Dark Angels.

Position:Book review

EXCELLENT

Dark Angels

Karleen Koen

Seventeenth-century royal intrigue.

Alice Verney, last seen as an elderly matriarch in Karleen Koen's Through a Glass Darkly (1986), is front and center as a 20-year-old lady-in-waiting in this tale of courts and courtships. When Princess Henriette, the sister of King Charles II and wife of Louis XIV of France, dies in a mysterious and terrible fashion, her maid Anne returns to England and tries to uncover a possible plot to murder Queen Catherine. All the while, Alice stays on top of fashion trends and balances a love triangle involving a rich, elderly duke and a poor, handsome soldier.

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Crown. 544 pages. $25.95. ISBN: 0307339912

Dallas Morning News

EXCELLENT/CLASSIC

"Ms. Koen possesses many gifts as a writer, chiefly her apparent devotion to meticulous research, her always-accessible and zingy dialogue and the narrative's easy flow, despite zillions of characters and new plots emerging on every page." JOY TIPPING

USA Today

EXCELLENT

"[A] delectable prequel.... Koen's most intriguing character is Charles II, whose persona as the Merry Monarch is presented as a protective facade." DEIRDRE DONAHUE

Washington Post

EXCELLENT

"The chief strength of Koen's novel is her thorough understanding of the era and its people, and her skill in briefly explaining complex historical circumstances while telling a good story.... Koen's prose here is pedestrian, but it gets the job done." DIANA GABALDON

Wall Street Journal

GOOD/EXCELLENT

"Ms. Koen is hardly one to neglect affairs of the heart.... Dark Angels is marbled with rich period detail and, at more than 500 pages, gives good weight to fans of the genre." JOANNE KAUFMAN

Texas Monthly

GOOD

"This prequel is a genteel piece.... Readers looking for a less-courtly fiction might find these...

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