Book Title: Daughter of the King
Series Title: (Defying the Crown, Book 1)
Author: Kerry Chaput
Publication Date: 16th December 2021
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Page Length: 248 Pages
Genre: Historical Women’s Fiction
La Rochelle France, 1661. Fierce Protestant Isabelle is desperate to escape persecution by the Catholic King. Isabelle is tortured and harassed, her people forced to convert to the religion that rules the land. She risks her life by helping her fellow Protestants, which is forbidden by the powers of France. She accepts her fate — until she meets a handsome Catholic soldier who makes her question everything.
She fights off an attack by a nobleman, and the only way to save herself is to flee to the colony of Canada as a Daughter of the King. She can have money, protection and a new life — if she adopts the religion she’s spent a lifetime fighting. She must leave her homeland and the promises of her past. In the wild land of Canada, Isabelle finds that her search for love and faith has just begun.
Based on the incredible true story of the French orphans who settled Canada, Daughter of the King is a sweeping tale of one young woman’s fight for true freedom. Kerry Chaput brings the past to life, expertly weaving a gripping saga with vivid historical details. Jump back in time on a thrilling adventure with an unforgettable heroine.
Violence, sexual assault
Careful to avoid the soldiers wandering the streets, we move east. Through the crumbled areas of the old barricade, into the woods. The glow from the moon lights our way, reflecting off the trees in a silver glimmer.
A few others move across the dirt, shrouded in black, to the clearing we know so well. This patch of earth is where Protestants secretly share life’s moments. Moments that are punishable by death. Marriages, prayer, and baptisms bring considerable risk, yet we carry on.
Through the trees, quiet faces welcome us with a bow of their heads. Catholics spit the name Huguenot, to mean a banished people praying in shuttered homes. We have adopted it, unashamed of our secret prayers. A white mist hovers in the crisp autumn air.
Henri nudges me. We smile at each other, surrounded by the only church we know. Our pastor steps to the middle. Unlike the Catholics, our leaders walk among us.
As we settle into the silence, the late summer evening stillness pulls me into focus, my hands grow steadier with every breath of wet, cool air. The pastor speaks in a low calming voice.
“Let our presence here remind us that God has chosen us. Do not allow the fear they drive into our hearts to remain for longer than it must. Our purpose is bigger than ourselves. It is to carry on our faith against all manner of intimidation. The true church is not in a hierarchy of corruption and excess. It is here, in the society of the faithful.”
He gestures to the smiling parents, who presents their baby boy wrapped in velvet and white lace. Clémentine smiles, her eyes focused on the baby.
“This child’s life of purity will allow restoration of the primitive innocence of Christianity. Our truest faith lies in patience and humility,” he says.
We are born into this impossible life. Without agreement, without knowledge. We grow in a secret church reserved for the unwanted before we understand what it means. I pray life will be different for this little boy than it has been for me.
The pastor raises a cup of water and dabs several drops on the baby’s forehead, concluding our forbidden ceremony amongst the foggy trees. The smiles of my fellow worshipers light the night sky in a rare moment of peace. We do not find faith in a church, but in the quiet of the trees and under the light of the stars. We begin to sing.
The whisper of the Psalms of David fills the air, enveloping us in the warm familiarity of song in our native tongue. We worship in French. No Latin to be heard. The rolling French is close enough to reach and soft enough to pull me in.
They call us heretics. Because God rules us. Not man, not kings. Because we don’t need priests or saints. Because we can read. Because we cannot be controlled.
The voices drift off to silence as they hold hands in gratitude. I slip away to the edge of the clearing to take in the glow of night. The flickering fires light up our town of chaos. Henri steps next to me, and we peer through the hazy white cloud around us. My heart aches with the sharp realization that outside the forest’s protective arms lies an empire that wishes us dead.
Born in California wine country, Kerry Chaput began writing shortly after earning her Doctorate degree. Her love of storytelling began with a food blog and developed over the years to writing historical fiction novels. Raised by a teacher of US history, she has always been fascinated by tales from our past and is forever intrigued by the untold stories of brave women. She lives in beautiful Bend, Oregon with her husband, two daughters, and two rescue pups. She can often be found on hiking trails or in coffee shops.