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Mistress of the Sun

*“A captivating jewel of a novel.” — Historical Novels Review (Editor’s Choice)

The author of the internationally acclaimed JOSEPHINE B. TRILOGY returns with another deeply enchanting historical novel, this one based on the life of an extraordinary horsewoman, Louise de la Vallière, the brave and spirited child of minor nobility who, against all odds, grows up to become one of the most mysterious consorts of France's King Louis XIV, the charismatic Sun King.

Set against the magnificent decadence of the 17th-century court of the Sun King, MISTRESS OF THE SUN begins when the eccentric young Louise falls in love with a wild white stallion and uses ancient magic to tame him. This one desperate action of youth shadows her throughout her life, changing it in ways she could never imagine.
Unmarriageable and too poor to join a convent, she enters the court of the Sun King as a maid of honour, where she captures — and then tragically loses — the King's heart.

A riveting love story with a captivating mystery at its heart, MISTRESS OF THE SUN illuminates both the power of true love and the rash actions we take to capture and tame it.

Sandra Gulland's previous work brought Joséphine Bonaparte magnificently to life in three immediately addictive bestselling novels. Beginning with THE MANY LIVES & SECRET SORROWS OF JOSEPHINE B., Gulland established an entirely new gold standard for the art of historical fiction.


*Nine weeks on the Canadian national bestseller list (Maclean’s)

*A BookSense Pick

*"Beautifully told and elegantly written . . . Louise de la Valliere is unforgettable, as is this brilliant novel!" — Diane Haeger, author of The Perfect Royal Mistress

*"Suspenseful, evocative, atmospheric, and deliciously satisfying reading, with an immensely appealing heroine." — Margaret George, author of Helen of Troy

*"Here's a warning: Mistress of the Sun is dangerously seductive. It's one of those books that will grab you and hold you captive till the last page is turned.” — Calgary Herald

*“Teeming with the rich period details that make historical fiction so rewarding, Gulland’s dynamic and nuanced portrait of Louis’ notorious reign thrums with page-turning expediency and deliciously seductive machinations.” — Booklist

*“Here is a delicious tale of romance and intrigue in the court of Louis XIV that will delight even those who cringe at the thought of reading historical fiction. … Sandra Gulland, author of the wildly popular Josephine B. Trilogy … has taken great pains with her language and employs convincing period vocabulary to paint her settings and dialogue.” — National Post

*“ . . . in her captivating jewel of a novel Gulland offers an absorbing account of a woman who reluctantly became a royal mistress and paid the price.” — Historical Novels Review (Editor’s Choice)

*"An irresistible story!" — The Ottawa Citizen

*“[Gulland] is a master of her craft. … The richness of her writing and her eye for detail defy description." — Montreal Gazette

*"As Louis XIV falls for Petite, it is hard as a reader of Gulland's delicious novel not to be captivated with such a heroine, too... The characters are as fresh and as interesting as if they were alive today." — Lush magazine

*“Vivid, tender and wise, Mistress of the Sun shimmers with life. Sandra Gulland has illuminated the choices and dilemmas of a woman of verve and grace.” — Shauna Singh Baldwin, author of What the Body Remembers

*“I not only fell into the compelling story and its rich characters, but into its sensuality. What a gift Sandra Gulland has for vividness!” — Joan Barfoot, author of Critical Injuries, long-listed for the 2002 Man Booker Prize

Important places

Versailles (95)


Yvelines (110)


France (7,260)

Other geographical areas

Ile-de-France (3,166)