I will read anything by Jocelyn Green! She always has such spectacular historical detail! The Mark of the King begins in France and Juliane is a midwife. Overconfidence and a jealousy of fellow midwife result in the death of one of Juliane’s patients. She is branded a murderer and sent to the Louisiana colony. The purpose to send prisoners over is to help populate their colony, so Juliane is assigned a husband and forced to marry. While she hates her situation, she is hopeful that she will find her brother, Benjamin who is a soldier in the colony. No one is prepared for the conditions that await them. France sends little to no provisions, add in the weather and hostile relations with the Indigenous peoples and it makes for a difficult adjustment. Plus, she is determined to hide her mark that is on her shoulder so she isn’t shunned by this community too. Only heartbreak awaits her and she has to turn to Marc-Paul, a soldier for help.
Trigger Warnings: rape, murder, miscarriage, child-loss, colonization
Well, if you are looking for your heart to be broken, then this is the book for you! There is only so much a person can take! There is trauma and danger at every turn for Juliane. While she does take it all in grace—which is the purpose of the story, I just felt like it is an impossible standard. However, like I said before, I love the historical detail, especially in how the colony of Louisiana came to be. The author does a fantastic job at discussing the horrors of colonization and how the real victims were the Indigenous peoples. The British and the French used the Indigenous tribes to fight their wars for them, then committed genocide, and wiped out their cultures.
The author also discusses the treatment of women during this time and men of this time thought one thing: Women are breeders. Their job is to procreate and ask for redemption of their sins but with the sins of men…just turn the other cheek. Overall, I could not stop listening to this book! The narrator’s voice is a little nasally but I got used to it. I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.
Also, please forgive any errors, my power is out and I can’t use my laptop.