About the Book:
Title: One For All
Author: Lillie Lainoff
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Release Date: March 8, 2022
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
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 received an e-arc from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
One For All was such a pleasure to read, and a wonderful debut for author Lillie Lainoff! I thoroughly enjoyed this gender-bent Three Musketeers retelling, that was full of action, adventure, and a cast of characters that I adored. There are daring sword fights, plot twists, and a main character with a chronic illness that must learn to love herself. Historical fiction fans won’t want to miss this one!
Tania de Batz has always loved the feel of a sword in her hand, ever since she can remember. Everyone in her small French village thinks that she’s weak and just a “sick girl” because of her almost constant dizziness. Her mother wants to find her someone to marry, so that she’ll always be taken care of. Tania however aspires to be like her father, a former Musketeer, strong, independent, and a fencer.
Sadly her father is tragically murdered, and to honor his final request, Tania agrees to attend a finishing school in Paris. Soon after arriving, Tania finds that the school isn’t what it appears to be to those on the outside, that it’s actually a school to train female Musketeers. These young women are socialites on the surface, but have daggers strapped under their beautiful gowns, seduce men into giving up secrets, and know how to sword fight, all while trying to protect France.
As time passes and Tania adjusts to the school, she finally begins to feel like she belongs. She begins to feel that her life has a purpose, with her new sisters in arms. Tania soon meets her first target, Etienne while uncovering a possible assassination plot. He’s handsome, kind, charming, and may have some information she needs. As Tania gets swept up in all the political intrigue, she must not only rely on her friends, but listen to herself and her body, or risk losing everything she’s ever dreamed of.
I absolutely loved the chronic illness representation in this book, and I really hope that more books like this one make their way into the world. Kudos to the author for bringing her own experience living with POTS to life through Tania. I think it’s so important for readers to see themselves represented in stories, and I am grateful for this one. I loved how determined and fierce Tania is, and how she kept fighting and didn’t give up. I definitely found myself cheering her on throughout the story. I also loved the bonds of sisterhood and found family, and their support of one another.
This book is a standalone, but I would love to see more of these characters in the future. Fingers crossed for a companion novel in the future. This book is releasing March 8, 2022, so make sure that you pick this one up at your local bookstore, or put in a library request.
About the Author:
Lillie Lainoff received her B.A. in English with a concentration in creative writing and distinction within the major from Yale University. She currently is studying for her MA in Creative Writing Prose Fiction at University of East Anglia.
Her fiction, non-fiction, and poetry has been featured in The LA Review, The Washington Post Outlook, Today’s Parent, via the Disability Visibility Project, Washington City Paper, and The Yale Daily News, amongst other places. She’s received recognition from Glimmer Train and The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and is the 2019 Winner of the LA Review Literary Award for Short Fiction. She was a featured Rooted in Rights disability activist, and is the founder of Disabled Kidlit Writers (FB).
As an undergraduate, Lillie was a member of Yale’s Varsity Fencing team. As a senior, she was one of the first physically disabled athletes to individually qualify for any NCAA Championship event, and helped her team to an end-of-season 10th place ranking by the National Coaches Poll. She still fences competitively and coaches. In 2017, she was named a recipient of the inaugural Spirit of Sport award by the US Fencing Association.