Amy Recommends: To Dance with Kings by Rosalind Laker

Amy Recommends is a new feature here at Passages to the Past where I highlight my favorite historical fiction reads.  There are a lot of books I read previous to starting this blog, ones that I highly recommend and this is my chance to tell you about them!

First up is a book that had me captivated from the first page to the last, one that had me running back to it every chance I had, no matter if it was only for a few minutes.  I remember staying up until the wee hours of morning to finish it and that's saying something for me who is fanatical about getting sleep!

To Dance with Kings is an exquisitely written story that combines family drama, romance, history, life in the French court, and all against the fantastic backdrop of Versailles.  You will not be disappointed!

To Dance with Kings
by Rosalind Laker

Publication Date:  May 22, 2007
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

SYNOPSISOn a May morning in 1664, in the small village of Versailles, as hundreds of young aristocrats are coming to pay court to King Louis XIV, a peasant fan-maker gives birth to her first and only child, Marguerite. Determined to give her daughter a better life than the one she herself has lived, the young mother vows to break the newborn’s bonds of poverty and ensure that she fulfills her destiny—to dance with kings. Purely by chance, a drunken nobleman witnesses the birth and makes a reckless promise to return for Marguerite in seventeen years. With those fateful words, events are set into motion that will span three monarchies, affecting the lives of four generations of women.

Marguerite becomes part of the royal court of the Sun King, but her fairy-tale existence is torn out from under her by a change of political winds. Jasmin, Marguerite’s daughter, is born to the life of privilege her grandmother dreamed of, but tempts fate by daring to catch the eye of the king. Violette, Marguerite’s granddaughter, is drawn to the nefarious side of life among the nobles at Versailles. And Rose, Violette’s daughter, becomes a lady-in-waiting and confidante to Marie Antoinette. Through Rose, a love lost generations before will come full circle, even as the ground beneath Versailles begins to rumble with the chaos of the coming revolution.

An epic generational tale of loves lost, promises kept, dreams broken, and monarchies shattered, To Dance with Kings is a story of passion and privilege, humble beginnings and limitless ambition.

Other books by Rosalind Laker:

The Venetian Mask (another one that I recommend, will be highlighted at another time)
The Golden Tulip (I own this, but haven't read yet)
Circle of Pearls (I own this, but haven't read yet)
Garlands of Gold
New World, New Love
The Sugar Pavillion
The Silver Touch
Banners of Silk (I own this, but haven't read yet)
Orchids and Diamonds
Tree of Gold
This Shining Land
The Warwycks of Easthampton
Warwycks Woman
Warwycks Choice
Jewelled Path
What the Heart Keeps
Smuggler's Bride
Ride the Blue Riband
The Fortuny Gown
Gilded Splendour
Claudine's Daughter
The Fragile Hour
The Seventeenth Stair
Far Seeks the Heart
To Dream of Snow



  1. Cool new feature, Amy! I have heard great things about Rosalind Laker's books, this one in particular. I keep meaning to pick it up from a bookstore. Thanks for reminding me :)

  2. This book sounds one that you just can't put down. I'll have to look for this one...thanks Amy! Have a great weekend, fondly, Roberta

  3. Love this feature! I am always looking for new books to add to my TBR pile!
    Colleen T.

  4. Thanks for the tip re this author. New to me.

  5. Very prolific, eh?
    Sounds fascinating...just what I needed. ANOTHER author to discover.
    erm, THANKS?

  6. Great new feature. You should have started earlier :)

    Sounds like a gr8 book and this is a new to me author too! Will definitely look out for this ome here!

  7. Great new feature!
    I read this book years ago and really liked it.
    Looking forward to your other recommendations!

  8. I loved this one too. I've also read Garlands of Gold but found it just ok. Might try The Venetian Mask next, thanks :-)

  9. Good new feature and good recommendation. It will either add more books to my TBR pile or cause me to dig through what I own to find one I haven't yet read.

  10. I haven't read any Rosalind Laker before!

  11. This sounds fascinating. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. It is going right on the TBR list!

  12. Uh oh. This feature will be the death of me. I too have never read Laker.

  13. Oh, sad! I got rid of all my Laker books before reading the majority of them (I think I had four?) because I started reading Venetian Mask- which I see you really enjoyed- and just couldn't finish it. Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks, I guess!

  14. I couldn't agree more Amy. The first time I read this book was in 1988 when it first came out. I still have that hard cover copy and, according to my scripplings, the next will be my fifth reading. Couldn't recommend another book more for historical fiction lovers. Ms. Laker is indeed one of my greatest influences in becoming a historical fiction writer. Looking forward to more of your recommendations.


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