The King’s Command: Coffee Pot Book Club Blog Tour.
16 year old Lidie Brunier has everything; looks, wealth, health and a charming suitor but there are dark clouds on the horizon. Lidie and her family are committed Huguenots and Louis XIV has sworn to stamp out this ‘false religion’ and make France a wholly Catholic country. Gradually Lidie’s comfortable life starts to disintegrate as Huguenots are stripped of all rights and the King sends his brutal soldiers into their homes to force them to become Catholics. Others around her break under pressure but Lidie and her family refuse to convert. With spies everywhere and the ever present threat of violence, they struggle on. Then a shocking betrayal forces Lidie’s hand and her only option is to try and flee the country. A decision that brings unimaginable hardship, terror and tragedy and changes her life for ever.
‘One of the very best historical novels I have ever read’
Sandra Robinson, Huguenot Ancestry Expert
The King’s Command
The banging on the door and the shouting became ever more insistent until a maidservant opened up.
There were a group of about ten soldiers and one of them waved a piece of paper under her nose.
‘We have orders to search the place,’ he said, pushing past her.
‘You know the drill,’ he said to his soldiers. ‘Search every nook and cranny of the building. Open up every cupboard, every room and go into the outhouses and stable. They are canny these lousy Huguenots, creeping into corners to get away from us.’
The soldiers all laughed and at that moment, Isaac arrived.
‘Can I ask your business here, Sir?’ he said. His voice was calm but there was a twitch in his eye that betrayed his fury.
The soldier in charge looked him up and down.
‘Who are you?’
‘I am Doctor Verdier,’ said Isaac, stretching out his hand.
The soldier ignored Isaac’s hand. ‘So you’re the one disobeying the law?’
Isaac didn’t flinch. ‘And what law would that be, sir?’
‘Huh! Don’t play the innocent with me.’ He spat on the floor and Isaac had to stop himself reacting with disgust. ‘We know what you’re doing, doctor.’
Isaac frowned. ‘I am living quietly in my own home, my friend,’ he replied evenly. His calm voice seemed to madden the soldier, particularly as some of his men had started to snigger.
‘Go!’ he yelled at them. ‘What are you waiting for? You have your orders. And don’t come back until you have found them.’
His men dispersed and he turned his attention back to Isaac. ‘We hear you’ve been teaching Huguenot students,’ he said. ‘And that is against the King’s express command.’
The soldier folded his arms, a slow smirk on his face, but Isaac’s expression did not change.
‘You will find no students here my friend but you are welcome to seek for them if you have orders to do so from the King.’
‘Huh!’ The soldier spat again, with deliberation, this time while he was looking at Isaac, and some of his slimy phlegm landed on Isaac’s arm. ‘Don’t come at me with your airs and graces, doctor, you’re just another lying Huguenot heretic.’
‘Would you like me to accompany you round my house?’ asked Isaac.
The soldier made a rude gesture and turned on his heel. He looked over his shoulder as he walked off. ‘My job is to find these traitors,’ he said, ‘And make no mistake, we shall find them soon enough. We’ve had practice in smelling out any filthy Huguenot scum. We’ll soon winkle them out of their hiding place. And then, doctor, you’ll be in serious trouble.’
‘Search all you like,’ said Isaac, to the soldier’s retreating back. ‘You’ll find no Huguenot students here.’
As the soldier strode away to join his troops, Isaac let out a great shuddering breath and prayed that his students would not be discovered. His hands were shaking and for the first time he felt real terror at what might happen if they were. He walked out into the garden to calm himself. A wise word from Adam might soothe him, but when he stepped outside into the back garden, he found the old man sprawled on the ground, his hoe beside him, with a soldier standing over him shouting obscenities at him. Adam had covered his ears with his hands and he was trembling. All Isaac’s pent up fury erupted.
He lunged at the soldier, pushing him away. ‘Have you no shame!’ he shouted. ‘How dare you treat a frail old man with such violence.’
The young soldier was caught unawares and had stumbled, but he rose quickly, full of bravado.
Isaac looked at him. He was hardly more than a boy.
‘What would your mother think of you, treating a defenceless old man so roughly?’
A blush rose to the boy’s cheeks and Isaac pressed his advantage.
‘I understand you have your orders,’ he said more gently. ‘But bullying the old and weak is not manly and will serve you no advantage.’
This title is available to read with #KindleUnlimited.
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/bW6zGG
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0CB4RH68S
Rosemary Hayes has written over fifty books for children and young adults. She writes in different genres, from edgy teenage fiction (The Mark), historical fiction (The Blue Eyed Aborigine and Forgotten Footprints), middle grade fantasy (Loose Connections, The Stonekeeper’s Child and Break Out) to chapter books for early readers and texts for picture books. Many of her books have won or been shortlisted for awards and several have been translated into different languages.
Rosemary has travelled widely but now lives in South Cambridgeshire. She has a background in publishing, having worked for Cambridge University Press before setting up her own company Anglia Young Books which she ran for some years. She has been a reader for a well-known authors’ advisory service and runs creative writing workshops for both children and adults.
Rosemary has recently turned her hand to adult fiction and her historical novel ‘The King’s Command’ is about the terror and tragedy suffered by the French Huguenots during the reign of Louis XIV.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rosemary-Hayes/e/B00NAPAPZC