In the Shadow of the Sun by EM Castellan
Unboxing of the Once Upon A Book Club February Young Adult box
In the Shadow of the Sun is a historical fantasy set in 1661. Featuring a very well documented piece of history regarding Henriette of England, the book is centered around her time in the court of King Louis XIV, also known as the Sun King. Henriette was married to Phillipe d'Orleans, the King's brother. This story examines the fall of Nicolas Fouquet and the building of Versailles. EM Castellan did a fantastic job weaving magic into the backdrop of this time period.
In this version of events, magic is an integral part of life. Some people are Magicians, and some are Sources. The two must partner in order to create magic, but when Sources start getting murdered, magic becomes dangerous. It is up to Henriette and her friends and family to help save everyone from the evil magician responsible for the murders.
I love historical fantasy books, especially when they are set in this time period. The royal courts were filled with such beautiful clothing, such stunning architecture with gorgeous pieces of art, that it makes magic an utterly believable part of history. If ever there was a time period that I could be convinced of the existence of magic - this would be it.
It is clear that EM Castellan did extensive research for this book. So many of the people and events in the book are historically accurate. Castellan took those pieces of history and dressed them up with an enticing bit of magic, creating a book that was enjoyable from start to finish. I especially love Castellan's take on Phillipe and Henriette's marriage, turning theirs into an acceptable and sweet story of polyamory. As for the other characters, I never quite knew who to trust. I loved that the story kept me guessing and engaged.
What was inside the box:
This box included a deck of playing cards, black stockings, a "silk dressing gown," and a mug that included a recipe for homemade hot chocolate. There was also a "Book Club Perk" item of white peach tea from Tea Runners.