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Dark Angels (Through a Glass Darkly #1)

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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  3,052 ratings  ·  263 reviews
Alice Verney is a young woman intent on achieving her dreams. Having left Restoration England in the midst of a messy scandal, she has been living in Louis XIV’s Baroque, mannered France for two years. Now she is returning home to England and anxious to re-establish herself quickly. First, she will regain her former position as a maid of honor to Charles II’s queen. Then s ...more
ebook, 544 pages
Published September 5th 2006 by Broadway Books (first published 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Navessa
I love this book. I can't say enough about it. I've read it and re-read it and will continue to go back to it. The supporting characters that are based on real historical figures were well researched and their stories (Charles II, Madame) are a pleasing mix of historical fact and fictional intrigue.

The main character, Alice Verney, isn't the most likeable person in the beginning. She can be petty, vindictive and scheming but as the book continues and her history is revealed you begin to underst
...more
Kelly
Since it had been so long since the publication of "Now Face to Face," the sequel to "Through a Glass Darkly," I was operating under the dim reminiscences of books I read twenty years ago, which were favorable enough that I picked this one up with alacrity. Once I picked it up, I was trapped in it.

Here the main character is the architect of everything that happens in the other two books (to an extent): the woman who becomes the duchess of Tamworth, whose granddaughter Barbara is the focus of the
...more
Misfit
3.5 or 4 stars? I'm torn and still thinking about it.

I read this book when it first came out (rated it five at that time), but at that time I had not read Through a Glass Darkly, which Koen wrote long before this 'prequel'. In Dark Angels Alice is a young maid in waiting to the Charles' younger sister Minette, and then after her unexpected death (not a spoiler, that's historical fact) she goes to the household of Charles' neglected queen.

Oh well, there are enough reviews recapping the story. Th
...more
Anna
This is the prequel to Through a Glass Darkly, where Alice is the formidable Duchess of Tamworth, glorious matriarchal grandmother of that book’s heroine. Dark Angels is the story of young Alice, and I expected it to be a similarly written riotous romp full of spirited characterisations, and charting the big romance between Alice and her beloved Richard.

It was nothing like that. Instead of being primarily about them, it centred more around the plottings and intrigues, both personal and political
...more
HÜLYA
Başlarda beni biraz sıktı çok fazla detay vardı ama okumayı bırakmadım.Ve iyi ki bırakmamışım muhteşem bir kitap saray entirkaları,kişisel hırsları,aşk ve tutkuyu saray halkının ahlaksızlığını her şeyi anlatıyor.Yazar olayları o kadar iyi kurgulamış ki elimden bırakamadım.17.Yüzyıl İngiltere'sini okumuyorsunuz resmen yaşıyorsunuz.Yazarın yakın takipçisi olacağım dan emin olabilirsiniz. Historical değil bu roman tam anlamıyla bir tarih romanı,sanki bir belgesel gibi. Romandaki kadın karakter olan ...more
Jenny Brown
I loved this book!

I had put off reading it because many of the negative reviews had made me think it would be a lesser book than Through a Glass Darkly and Now Face to Face. In fact, I thought it was a better book. But I'm coming to realize that there is a younger reader who doesn't seem to be able to get what the writers I most enjoy are doing with their stories. Maybe this is because they no longer value being able to sink into a whole new world and spend a week happily making their way throu
...more
Julie
Alice Verney, a maid of honor to Princess Henriette of France returns to England after her mistress's mysterious and horrible death, with the ambition to marry the elderly Duke of Balmoral. This ambition holds firm in spite of her attraction to Richard Saylor, an enterprising soldier who, while he appreciates Alice's wit and political savvy, is competing with the king himself for the affections of Renee DeKaroulle, a French beauty who cannot quite make up her mind whose affections she truly desi ...more
Hannah
Dark Angels by Karleen Koen
"She had stepped atop a huge coil of rope for this view, and a sailor, eyeing her statins and the single strand of fat pearls at her neck, had warned her to be careful, but she'd sent him off with a withering comment to mind his own business. She wasn't one to suffer fools--or even those who weren't fools--telling her what to do."
And with these lines we are introduced to Alice Verney (and with these lines I immediately loved her).Alice is a courtier in the court of Ki
...more
JW
Feb 23, 2008 JW rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: chick lit readers
Shelves: historical
The story of a young woman's scheming during the Restoration, I almost gave up on this one. I didn't really care about the heroine, I didn't like really any of the supporting characters and I just couldn't get into this book, which can only go into the category of "women's books". Which is just an adjective, not a judgment (c'mon, the protagonist is a women trying to get a rich husband and there's a lot of dress descriptions).

