Poison Priestess

Amulet. (Lady Slayers). Apr. 2021. 288p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781419745928.
Gr 9 Up–Nineteen-year-old Catherine Monvoisin has always had a gift for seeing the future and an interest in the arcane. When debt collectors come calling after her gambling-addicted husband, Catherine fears that she’ll lose the security she’s so desperately craved and be thrown back into the poverty of her childhood, or worse. She turns to her best friend/sort-of-lover Marie Bosse, a grifter who works in the mystical arts. Through her growing skills as a divineress, Catherine meets the Marquise de Montespan and helps her become head mistress to the king, and the Marquise is determined to keep her close to ensure her position. Life as La Voisin, head sorceress to the King’s mistress, seems grand, but it comes at a cost and as Catherine delves further into darkness it might be too hard to climb out. How far will she have to go to ensure her security and position in 17th century Paris, where a woman’s place is anything but secure? Fans of Blood Countess will enjoy Popović’s latest installment in her “Lady Killers” series—a world and story so enchanting that one can forgive the occasionally stilted and overwrought language. All characters are cued as white except for Marie, who is described as having brown skin and hair “dark as chestnut shells.”
VERDICT Give to fans of morally gray heroines who like their history served with a side of magic.

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