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2022
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Publishers Weekly Review
Sixteen-year-old Tania de Batz has always longed to emulate her dazzling Papa, an ex-musketeer who once served the king of France. Though he's taught her to fence, chronic illness involving frequent bouts of dizziness leaves her feeling "broken." After her Papa is murdered, his final wish sends her to L'Académie des Mariées, an exclusive finishing school that purports to help young women secure husbands. Tania's sense of betrayal soon gives way to joy when she learns that the Académie is in fact a school for young women trained to seduce and sword fight for their country, creating a new, subtler kind of Musketeer. Her first assignment is charming and handsome, potentially bound up in smuggling--and, she learns, may know what truly befell her father. Though occasionally thin descriptions weaken the novel's 17th-century France setting, Lainoff's debut features an engagingly determined protagonist navigating competing loyalties. A hurried romance undercuts the presence of strong female connections, including a queer secondary relationship, among the largely white cast. An author's note discusses the author's experience with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. Ages 12--up. Agent: Jennifer Wills, Seymour Agency. (Mar.)
School Library Journal Review
Gr 7 Up--All French teenager Tania de Batz has ever wanted was to follow in her father's footsteps as a Musketeer. Tania's dizziness due to her disability and the fact that wo-men aren't allowed to join the Musketeers make her believe it's impossible. When her father is suddenly killed, his last wish is to send her to what appears to be a finishing school but is secretly a training facility for women to become Musketeers in their own right. Tania's sisters in arms are all dynamic characters, and readers will be on the edge of their seats over the race to save the King before a potential assassination attempt. As shared in an author's note, Lainoff draws from her own experience with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) to inform Tania's daring tale of adventure through the streets of Paris. This fun historical fiction novel with mystery, swordplay, and romance is engaging from the outset. The race of characters is not stated. VERDICT A thrilling retelling of The Three Musketeers that puts disabled and LGBTQIA+ women in the foreground as the heroes, this book has something for every reader to enjoy.--Carleigh Obrochta
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