To Dance with Kings
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

To Dance with Kings

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  1,752 ratings  ·  131 reviews
On 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...more
Paperback, 624 pages
Published May 22nd 2007 by Broadway Books (first published 1988)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about To Dance with Kings, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about To Dance with Kings

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Meh. A good friend of mine (whose opinion I seriously respect) has been recommending I read this book for YEARS. I finally borrowed it and I have to say, I'm a little underwhelmed.

Like most have written, the concept of this book is brilliant: following four generations of women through Versailles. The problem is the execution. I couldn't really get invested in any of their stories and Laker's writing is really awful. I like a trashy romance as much as the next person, but I found myself rolling...more
4.5 Stars
This is an intricately told tale set during the reigns of Louis XIV, XV & XVI with a backdrop of the splendours of the French court, culminating with the turbulence & horror of the French Revolution. This sweeping saga chronicles the rise and fall of Versialles, spanning four generations of women from the one family, Marguerite, Jasmin, Violette and Rose, all of whose destinies are entwined with those of their monarchs.

Rosalind Laker's superb imagery and historical accuracy brin...more
Feb 14, 2014 Sandra rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
800 strani iscitani so zadovolstvo ... Poveke traese ama vredese..
Многу ми се допадна!Повторно би ја читала..... и повторно..... и повторно.........
First Sentence: "With the crimson, emerald and purple plumes of their hats streaming out behind them, four young men rode at speed into the village of Versailles one May morning in 1664, scattering squawking geese in their path."

To Dance with Kings follows 5 generations of women in France. Jeanne is a peasant woman whose chance meeting with 4 musketeers in the village of Versailles on the day of her daughter's birth makes her dream for an aristocratic life for her daughter she would have never...more
I tried, but I never could be swept off my feet by this one. The characters all seemed to blend together: when the women were young, they all had the same characteristics. As they got older, they all matured into a different set of same characteristics. Many actions and reactions seemed slightly off -- some from their historical counterparts (like Marie Antoinette) and some just from general human behavior. And the various romances and relationships never seemed to have any foundation, and there...more
I have to admit that I read this book YEARS ago but I remember LOVING it and recommending it to tastes change and I would imagine I would still enjoy it but perhaps it would be a 4 instead? I don't know. I can only go based on memory. Perhaps I'll pick it up and read it again.
May 18, 2014 Deslyn1262 rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: yes
Recommended to Deslyn1262 by: book club selection
This is the book which got me hooked on historical romances. I bought it through a monthly book club in 1989 and I read it so many times over the years that it fell apart. Although I have tons of books on my ereader, I recently order another hard copy for my library. History, romance, political upheaval and engaging characters all skillfully combined in this masterpiece. If you love historical romances you should read this book.

I was transported to the French court with the detailed descriptions...more
I read this book because it popped up on a search for books similar to Pillars of the Earth and World Without End. Somewhat similar genre, but nowhere NEAR as good as POtE or WWE. I liked the descriptions of style of clothing and court life of Versailles.
I absolutely loved this novel!!! The story of Chateaux Versailles' royal court during the reigns of three kings and told through the lives of four generations of woman!!! A must read for any historical fiction fan!!! So, so sad that the journey is over!!!
May 16, 2014 Lucrezia rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Historical Fiction Fans!!!
Here is my review on my blog:
Angela J
Definitely a good book with great historical facts!
Becky R.
As far as epic stories go, this story of Versailles at its height of glory was such a great read. Starting with Versailles as nothing more than a hunting lodge, being built and expanded, we come to be attached with the first daughter, Marguerite. Her life unfolds with love and tragedy, followed by her child and so forth. Each generation has its own challenges, loves, and back stories, so each new story just adds more to an already engaged storyline.

I really loved the long, epic sweep of this st...more
Maia B.
After three hundred pages I gave up.

This isn't because I don't like long books. I do. Emma, Gone With the Wind, The Once and Future King - all long books, and all among my favorites (well, GWtW isn't, but I do really like it). The reason I bought this one was because it was long and it looked silly and it would admirably fill a few long summer days.

Not really.

It's a multi-generational story, but what this really means is that it would be ten times better as a series of four books. Violette, from...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 20, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those Who Love Historical Romance
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
This follows four generations of mothers and daughters from 1664 to 1793 and is set in Versailles through three reigns from the Sun King to Marie Antoinette, from the age of Lully and Moliere to that of Mozart and Voltaire to that of Robespierre.

It begins with the birth of Marguerite, the daughter of an artisan and a fan maker; she's named by a drunken musketeer who jokes he'll be back for her when she's seventeen. Her mother Jean takes the joke seriously though, and raises her daughter to expe...more
I really enjoyed this book! If you're on the fence in reading this one, I'd say go for it! For you speedy readers, it'll take you no time at all!

This story spans four generations of women; Marguerite, Jasmin, Violette and Rose and their connections to the French court in Versailles under the rule of Louis XIV, XV, ending with XVI and the French revolution. Lesser in the typical 'erotic' style storyline/writing that I normally prefer reading- this one was a refreshing change in genre! I loved th...more
This was a very long story and still I liked it. The story and characters were good. It took place over four generations which made it always changing and interesting. The dilemas and predicaments the characters faced being in such close proximity to that much power also made it interesting and heartbreaking at times. A remarkable thing to note is that every single character in the book gazed at one another "up through long and lush lashes" (is that possible?)which must have been a real hoot if...more
I came across this book one day at the library of my high school in my sophomore year (more than 20 years ago). The cover caught my eye, so it became the one and only book I checked out of my high school library.

