Beautiful prose and characterizations, but the slower pace will not appeal to all readers. The King’s Touch is the story of Charles II’s illegitimate son Jemmy, James Duke of Monmouth. Written in the first person POV, Jemmy recounts his life story from being removed by Charles from his mother’s care, through his relationship with his father and his aunt Minnette, Charles’ restoration to the English Crown and finally ending at the start of the Monmouth Rebellion at Charles’ death. The life and reign of Charles II and the main characters (and Charles’ many mistresses) are fairly well known, and not worth rehashing further.
Those looking for an action packed, bawdy romp through the Courts of Charles II should look elsewhere, this is not the book for you – I’d recommend Forever Amber. Yes, we see his mistresses and the intrigues and scandals of the Restoration period, but in lesser degree – even the plague and the great fire of London are almost afterthoughts in the story. As other reviewers have noted, what this book is about is Jemmy and his relationship with his very enigmatic father as Jemmy struggles to come to grips with his illegitimacy as others intrigue to have him declared legitimate and the true heir to the crown.
As stated previously, this is not a fast paced book and one that should be read in small doses so you can sit back and savor them slowly like you would a very decadent truffle or a fine glass of red wine (or both!!). Unfortunately for me, I had this as an interlibrary loan and not renewable and found myself under the gun at the last minute to blow through 500 + pages and I feel it impacted my enjoyment of this a bit