From #1 New York Times bestselling author Aprilynne Pike comes a truly original new novel—Breaking Bad meets Marie Antoinette in a near-future world where the residents of Versailles live like it’s the eighteenth century and an almost-queen turns to drug dealing to save her own life.
Outside the palace of Versailles, it’s modern day. Inside, the people dress, eat, and act like it’s the eighteenth century—with the added bonus of technology to make court life lavish, privileged, and frivolous. The palace has every indulgence, but for one pretty young thing, it’s about to become a very beautiful prison.
When Danica witnesses an act of murder by the young king, her mother makes a cruel power play . . . blackmailing the king into making Dani his queen. When she turns eighteen, Dani will marry the most ruthless and dangerous man of the court. She has six months to escape her terrifying destiny.
Six months to raise enough money to disappear into the real world beyond the palace gates.
Her ticket out? Glitter. A drug so powerful that a tiny pinch mixed into a pot of rouge or lip gloss can make the wearer hopelessly addicted. Addicted to a drug Dani can sell for more money than she ever dreamed.
But in Versailles, secrets are impossible to keep. And the most dangerous secret—falling for a drug dealer outside the palace walls—is one risk she has to take.
The series opener from Pike (the Wings series) dazzles and enchants, blending Baroque-era sensibilities with futuristic realities. Danica Grayson, 17, lives in the 22nd-century country of Sonoman-Versailles, which consists of the French palace at Versailles. Now owned by a multinational conglomerate, the palace and its grounds act as the company's headquarters and the last bastion of courtly life. It's a place of contradictions, where robots handle mundane tasks, overseen by a frighteningly efficient AI, and the residents adopt the dress and social structure of a bygone age. Blackmailed into an engagement with the 19-year-old king, Danica is desperate to escape. The only way she can flee the king's wrath and her mother's tyranny is to become someone else, which requires money, so she turns to selling a powerful drug that's infecting the streets of Paris. Mixed into cosmetics, it becomes wildly popular, but Danica's downfall is as swift as it is gripping. Beautifully detailed scenes serve as the foundation for Danica's ethical quandaries and illuminate the fantastical world in which she lives. Ages 14 up.