I started the book later that night and had a hard time putting it down. Two days later I finished it and so started my appetite for reading mass quantities of books. I did read when I was younger too, but being a teenager kind of got in the way for awhile. Another thing that started whe...more
Yossra kerkeb
To Dance with Kings was recommended to me by friend who kept on insisting I read this. I was reticent at first but I'm glad I gave it a shot.
The story takes place in Versailles and starts when Louis XIV ruled until the French revolution. So basically what we have is Jeanne Drémont a peasant's wife in the village of Versailles,specialised in the making of fans.
Jeanne has wanted a child for a long time and is giving birth to her daughter in the beginning of the story. While she's,actually,givi...more
Beth Bedee
This is definitely a sweeping saga. It follows the lives of 4 generations of women through their connection with the court at Versailles. I enjoyed it.

I felt more connected to some women than others, but that's what reading about characters is all about. I couldn't put down the section on Jasmine because I felt her story was so tragic. I also enjoyed Rose's story because I'm obsessed with the French Revolution, although she angered me at times with her stubbornness.

I liked how the common theme...more
At over 600 pages, this novel is an epic saga that follows several generations of women throughout the Versailles era. It effectively depicts the roles and plight of women at the time, and the history very interesting.

Although the novel is engaging and I wanted to keep reading to know 'what happens next?,' I wasn't clear on the 'what am I reading for?' part. When I read a book, I need to know why I keep reading. Is it to know what happens to the main character? Is it to know if love conquers al...more
Whitney Millirons
This book did not have me until more than half-way through it (spoiler alert). A young woman is sent away to be married to a man who does not want her. Both are banished from court for some folly. During the years of her marriage, her husband never speaks to her. Not once. Until he is dying of smallpox, collapsed on the staircase, does he open his mouth to her, to beg for help. She turns on her heel and leaves him there. Love the book for that scene alone.
In the mood for a big, well populated, well upholstered, well written historical novel? How about To Dance with Kings by Rosalind Laker? The plot is packed with enough coincidences, bed hopping, riches, poverty, sacrifice, bastards, sleaze, violence, back stabbing, thwarted love, food, ambition and fabulous gowns to keep a reader quite entertained and a little dizzy.

Things don't get much more dramatic or opulent than a novel set at Versailles between the Louies XIV and XVI and Laker makes the mo...more
This was a "perchance" book I found at my local Goodwill Store. It is a poignant story during the reign of King Louis XIV. A peasant women determined to present her daughter, Margerite, to the king's court. Being successful, we get to peek at the life at court and romance that developes within the court of the King. The rich details of the court and their lifestyles, dress, and the royal scandals is riveting. I resarche Rosalind Laker and discovered she wrote more historical "romances' but not t...more
Robin (RBBR)
Its been ages since I read this one and therefore can't remember any specific details other than what the blurb says. I did remember prior to reading the blurb as an attempt to refresh my memory about specifics that struck me over 20 years ago that it was multi-generational and the heroine's of each generation are related and each was in the Palace of Versailles during one of the Louis' well actually the first one wasn't. Anyway, I think the main reason I liked this one is it told the story of a...more
Is it just me or does Laker use the term gilded to explain everything!....still reading it.

Now that I have finished my overall opinion of the book is a positive one. The term gilded is very much overused, but the story is engaging. I found it interesting how a single book spans four generations of readers. I thought that I wouldn't want to leave the story of the first round of characters, but it was written so that it flowed from one story to the next. The history intertwined is intriguing and t...more
In my senior year of high school, I went on a binge of fat historical fiction books. (A binge I haven't stopped to this day, three years later). I remember loving this one the most. Laker is either crazy or brilliant to use so many different generations. The fact that she can pull it off so wonderfully shows that she is a genius. I loved how she intertwined the different historical events from over a hundred years of Versailles history into the lives of the three protagonists. I rooted each one...more
I don't even remember how old I was when I started reading this book, but lets just say it's been many, many, many years ago. Every once in a while I have to pull it back out and read it again just to relieve the experiences and emotion this book brings out.

I have loved everything about Versailles since I was a young girl, and this book satisfies all of it. When I finally got the chance to visit Versailles in high school I cried as I thought about the characters from the book and the real life...more
Grace H.E. Kang
This review made it feel like you were there throughout the different girls lives... well except violet because she didn't play that major of a role.

but the story itself was intersting and i found myself feeling sad (though only mainly for the first girl. her daughters that followed didn't have as much as an impact on me)and at the same time at a loss of words at the ... difference of the french's nature to the community i was and am more used to.

the details were wonderful and made the french c...more
I have always held a fascination with Versailles. In the realm of Louis XIV or so called Sun King, it was a rundown hunting lodge. The Sun King loved the idea of controlling his courtiers and supplanting Paris with Versailles as the capitol of France and the center of the civilized world. He began renovating and the task was picked up by his successor, his great grandson. Continued on by his descendants,all under the name of Louis, it was never truly completed but until the Revolution it had bee...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Mistress of the Revolution
  • Annette Vallon: A Novel of the French Revolution
  • Mistress of the Sun
  • Courtesan
  • Royal Harlot: A Novel of the Countess Castlemaine and King Charles II
  • Before Versailles: A Novel of Louis XIV
  • Finding Emilie
  • Madame Serpent (Catherine de Medici, #1)
  • The Courtier's Secret
  • Legacy
  • Daughters of the Grail
  • The Princess of Nowhere
  • Blood Royal
  • Lady of the Butterflies
A pseudonym used by Barbara Øvstedal.

Barbara Ovstedal was an author previously writing under the pseudonym Barbara Paul and Barbara Douglas. She wrote a few books under this pseudonym but later changed to Rosalind Laker when Barbara Paul gained recognition. Her many books include The Sugar Pavilion and To Dance with Kings.
More about Rosalind Laker...
The Venetian Mask The Golden Tulip Circle Of Pearls Banners of Silk The Sugar Pavilion

Share This Book