But I needed something to read at the gym and ended picking it up from
...more
Sandie
Welcome to the court of Charles II, hotbed of corruption, both political and moral. Enter Alice Verney, who aspires to a command a position of power within the court and seeks to attain her goal by marrying the aging Duke of Balmoral. Longstanding friendships are threatened by Alice's quest as well as her unequivocal need to control not only her own life but also the lives of those around her.

Alice is an unconventional heroine in the respect that she has always had money and been accustomed to
...more
Ana T.
This was my first read by Karleen Koen. A book set in Charles II's court sound interesting and full of intrigue and I decided to pick. I also have a biography of his Queen in my TBR pile and thought this could be an interesting first introduction to the period.




The main character is a young lady, Alice de Verney, a former lady-in-waiting to Queen Catherine who followed Princess Henrietta to France on her wedding to Monsieur, the brother of the French King Louis XIV. The beginning of this novel se
...more
Gaile
The central character is Alice Verney. Alice is a manipulator. At the beginning of the book, she has lost her finance to a girl he got pregnant. Maid Of Honor to King Charles's sister, she returns to England when the princess dies and becomes Maid Of Honor to the queen Of England. Her she strongly disapproves of her friend's choices of finances. She decides on the aged Duke Of Balmoral for herself.
In the meantime, the Duke is managing a large spy network.
All around Alice, everyone falls in love
...more
Susan
Sep 12, 2007 Susan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historical fiction fans
This was a treat for me... it's a well crafted historical novel set in the reign of Charles II of England. And that has to be one of my favorite periods in English history. This is the prequel to Through a Glass Darkly Koen's earlier novel and the main character in this novel is the grandmother in the earlier novel. I reread Through a Glass Darkly after reading this novel and doing so definitely lent a new flavor to it. Dark Angels is set mostly in the court of Charles II, which is a court full ...more
Teri Heyer
May 15, 2014 Teri Heyer rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves historical fiction.
Karleen Koen's 'Dark Angels' is historical fiction at its best. I've read all four of this author's books and loved every one. Although the four can be read as stand-alones, the books, though not an actual series, are related. Here's the chronological order: Before Versailles, Dark Angels, Through a Glass Darkly and Now Face to Face. As so often happens, I read the books out of order. Two of them I read on my Kindle Fire and two I borrowed from the library. I'm anxiously looking forward to futur ...more
Sherry H
Huh. That's it, it's over?

I was impressed by the author's ability to make me cheer for a thoroughly unlikable protagonist. Selfish, manipulative, unforgiving, arrogant Alice was a rich character. Most of the other characters were believable, as well - their flaws, their inconsistencies were presented with clarity and gave them great depth. Richard, however, needed more development - his powerful feelings at the end of the novel came out of (almost) nowhere.

I enjoyed this book throughout... but
...more
Nicole
The first four-fifths of this book were great, and I felt that they really embedded me in the time. They gave a full, rounded sense of the social mores and machinations of the courts of the era.

Unfortunately, Koen essentially winds up what could be a tense thriller and then just lets all the pieces fall, rather than giving a thrilling climax. All of our main characters have things done to them rather than taking action, which is pretty dull. Also, there's one fairly important character in the no
...more
Katie Rekowski
Story contained many characters and plots. In the end, the plots were unresolved. Was there a secret treaty? Did Buckingham's activities ever get discovered? Suddenly King charles & Queen Catherine disappeared from the story. Why did Barbara die? What was there a problem with the pregnancy? Why didn't the baby live? Why did all of Alice's efforts to put a baby in Barbara's arms not happen? Why did Onge get away with killing Richard's horse, The Duke and Walter? Why did no one suspect foul pl ...more
Joy
Apr 20, 2007 Joy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: more horny girls
Another Cracker Barrel pick. I'm reading another Koen book now - Through a Glass Darkly - that a friend recommended. They're both cute page turners with the occasional hearty sex scene.

So there you are, calmly driving through, let's say, Ohio looking at the cows, and the silos, the giant Jesus crosses scattered throughout the picturesque countryside and then - bam! - he takes her (who turns out to be him) from behind, pleasuring 'her' as he does so, and just as she's about to reach orgasm, pull
...more
Christine McIntosh
I picked this up at Goodwill, I think, and I'm glad I did. From my limited number of historical novels I've actually read, this one is probably my favorite. The focus is on the intrigues of court and the romance part is very slow and stuffed into the book ending. I liked that. A good story with a little bit of romance is my ideal balance.

Alice was a very realistic character. She was beautiful and clever like any lead character should be but she was also jealous, held long grudges, and had too m
...more
Jane Bigelow
The depth of detail is wonderful; the intricate plot is dazzling; the author made me care about a difficult, controlling woman, Alice Verney. Yet I dithered over whether to give it four stars or only three.

