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Summary

Brimming with romance, betrayal and enchantment, The Embroidered Book reveals and reimagines a dazzling period of history as you have never seen it before.         

Power is not something you are given. Power is something you take. When you are a woman, it is a little more difficult, that’s all.

1768. Charlotte, daughter of the Habsburg empress, arrives in Naples to marry a man she has never met. Her sister, Antoine, is sent to France, and in the mirrored corridors of Versailles, they rename her Marie Antoinette.

The sisters are alone, but they are not powerless. When they were only children, they discovered a book of spells - spells that work, with dark and unpredictable consequences.

In a time of vicious court politics, of discovery and dizzying change, they use the book to take control of their lives.

But every spell requires a sacrifice. And as love between the sisters turns to rivalry, they will send Europe spiralling into revolution.

©2022 Kate Heartfield (P)2022 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"Richly imagined and skilfully told, The Embroidered Book is an intricate and spellbinding tale." (JJA Harwood, Sunday Times best-selling author of The Shadow in the Glass)

"The Embroidered Book is superb from its opening scene to its heartbreaking end.... Politics, magic, love and sacrifice compete on equal terms in a sweeping, absolutely splendid epic novel about two sisters and familial love. If you like historical feminist fantasy, you will love The Embroidered Book." (Lisbeth Campbell, author of The Vanished Queen)

"Sacrifice, family, dreams, and deep, dark magic, The Embroidered Book is a triumph." (Julie E. Czerneda, author of The Gossamer Mage)

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  • A. Meyers
  • 22-03-22

Good story, but history is stretched a bit too far

I enjoyed the story and the narrator was well-suited to it. But at times the appearance of historical personages seemed improbable given the author's apparent attempt to overlay the existence of magic onto actual historical events. Still, it made for an engaging fantasy told from the viewpoints of two strong women characters.