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For the King

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  528 ratings  ·  97 reviews
From the author of the critically acclaimed Mistress of the Revolution comes a spellbinding historical thriller set in post- revolutionary Paris.

For her first novel, Mistress of the Revolution, which the Associated Press dubbed one of the "best reads of the year," Catherine Delors earned comparisons to Tracy Chevalier and Philippa Gregory. In For the King, she again demo
Hardcover, 329 pages
Published July 8th 2010 by Dutton (first published 2010)
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Mar 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Napoleonic Paris comes to life in this fascinating account of a conflicted man determined to uncover the truth. Masterfully written, FOR THE KING offers a vivid portrait of a city caught between its violent past and treacherous present, combining the pulse-pounding suspense of a thriller with the glamour of superbly researched historical fiction.
Catherine Delors
Feb 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I am the author, so I will go ahead and give it my very best rating!

More info at
Rio (Lynne)
I loved Delors' last book, but this one isn't holding my interest. It's not that's it's bad, I'm just losing interest with the who's who in the police force and the political groups suspected of trying to blow up Napoleon. Maybe at another time I'll be more interested.
The story opens with an extremely powerful scene, an attempted murder of the First Consul, Napoléon Bonaparte, who is passing by Rue Nicaise in his way to the Opera. Two Chouans, Pierre Saint Régent and Joseph de Limoëlan, block the street with a cart and provoke an explosion with a strange device called “La Machine Infernale”. In a few minutes, a deadly explosion kills dozens of people, innocent Parisians, but fails to get the target of their mission. Bonaparte leaves in his carriage with his e ...more
Feb 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
I have been excited about this book’s release ever since I first read mention of it on Delors’ Versailles and More blog, awhile back. What could be more appealing to me than a book set in France during the Revolution- with a sneak peak at both Josephine and Bonaparte, and involving characters such as Fouché- well-Obviously I couldn’t wait to devour this!

I was ready to escape to a time filled with intriguing history, some romance...the usual? No way! This one involves a full-fledged mystery to bo
Christy English
Jun 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Post-Revolutionary Paris comes to life in every character of this novel. A thriller that leads the reader on a chase not just through crime but through history...a gem of a novel.
"FOR THE KING" is based on a true story rooted in an attempted political assassination that happened more than 200 years ago. The opening scene takes place on Rue Saint-Nicaise near the intersection with Rue Saint-Honoré, on Napoleon’s route to the opera in Paris. It is Christmas Eve 1800. A bitterly cold evening. A plot is afoot to kill Napoleon, the First Consul, and with his death, restore the monarchy. The conspirators have brought a horse and cart bearing a wine cask loaded with shrapnel an ...more
May 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
It has been a real treat for me this month to read and review not only this upcoming novel by Catherine Delors, but also her debut novel Mistress of the Revolution. Although the two are not members of a series, For the King does pick up time period-wise where Mistress of the Revolution left off. In that sense, I did feel like there was some continuity between the two books, even though the tone of one is vastly different from that of the other. They are also different in historical fiction sub-g ...more
Ana T.
Jun 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Today marks the release of Catherine Delors' new book For The King. I was fortunate enough to receive a review copy from the author and I am very glad to say that I really enjoyed it.

After tackling the French Revolution in her first book, Catherine Delors now uses an attempt on Napoleon's life to show the police force's investigative methods, while portraying the new society that emerged after the end of the monarchy.