I gather I've come in at the wrong place, since this is a prequel to Through a Glass Darkly and Now Face to Face. Maybe some of what look like loose ends are dealt with in those two books. I hope so. In spite of the length of the book, the conclusion felt rushed. I do wonder what actually happ
...more
WordPerv
I've read another of Koen's books (Through a Glass Darkly) and really loved it. Other reviewers stated they were immediately hooked with this book but that wasn't the case for me - the main character, Alice, is not immediately likable - she's a bit snotty and arrogant. There's also some heavy-handed foreshadowing that feels a little overpowering and too much in your face. When Alice first gets off the boat (visiting England with the French queen she serves) she is startled by a handsome man's cl ...more
Gwen
I am currently reading this and so far am enjoying it but I have noticed I am able to put it down ( or fall asleep )but still love getting back to it.
Holly
Before there ever was a Duke or Duchess of Tamworth, there was Alice Verney, daughter of Baron Verney and member of the court of Charles II. Knowing her from her later years, this is a fascinating look at who she started out being and why she became the person we knew as the Dowager Duchess of Tamworth.

This book also shares the same political intrigues and maneuverings as Koen's earlier novels. We meet historical characters; tragic Marie Henriette, the Duchess d' Orleans, aka Madame; the outrag
...more
Cayleigh
After reading Koen’s Before Versailles I was eager to get my hands on this book but didn’t realize until I started reading that most of the book takes place in Restoration England under Charles II’s rule. It starts out with our main character, Alice, in the employ of Princess Henriette of France (and some number of years after the events in Before Versailles). Alice is a maid of honor who has been in France for 2 years and after a tragedy she is sent back to England to wait upon the Queen to who ...more
Carole Rae
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marissa
This is a fictional story taking place in Restoration England. However, some of the novel is set in Louis XIV's France. Most of the main characters in this novel are completely fictional, with no real historical basis but the rest are all real historical figures. This is my favorite kind of historical fiction because there is no pressure for the author to stick to a certain perception of a real historical character. Many novelists who use Elizabeth I, for example, as their main character, are cr ...more
Lori McD
This book about Alice Verney isn't nearly as wrenching as the two books about her grand-daughter, Barbara (Through a Glass Darkly and Now Face to Face). But it's gripping, none-the-less. As much as I think I know about the history of the British monarchy, the more I discover I don't know.

In Dark Angels, Alice Verney is a 20-year old maid of honor who grew up motherless in the English court, full of intrigue. Her father Sir Thomas is deep in the intrigues of politics, always seeking to better him
...more
Kelly A.
This was one of those books that I bought on a whim. I was actually going to buy Through a Glass Darkly: A Novel[Image] when I noticed that a prequel had recently been written, this book. I wasn't sure if I should read the books in the order the author published them, or in chronological order. I went with the latter; I'm not really sure it made a difference.

The book is set in the mid/late 1600s, alternating between France and England as the main character, Alice Verney, travels to both. Alice i
...more
Heather
Dark Angels by Karleen Koen

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

Dark Angels is a prequel to Through a Glass Darkly, and accordingly I read this first (but that was an accident. At the time I didn’t know there were other books by her). Set in the court of the licentious Charles II an amazing romance springs forth (what could be a better place to set a historical romance?). Alice Verney is the female protagonist – and an amazing heroine as well! She is a courtier to Queen Catherine of Braganza and pla
...more
Taylor
I picked this up at a whim at the library with no knowledge of the book (Through a Glass Darkly) that it is a prequel to. Overall, my review is positive--I finished it in two days--for reasons to do with the plot and main character, but I do have some serious reservations about the writing itself.

The main character, Alice, is refreshingly ruthless and wily--a "born courtier," I think she's called. She's not one-dimensional, though; most of her ruthlessness is devoted to doing what she thinks is
...more
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What happens to Richard and Alice after they get married? 2 15 Sep 12, 2012 04:33PM  
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My childhood was filled with glorious books, Little Women, Lad A Dog, Black Beauty, Little House on the Prairie, Caddie Woodlawn. They were as real to me as the life around me, a lower middle class one in a small oil refinery town in Texas. My grandfather, an invalid, was a huge fan of the writers Frank Slaughter, Frank Yerby, and Zane Grey. By the time I learned to read, I was sneaking his square ...more
More about Karleen Koen...
Through a Glass Darkly (Tamworth Saga #2) Now Face to Face (Tamworth Saga #3) Before Versailles: A Novel of Louis XIV Through A Glass Darkly: Part 2 Of 3 OMG - That Woman!

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“I have this dream, she and I side by side in life, turning front to front in lovemaking, back to back in threat, protecting each other.” 5 likes
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