by Zoe Sivak
Publication Date: Aug 02, 2022
List Price: $27.00
Format: Hardcover, 432 pages
Imprint: Berkley Books
Parent Company: Berkley Publishing Group
A bisexual, biracial protagonist from the late 1700s. A violent slave uprising in Haiti and it’s rippling effects into 18th century Paris. The drama of high-society French revolutionaries, with infamous agitator Robespierre and his mistress at the center.
When you think of the French Revolution, you probably don’t think of Haiti. Yet when the slaves of then Saint-Domingue lit their flame of revolution in 1791, it sparked and landed across the Atlantic. A new book takes us through both upheavals, as seen through the eyes a woman—the daughter of a white planter and an enslaved woman—caught between them.
Author Zoe Sivak, not yet 30 years old [as of July 2022], identifies as both Black and queer, like her protagonist.
A powerful, engrossing story of a biracial heiress who escapes to Paris when the Haitian Revolution burns across her island home. But as she works her way into the inner circle of Robespierre and his mistress, she learns that not even oceans can stop the flames of revolution.
Sylvie de Rosiers, as the daughter of a rich planter and an enslaved woman, enjoys the comforts of a lady in 1791 Saint-Domingue society. But while she was born to privilege, she was never fully accepted by island elites. After a violent rebellion begins the Haitian Revolution, Sylvie and her brother leave their family and old lives behind to flee unwittingly into another uprising—in austere and radical Paris. Sylvie quickly becomes enamored with the aims of the Revolution, as well as with the revolutionaries themselves—most notably Maximilien Robespierre and his mistress, Cornélie Duplay. As a rising leader and abolitionist, Robespierre sees an opportunity to exploit Sylvie’s race and abandonment of her aristocratic roots as an example of his ideals, while the strong-willed Cornélie offers Sylvie safe harbor and guidance in free thought. Sylvie battles with her past complicity in a slave society and her future within this new world order as she finds herself increasingly torn between Robespierre’s ideology and Cornélie’s love. When the Reign of Terror descends, Sylvie must decide whether to become an accomplice while a new empire rises on the bones of innocents…or risk losing her head.