Many a historical novel has been irradiated by the Sun King and this one again depends to a large extent on the resplendent effects of his reign to provide some bouffant touches for an otherwise slim story. (Most of Iola Fuller's earlier books did to cross the Atlantic although The Gilded Torch, (1957), dealt with a parallel time-- La Salle's exploration of Mississippi.) Now Louis XIV is 37, and above the rustling of silks and tinkling of chandeliers can be heard the still louder voices of the King, petulantly self-indulgent, and Madame de Montespan, maitresse declassee while Mme. de Maintenon is titularly the maitresse declaree. Now to the court comes very young Anne-Marie; Mme. de Montespan tries to get rid of her before the King sees her; Mme. de Maintenon is ready to send her to a convent; and young Jean, who has been in the New France and would like to return there, falls in love with her. To protect her, he consigns the key to a privy while Louis waits impatiently, in his nightshirt. Both young people seem doomed, and would be, were it not for the intervention of the kindly clockmaker who tells this story... Eh bien, it's not exciting, but you will have to credit the presence of workmanship where you regret the absence of anything more original than the materials which were on hand to begin with.