Mirabelle Monvoisin is an alchemist and her talents have been used to help her mother’s Shadow Society. Her mother has always acted like she was working for the greater good, but when Mirabelle is unwittingly tangled in the murder of King XIV, she finds herself lost. Josse de Bourbon is the royal bastard and has chosen to hide in the kitchens. When the Sun King and half the royal court is killed, Josse must step up to protect his sisters and the petulant dauphin.
Josse and Mirabelle become entangled and develop a tenuous alliance. They quickly realize that while they should be enemies, they’re much stronger allies. Make a book about poisons, medicine or alchemy and I will read it. It speaks to my chemical heart, just like Mirabelle did in this book. In the beginning, she was quite the nervous mouse, but she grew claws as she stepped out on her own.
I loved the historical background of Revolutionary France. It made for such an appealing setting and it had the right amount of danger. Josse was a bit hardheaded, but he slowly won over my heart with his sweet nature. I loved seeing his relationship with the prince untangle, they had such an intense history. Plus every time Josse and his sisters were in a scene, my heart melted. His brotherly love for them was so strong and he’d do anything for them.
Mirabelle uses her alchemy to create hunger tonics and salves for the common people. She also has to deal with how her abilities made montrous creatures for the Shadow Society. This extra fantastical element really made this story stand out to me. I loved the scientific approach Mirabelle took to figuring out how to defeat the creatures. She was a true scientist and wasn’t afraid to get bloody for it.
Overall, this was such a great story about family ties, both blood and found.