Title: One For All
Author: Lillie Lainoff
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: March 8th, 2022
Genres: Young Adult historical fantasy
Buy at:Blackwells | Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Add to Goodreads
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.
A gender-bent retelling of The Three Musketeers featuring a girl with chronic illness. A finishing school that is actually a training ground for lady spies. An assassination plot. A found sisterhood. Truly one for all and all for one. When I heard about One For All by Lillie Lainoff, I was quite eager to read it.
“We are not the ones who are written into history. We are the ones who ensure history exists to be written.“
The debut novel just grabs you from the word go. And NEVER do you feel sorry for Tania. In fact, you root for her and her sisterhood. Her resolve to find her father’s killers alongside saving the crown.
The characters are all well fleshed out. Sixteen-year-old Tania. Her father, a retired musketeer. Madame de Treville who takes her under her wings. The found family in Portia, Aria, and Théa (based on Porthos, Aramis, and Athos). The trio who look out for her but are never her crutches.
“The three of you made me realize that whatever this dizziness is … well, maybe it’s never been the real problem. It’s horrible and it hurts and it makes me feel fragile in a way I never wanted, but it’s not the thing that tears me apart. The problem, the real problem, is the people who decide I’m unworthy because of it.”
Blog Tour: One For All by Lillie Lainoff #BookReview #OneForAllTour @ColoredPagesBT @LillieLainoff @FeiwelFriends #BohoPonderings Click To Tweet
We have come a long way since disability was villainized in folk tales. But rarely do we see disability representation in historical fiction or even contemporary fiction for that matter. And more often than not, it is mere lip service. Characters with invisible illnesses are more or less non-existent. Tania is so much more than her disability.
One For All is perhaps one of the first traditionally published books featuring the main character with POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome). Here, POTS does not mysteriously vanish or cure itself along the course of the story. In fact, with her resolve and training, Tania overcomes the limitations of her illness. Her illness does not define her. And that is so refreshing to read.
“Now, whenever I had a good day, people were quick to assume I felt better. It was hard enough living with the knowledge that if I felt healthy, it didn’t mean the next day would be the same. Being reminded of that fact by others was a painfully close second.“
An ownvoice novel (the author battles POTS too), Tania’s experiences growing up are very real. From the constant jabs to being singled out to being considered too delicate. Rejection because her invisible illness is not physical and readily evident. Trust issues and her cynicism that all the support she receives is just in passing.
As is evident, the book is set in France in the 1650s. A time when women barely had any agency. A time when there was no place for the disabled, let alone a disabled woman. Daggers and dueling swords hidden beneath the beautiful ball gowns. Swashbuckling lady spies saving the crown. It is indeed an enjoyable read.
I loved the book and cannot recommend it enough. It is definitely among my favorite reads of the year. If you enjoy feminist retellings, historical fiction, fantasy fiction, or otherwise, do pick up the book. You will not be disappointed.Blog Tour: One For All by Lillie Lainoff #BookReview @LillieLainoff @CindyAnnDSilva @nooranand @RREStudios @events_showcase #BlogaberryDazzle #BohoPonderings Click To Tweet
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 the 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.
I would like to thank Colored Pages Book Tours and the publisher for providing a copy of the book for the blog tour. All opinions are my own.