected arrival of a known poison-maker, the atmosphere in the court electrifies, and suddenly the safety of the king himself seems uncertain. Secret plots are at play, and war is on the horizon—but will it be with the Dutch or the French? And has King Charles himself betrayed his country for greed?

The long-awaited prequel to Koen’s beloved Through a Glass Darkly, Dark Angels is a feast of a novel that sparkles with all the passion, extravagance, danger, and scandal of seventeenth-century England. Unforgettable in its dramatic force, here is a novel of love and politics, of romance and betrayal, of power and succession—and of a resourceful young woman who risks everything for pride and status in an era in which women were afforded little of either.

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Quotes & Awards

  • A delicious and dark adventure set within the magnificent sweep of the seventeenth-century courts of Charles II of England and Louis XIV of France. Koen’s excellent research and fully drawn characters bring to life the lavish wealth and glamour, the scheming, and the deeply human emotions of a fascinating era. Jean M. Auel, New York Times bestselling author of The Shelters of Stone
  • I loved Dark Angels, I absolutely gobbled it up! Reading it is like stepping into a time machine that sweeps you back to all the drama and intrigue of the English Restoration. The characters are so vivid, the period detail incredible and the plot is completely riveting; a powerful blend of history, romance, adventure and mystery. Susan Carroll, author of The Courtesan 
     
  • Grand and sweeping in the tradition of Forever Amber, the author immerses the reader in history, romance, suspense and the deep, dark secrets of the human heart. Dark Angels is an engrossing novel of royal and racy Restoration England. A triumph! Karen Harper, USA Today bestselling author of The Last Boleyn
  • A richly-textured novel that brings to life the extravagant, scandalous court of Charles II, Dark Angels sweeps the reader into a world in which ambition and betrayal are commonplace–but love is not. Fans of Dorothy Dunnett and Anya Seton will revel in this sumptuous page-turner! India Edgehill, author of Wisdom’s Daughter
  • “A delicious and dark adventure set within the magnificent sweep of the seventeenth-century courts of Charles II of England and Louis XIV of France. Koen’s excellent research and fully drawn characters bring to life the lavish wealth and glamour, the scheming, and the deeply human emotions of a fascinating era.”

    Jean M. Auel, New York Times bestselling author of The Shelters of Stone

  • “I loved Dark Angels, I absolutely gobbled it up! Reading it is like stepping into a time machine that sweeps you back to all the drama and intrigue of the English Restoration. The characters are so vivid, the period detail incredible, and the plot is completely riveting; a powerful blend of history, romance, adventure, and mystery.”

    Susan Carroll, author of The Courtesan

  • “Grand and sweeping in the tradition of Forever Amber, the author immerses the reader in history, romance, suspense, and the deep, dark secrets of the human heart. Dark Angels is an engrossing novel of royal and racy Restoration England. A triumph!”

    Karen Harper, USA Today bestselling author of The Last Boleyn

  • “A richly-textured novel that brings to life the extravagant, scandalous court of Charles II, Dark Angels sweeps the reader into a world in which ambition and betrayal are commonplace—but love is not. Fans of Dorothy Dunnett and Anya Seton will revel in this sumptuous page-turner!”

    India Edgehill, author of Wisdom’s Daughter

  • “Alice is compellingly drawn, and Koen creates a detail-rich setting for her to express her vibrant personality.”

    Booklist

  • “Koen’s deep knowledge of world politics and daily life during the Restoration contributes to the strength of her writing, which appears undiminished by her time off. Her handling of romance is delicate, with passion confined to a few kisses and clearly peripheral to the plot. The real focus is scandalous intrigue, much of it based on historical fact…Dark Angeles is a richly imagined historical romance.”

    Bookmarks

  • “Koen knows her material and painstakingly recreates the Restoration period. Her large cast—both historical and fictional—are sharply rendered, and the larger-than-life. Alice makes a memorable heroine…Koen blends history, mystery, and romance to craft a historical romance that will delight fans of the genre.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amber Star Carter | 1/29/2014

    " That was such a great read, I think I'll begin again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jen (RevJen) | 1/29/2014

    " It was good. Well written. I just didn't like the main character. I thought she was spoiled and jealous of everyone around her. If she didn't have something, no one else should. Perhaps it was because she was still young throughout most of the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maria | 1/25/2014

    " This felt like a knock off of Phillippa Gregory- not as well written and a bit convoluted at times. Of course that didn't stop me from devouring it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cara | 1/21/2014

    " Prequel to Through a Glass Darkly - one of my favorites! Dark Angels came out many years after Through a Glass Darkly. I would recommend reading them in chronological order. Loved it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leah | 1/10/2014

    " Historical fiction is fascinating! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ann K. | 1/1/2014

    " This book was set in Charles the 2nd's court and it was more about plotting, sex and personal advancement. There was some goodness in the main character so that was refreshing. It the first of three books and I will read the 2nd. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alisa | 9/29/2013

    " Solid historical fiction. At times predictable, but well characterized and fun to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shanna | 9/29/2013

    " I actually give this 3.5 stars, it was good but not quite as good as Karleen's other 2 novels I read previously. This one was a tad bit slower and not quite as dramatic but still great. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda Wulf | 9/3/2013

    " Looking forward to reading the prequel! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joann Browning | 5/26/2011

    " good historical novel,a quick read that is very entertaining. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrea | 2/25/2011

    " I loved this book. I want so much more of Alice's story. The next book picks up when she is an old woman and you get glimpses of what happened during her adulthood. I crave so much more. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan McDuffie | 12/14/2010

    " Totally enjoyable; I loved the vivid writing, and the flawed yet engaging characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elyse | 11/11/2010

    " Set in Restoration England and the court of Charles II. A real page turner with juicy plot twists, intrigue and racy interludes. Very fun to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maryellen Wilson | 6/27/2010

    " Set in Restoration times; historical novel with great research and compelling characters. Must now look for the sequil "Through a Glass Darkly." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 September | 10/13/2009

    " Great book! A prequel that is better than the other two books in the series... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sheri | 8/22/2009

    " Didn't like this one as much as the other two in the series. I think if I had of read it as the prequel first instead of last it might have been better but I found it hard to keep track of everyone. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Katherine | 7/20/2009

    " Having trouble getting started with this one. Read the first few chapters last night and though this is my absolute favorite genre, I'm just not getting into this one... Hmmmm, have decided to put this one down and start something else. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Charlotte | 9/9/2008

    " If you like historical fiction I enjoy Phillipa Gregory much much more!! "

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About the Author
Author Karleen Koen

Karleen Koen is the New York Times bestselling author of Through a Glass Darkly, of which two million copies have been sold in the US alone. It was on the New York Times bestseller list for five consecutive months. She is also the author of its sequel, Now Face to Face, and its prequel, Dark Angels, a BookSense pick. She lives in Houston, Texas.

About the Narrator

Rosalyn Landor has won twelve AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a finalist for the Audie Award. She has worked as an actor since the age of seven, both in Europe and the United States. Her extensive list of credits includes leading roles in film, theater, and audio productions, as well as in various miniseries on all the major television networks and in such productions as Masterpiece Theatre’s Sherlock Holmes and Rumpole of the Bailey.