From the moment I saw the title and read the synopsis, I was enthusiastic to read “The Mark of the King” by Jocelyn Green, and could hardly wait for Bethany House to release it. When the opportunity came to review the novel, I was delighted! While it wasn’t quite what I had been expecting, in many ways it was even better. Powerful and engaging writing, vibrant imagery, and unforgettably dynamic characters combine to make this book a classic in the making. It wasn’t an easy story to read, nor was it a light, humorous, or “happy” novel, but it was powerful. Oh my, was it powerful. . .
“The Mark of the King” is set in the early 1700s, first in France and later in the newly formed colony of Louisiana – New Orleans, in specific. Before reading this story, I hadn’t realized how harsh and often unforgiving this new land really was, but Jocelyn Green held nothing back. While some of the scenes involving the harshness of this time, place, and people were rather distressing – some bordering on inappropriate for Christian Fiction – I understand why each one needed to be included. Practically every scene in this book was so filled with description that the entire book was almost movie-like in its tangibility. Of course, that made the harshness, the tragedy, and the ugliness of evil people even more difficult to read. In the end, however, the light of God’s truth, love, grace, and forgiveness shone through in glorious brilliance.
I would recommend “The Mark of the King” to any mature fan of Christian Historical Fiction. The adventure, mystery, and drama combine to make it nearly impossible to put down. But I also must remind you that while this book is truly beautiful in many ways, it is also harsh and tragic. And it is real. Although I have never before read any of Jocelyn Green’s writing, I am amazed at her ability to draw her readers in and engross them so completely in a story they will want to read again and again. Honestly, I believe that “The Mark of the King” will one day be a classic, and most deservedly so.
“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”