Lovers of historical fiction will be swept away by Amie Runyan’s Promised to the Crown. I was! This book follows three young women as they leave their homes to travel across an ocean towards a future each has chosen but none can quite imagine. Rose, Elizabeth and Nicole come from different backgrounds, and undertake their journeys for vastly different reasons. But in Canada, their fates intertwine and they become fast friends, sharing heartache and happiness as wives and mothers who forge their own paths in the northern towns and teaming wilderness.

In the 17thcentury, a girl without a dowry had little hopes to make a happy match and secure a future in France. Meanwhile, the colony of New France needed women to marry the men who had gone first as settlers. King Louis XIV solved the problem of the dearth of females across the ocean by providing poor girls with dowries in exchange for their “promise” to travel to New France, marry a settler, and bear children for the king.

Love flows as a steady river through all these pages. Runyan clearly loves her characters and her affection for them is infectious. I found myself truly loving Rose, Elizabeth and Nicole and also falling in love along with them with the men they marry and the children they bear, foster or sadly lose. When history is embroidered with love, as it is here, the reader can’t help but feel that the very act of reading is also one of devotion. We grow devoted to Runyan’s characters, and are enriched by having known them.

Under Runyan’s pen, history becomes intimate, and the characters she conjures appear as vivid and full of life as if they were our own contemporaries. Rose, Elizabeth and Nicole are charming, beguiling, industrious, optimistic and hard headed. They make both good choices and bad ones. In other words, they are charmingly real, full of life, full of story.

Promised to the Crown is now available for purchase.


Aimie K. Runyan writes historical novels that celebrate unsung heroines. She is the author of three novels: Duty to the Crown, Promised to the Crown, and Daughters of tbe Night Sky. She is also an educator and speaker in the writing community. She has an M.A. in French from the University of North Texas and has spent time living in Bayeux and Avignon, France as well as Quebec City and Montreal during the course of her studies and research. She was able to uncover the material needed for her debut novel while on a research trip to Quebec financed by a generous grant from the Association des Études Québécoises  She loves travel, music, and books above almost all things. She lives in Colorado with her wonderful husband and two adorable children.

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