Emilie des Marais is more at home holding scalpels than embroidery needles and is desperate to escape her noble roots to serve her country as a physician. But society dictates a noble lady cannot perform such gruesome work.
Annette Boucher, overlooked and overworked by her family, wants more from life than her humble beginnings and is desperate to be trained in magic. So when a strange noble girl offers Annette the chance of a lifetime, she accepts.
Emilie and Annette swap lives—Annette attends finishing school as a noble lady to be trained in the ways of divination, while Emilie enrolls to be a physician’s assistant, using her natural magical talent to save lives.
But when their nation instigates a terrible war, Emilie and Annette come together to help the rebellion unearth the truth before it’s too late.
A French inspired, queer, role swap story with magic.
I thought this was great fun, Emilie and Annette are great characters, as her friends and allies, as they fight to save their country and stop the corrupt king and generals from slaughtering innocents and dragging their people into endless war and mayhem.
The plot is clever and full of joy, even as it heads towards the culmination of the story and the two girls join forces to fight back against their enemies.
From discovering their gifts and learning how to use them, to falling in love and finding their person (Annette’s gentle kitchen based romance with Yvonne is a delight).
Miller explores gender identity and queerness through these characters, but doesn’t make it the focus of the characters’ side plots, just part of who they are – which is refreshing.
While it works well as a standalone novel, the ending leaves it open to the possibility of a sequel, which would be interesting.
I was gifted a copy of this book by the publisher with no obligation to review.