Audience: YA Historical Fiction
Length: 389 pages
Author: Lillie Lainoff
Publisher: Straus and Giroux
Release Date: March 8th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
An OwnVoices, gender-bent retelling of The Three Musketeers, in which a girl with a chronic illness trains as a Musketeer and uncovers secrets, sisterhood, and self-love.
Tania de Batz is most herself with a sword in her hand. Everyone in town thinks her near-constant dizziness makes her weak, nothing but “a sick girl”; even her mother is desperate to marry her off for security. But Tania wants to be strong, independent, a fencer like her father—a former Musketeer and her greatest champion.
Then Papa is brutally, mysteriously murdered. His dying wish? For Tania to attend finishing school. But L’Académie des Mariées, Tania realizes, is no finishing school. It’s a secret training ground for a new kind of Musketeer: women who are socialites on the surface, but strap daggers under their skirts, seduce men into giving up dangerous secrets, and protect France from downfall. And they don’t shy away from a swordfight.
With her newfound sisters at her side, Tania feels for the first time like she has a purpose, like she belongs. But then she meets Étienne, her first target in uncovering a potential assassination plot. He’s kind, charming, and breathlessly attractive—and he might have information about what really happened to her father. Torn between duty and dizzying emotion, Tania will have to lean on her friends, listen to her own body, and decide where her loyalties lie…or risk losing everything she’s ever wanted.
This debut novel is a fierce, whirlwind adventure about the depth of found family, the strength that goes beyond the body, and the determination it takes to fight for what you love.
I adored this read. It was a fantastic debut and I was completely wrapped up in this young adult historical fiction.
There were many things I loved including: the chronic illness rep, found family, and women supporting women. Those were the biggest highlights and made this story. The audiobook was wonderful too and I would definitely recommend that avenue as well.
I loved the growth Tania showed throughout the book. She constantly showed a deep well of strength and perseverance. To love who she is, and to find a balance within her life. Her new found friends were great side characters and really enhanced the plot. I liked the conversations and dialogue throughout.
There’s even a tiny dash of romance which is always a plus for me. I thought originally this was a fantasy (because I rarely read summaries), but I like that there actually wasn’t any magic. It was a unique historical setting, especially with the gender-bend on the Three Musketeers. I can’t wait to see what other books this author will write!
Overall audience notes:
- YA Historical Fiction
- Language: very little
- Romance: kisses
- Violence: medium (present, but not intensely bloody/gory)
- Trigger/Content Warnings: chronic illness, bullying, kidnapping, near death experiences, loss of a parent, implied sexual assault, ableism and internalized ableism