HarperVoyager snaps up Marie Antoinette historical fantasy

HarperVoyager snaps up Marie Antoinette historical fantasy

HarperVoyager has scooped a magical reimagining of the lives of two eighteenth century Hapsburg princesses.

Assistant editor Jack Renninson has acquired world rights to The Embroidered Book by Kate Heartfield from Jennie Goloboy at the Donald Maass Literary Agency. The Canadian author’s novel will be released in summer 2021.

According to HarperCollins’s fantasy imprint: “The Embroidered Book combines the intrigues and political struggles of a revolutionary era with dangerous magic. In 1767 two Hapsburg princesses discover a book of spells and begin to experiment, with deadly consequences. Sent to marry in distant kingdoms,Queens Maria Carolina of Naples and Marie Antoinette of France use magic to protect themselves in a vicious, rapidly changing world, but soon find themselves on different sides of a secret war as Europe spirals into revolution.”

Renninson said: “Kate effortlessly threads magic into the politics and culture of an already fascinating period, and the characters she has chosen from history are irresistible – an enlightened tyrant and a hesitant royal revolutionary, dashing naval officers and Swedish counts, charlatans, spies, philosophers, prodigies, and duellists.”

Kate Heartfield said: “I’ve long been haunted by the story of these two sister queens, and their world of dark secrets, impossible inventions and historic revolutions. Imagining magic in that world hardly seemed a stretch at all. It gives me great joy to work with Jack and benefit from his enthusiasm and vision for this project, and I'm so glad my book has found such a perfect home."

Heartfield’s fiction has previously been shortlisted for the Nebula, Locus, Crawford and Aurora awards.