In Roch Miquel, the son of a skin man turned tavern owner, she presents us with
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: french-history
This book disappointed me — the waste of language, the lack of any real sense, the tedious characters, the historical errors.
Amy Bruno
My thoughts: For the King is a novel based on a real assassination attempt that took place on Christmas Eve in 1800 on Napoleon Bonarparte. Napoleon escaped by the hair on his chiny, chin chin , however many innocent Parisians died. Roch Miquel is on the case, but finding the truth is turning difficult with the intrusion of corrupt superiors in the police force and with his father falsely arrested as being part of the conspiracy. The novel centers on Roch trying to save his father quickly and fi ...more
Jun 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
All historical fiction is about today. That goes for works old and new. The old works are being experienced by contemporary readers, and the material filters through a modern mindset. Conversely, and more to the point here, a contemporary work such as For the King by Catherine Delors was conceived in her unarguably modern mind. (Ignore the fact that this charming author is so steeped in French history she can blog about little else.) More on my blog Boychik Lit

On Christmas Eve 1800, a devastating explosion by “machine infernale” on rue Saint-Nicaise in Paris kills twenty-two citizens, wounds fifty-six others and destroys dozens of surrounding buildings. Napoleon Bonaparte the newly self-appointed First Consul of France continues by carriage on his route to an evening at the Opera unharmed. This failed assassinated attempt angers many people, but who is responsible?

Napoleon has numerous enemies including his own countrymen. Could it be the Jacobin forc
Mar 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
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I am not as historically in tune to French politics as I am with Tudor politics. With Catherine Delors' newest novel that is focused on French politics, there is no preamble to the upheaval that France is facing after the pacification set in place by Bonaparte. The French Revolution had just ended and the novel begins in 1800 with a police officer called Roch Miguel who is investigating a bombing on the streets of Paris that was a failed assassination
Lisa Yarde
Aug 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
It is Christmas Eve, the year 1800, in post-revolutionary France. Paris’ unsuspecting citizens go about their business casually, unaware of conspirators plotting against the First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte. When a crude but powerful bomb rips through the streets, Citizen Inspector Miquel searches for the assassins, knowing that they will never stop the vicious quest for France’s return to its monarchical past.

The French republic bolstered by its revolutionary ideals permitted Miquel’s meteoric r
Ruth Hill
Oct 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
I knew I would enjoy this book for the very reason that it is historical fiction, and I love historical fiction. Especially historical fiction that is well-researched.

I was first taken in by this book because of the time period. I have always been fascinated by the French Revolution, but I was not too familiar with what happened after the French Revolution in Paris. Talk about it being the worst of times, maybe Charles Dickens should have written a book during that time period! It was horrid! I
Heather C
On the surface For the King tells the story of the investigation into the attack on Napoleon Bonaparte, but deep down it tells a tale about the politics of Paris after the revolution. There was constant speculation as to who had carried out the bombing and which side was to blame. There were also the internal political games that were played within the police department – who owed a favor to who and what they could hold over the heads of someone to make them do what they want. The political aspe ...more
I loved Catherine Delors's debut novel, Mistress of the Revolution, so my expectations for For the King were high, and I’m delighted to say that the book did not disappoint. An historical thriller, it deals with the failed assassination attempt on Napoleon in Paris on Christmas Eve 1800 – or, in French Revolutionary parlance, the 3rd of the month of Nivose (translation: Frosty) of Year Nine of the Republic.

For the King follows the investigation after the attack, which, although it failed to harm
Jun 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery lovers
Short Version: Started off a little slow, but the suspense kept building as the book went on, and the numerous plot twists ultimately made the book worth a read.

Longer Version: For the King started off a little slow, but the setting - Napoleonic France - was so interesting, I wanted to keep reading anyway - and I ended up being glad that I did.

This book is, basically, a mystery. The main character, Roch Miquel, is a young police inspector who has to race against the clock to figure out who is be
Sep 09, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: french-history
For the King retells the assassination attempt on Napoleon Bonaparte using a homemade bomb in the streets of Paris. Though Napoleon escaped unscathed, many others were killed or permanently maimed. I enjoyed the historical aspect of this novel, in addition to the assassination attempt we are informed about the political atmosphere of the time and learn just how easily an innocent person could be sent to the guillotine. I give it only 2 stars though because the drama, romance, and suspense that I ...more
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
Aug 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Audra (Unabridged Chick) by:
One-sentence summary: Police inspector fights conspiracies within police, Paris, personal life.

