Review: To Serve a King by Donna Russo Morin

by Donna Russo Morin

Publication Date:  January 25, 2011
Kensington Publishing


From her earliest days, Genevieve Gravois has known one fact above all: Francis I, king of France, is her enemy. Raised by her embittered aunt after her parents' deaths, Genevieve has been schooled in things no woman should know: how to decipher codes, how to use a dagger and a bow, and how to kill. For Henry VIII has a destiny in mind for the young girl--as his most powerful and dangerous spy.

When the time is ripe, Genevieve enters the magnificent world of the French court. With grace to match her ambition, she becomes maid of honor to Anne de Pisseleau, King Francis's mistress. Yet neither the court--which teems with artistry and enlightenment as well as intrigue--nor Francis himself are at all what Genevieve expected. And with her mission, her life, and the fate of two kingdoms at stake, she will be forced to make deadly decisions about where her heart and her ultimate loyalties lie.


Author Donna Russo Morin brings intrigue to the court of King Francois I of France in her third historical novel, To Serve a King.

Young Genevieve’s life changes when her parents are killed in a fire at the Field of the Cloth of Gold and King Henry VIII decides she is to be reborn as a spy, his own “beautiful weapon”. Raised in seclusion, by a cold and callous woman she knows as her aunt, Genevieve is taught how to decipher messages, weaponry and languages. Also brainwashed into believing King Francois I killed her parents and that King Henry VIII is an all-powerful supreme being, she would do anything to avenge her family and please her benefactor, which means infiltrating the court of Francois I as a lady in waiting to Anne d’Heilly, the king’s mistress.

But Francois I is not the monster she had been expecting. A learned man and patron of the arts, Francois is a true Renaissance king and the fact that he is also charming, generous and sincere is unarming to Genevieve. She had been bred to believe the worst of this man and here he was slowly becoming a father figure to her, causing Genevieve to question her mission and torn between the two biggest forces in her life.

To Serve a King is a thoroughly enjoyable and engrossing read! I loved the quotes that began every chapter, the characters were well developed and the descriptions of Francois’ opulent court were breathtaking. I loved reading about Francois I and now want to know more about him. A fast paced read with a clever and tenacious protagonist, I found it hard to put down! Any fan of historical mysteries will love this exciting read by Donna Russo Morin!

For more information, please visit Donna Russo Morin's WEBSITE.

If you'd like to win a copy of To Serve a King, I have one up for grabs!  Click HERE to enter the giveaway plus read an interview with Donna Russo Morin.  Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY and ends on February 5th.




  1. I would love to read this. I hope I win...

  2. Donna Russo Morin may only have three books out, but they are books to be proud of. I love a good mystery and lots of historical detail. I look forward to reading the description of the court.

    Thank you for the review.

  3. It is very interesting when a character is torn between decisions of such force as is portrayed in To Serve a King. These type of dilemmas remind us starkly of our own lives, and we connect well to the work. A similar account can be given for the book The Scorpion's Bite by Aileen G. Baron. The main character, an intrepid archeologist, discovers a secret oil reserve in the Trans-Jordan Desert and has decide what she must do to report against a hidden war.

  4. You keep coming up with all of these winners, Amy! I can't keep up :)

  5. Lovely review -- the earlier interview had me excited but your thoughts sealed the deal! :)

  6. Great review. Her second book made me take notice, and now I really want to try one of her books

  7. I can't wait to read this one - it's sits on my review shelf calling to me!

  8. This review has me even more excited about this book. Francois life and court offers so much for the HF reader, I am surprised there are not books principally about him. The only recent book I can think of is Robin Maxwell's Mademoiselle Boleyn, which features a young Francois and his Queen Claude, along with the two Boleyn sisters.

  9. Rena McGrath

    I enjoyed Secrets of the Glass and look forward to having a chance of winning To Serve a King. The court of Francois I was full of romance and intrigue. Please count me in. I've shared on facebook.

  10. The most exciting time in history and I cannot read enough about it. Do hope to be a winner.


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