ONE FOR ALL
REPRESENTATION: MC with chronic illness (POTS)
GENRES/ SUBJECTS: Historical, Retelling (The Three Musketeers)
ONE FOR ALL is pitched as a gender-flipped retelling of The Three Musketeers. In reality, I’d describe it rather as a continuation or ‘inspired by’ rather than a strict retelling.
Tania finds herself in Paris, in a sort of shadow-version of the Musketeers. It’ll appeal to readers who enjoy ‘finishing school for assassins’ type stories and a bit of sultry espionage — one of Tania’s fellow musketeers, while plotting a seduction, has nicknames for each of her breasts, which I found hysterical! There’s a great girl gang found family and a not-exactly enemies-to-lovers when Tania falls for her first mark, Etienne.
Having read Dumas’ version, I have to say Lainoff’s writing is far more readable. There’s none of the wandering repetition and the plot moves at a far pacier clip.
Without being able to speak to the representation, I found Lainoff’s depiction of Tania’s POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) to be one of the most interesting parts of the story. It (as feels most believable) affects Tania in all sorts of ways — from her relationship with her mother, her future marriage prospects and her own self-confidence. Lainoff also shows how with the help of other characters and reasonable adjustments, Tania is able to pursue her dreams — without either delivering some magical cure, or implying that Tania’s symptoms are something she should simply overcome. Tania’s symptoms are woven throughout the story and her character, neither being avoided when inconvenient times nor feeling like an ‘add-on’.
I should also say that this was my first audiobook ARC. I’m not exactly sure how to separate out that aspect for review purposes, but I thought Mara Wilson did a great job. Her voice is pleasant to listen to and the odd phrase thrown in in French added a bit of colour to the performance.
Overall, an thoroughly enjoyable historical YA with some well-written, lesser known representation.
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.
A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.