Did I routinely stay up after midnight to keep reading?: Yes.
Did this book make me wish my commute were longer?: Yes.
Did I nurture a crush on one or more of the characters: Yes. (Roch and Alexandrine, of course!)

Trivia gleaned: Sodomy was decriminalized post Revolution!

Review: I stayed up until about 3am to finish this book because I was dying to find out how things concluded. Delors has written my fav
Christy B
Another winner from Catherine Delors! I just loved her first book, Mistress of the Revolution, and was so excited to dive into For the King!

For the King can be described as a historical mystery with hints of romance. It tells the story of Chief Detective Roch Miquel who is investigating the attempted assassination of Napoleon Bonaparte that occurred on Christmas Eve 1800. The attempt failed, but dozens of innocent people were either killed or maimed.

Road blocks, such as spies, shady characters a
Jul 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been in a French reading mood since my visit to Paris last year and I must say that my visit to Paris helped immensely in my enjoyment of this book. It was almost like the city of Paris was a character in this book. I found it an interesting literary device to take an actual assassination attempt upon Napoleon and have it serve as the focal point of the novel. I cared for Roch, the fictional detective and main character, and liked seeing his life as Citizen Chief Inspector and his private l ...more
Jul 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
An unexpectedly good historical novel about the first main royalist plot against Napoleon in 1800 when an "infernal" device just missed his coach, while killing lots of people in the middle of Paris; for political purposes Napoleon needed the Jacobins as villains and executed and exiled lots, but finally the truth outed and the royalist agents were brought to justice in large part too, though their main leader Georges Cadoudal escaped to plot more

This book introduces an inspector who investigat
Rebecca Huston
Aug 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A knockout of a second novel. Tightly paced, smart writing and a real sense of tension as Roch, a policeman in 1800's Paris struggles to unravels a conspiracy before he loses everything -- and quite possibly his own life. Don't be fooled by the romantic cover, this is straight up historical fiction and a real roller coaster ride. Very much recommended.

For the longer review, please go here:
Laura Lee
May 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Liked it very much. Fun read.
The Just-About-Cocky Ms M
L'Inspecteur Clouseau

I wanted to like this book, I really, truly did. It was one of the few historical novels I`ve found that was set in France and didn't involve distorted views of the Revolution, to include foppish English aristocrats rescuing useless French aristocrats. Rather, it was set during the Consulate period, after the Revolution, when things had returned to a time of stability and normalcy. It is the story of Chief Inspector Roch Miquel, who has been charged with trying to discover t
Mar 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: historic, suspense
Nicely done. Gave a vivid picture of life and the police force, and politics, in Napoleon's early days. I would have liked a map of Paris at that time, on the end pages, to help picture where places were.
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good book. Easy read. Felt the end was slightly rushed, but would recommend to historical fiction fans.
Sonja Kruitwagen
Oct 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: insomnia
A fun little trash novel set in napolean time.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 06, 2015 06:58AM  
  • Annette Vallon: A Novel of the French Revolution
  • Finding Emilie
  • Before Versailles: A Novel of Louis XIV
  • Lady of the Butterflies
  • Farewell, My Queen
  • Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe (Josephine Bonaparte, #2)
  • To Dance with Kings
  • Liszt's Kiss
  • Madame Royale: A Novel: Being the Sequel of Trianon
  • The Countess and the King: A Novel of the Countess of Dorchester and King James II
  • Mozart's Sister
  • The Queen's Pawn
  • The Princess of Nowhere
  • The Siren of Paris
  • Lucia: A Venetian Life in the Age of Napoleon
  • Lady of the Roses
  • Courtesan
  • Hugh and Bess: A Love Story
Author of Mistress of the Revolution and For the King (publication date: July 8, 2010). Both are historical novels set in Paris around the time of the French Revolution.
Catherine was born and raised in France. She is also an attorney with an international practice, and splits her time between Paris, London and Los Angeles.
Visit her blog, Versailles and more, at
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