One for All by Lillie Lainoff is the gender-bent retelling of The Three Musketeers that I have been waiting for. With its action-packed plot and compelling cast of characters, this one lived up to all of my expectations. The audiobook is equally well done, and I had no issues keep up with the fast-moving plot. This is a meaningful story of sisterhood and sword fights that fans of historical fiction will love.Title: One for All
Author: Lillie Lainoff
Narrator: Mara Wilson
Publisher: Farrar Straus & Giroux
Genres: Action/Adventure, Historical Fiction, Retelling, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: March 8, 2022
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.
❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃
Review: One for All by Lillie Lainoff
Following the murder of her father, Tania is sent away to finishing school to honour his dying wish. As she dreams of following in his footsteps as a Musketeer, this request first seems like a betrayal, but Tania quickly learns that the school is not what it seems. On top of learning to charm men, the school serves as a secret training ground for women to become Musketeers. However, during her training with her new sisters, Tania finds herself wrapped up in a major assassination plot, and it is up to her to help gather information–information that may even be related to her father’s murder. As her target is surprisingly cute and thoughtful, Tania must decide where her loyalties lie and what she is willing to fight for.
❀ Compelling Main Character
Tania is a compelling main character, as are each of the side characters. Tania herself must work twice as hard to follow her dream because of the constant dizziness she experiences as a result of her disability, and I felt for her as she is determined prove herself as more than the “sick girl.” While she is strong throughout the entire book, it takes her some time to acknowledge her own strength, and I loved watching her slowly gain confidence in herself at the academy. The other girls are equally complex, and their bond is so well written. Their mutual support and growth is more significant than the romance, which makes for a heartwarming story.
❀ Enjoyable audiobook
As an audiobook, I really enjoyed listening to this one. There are many characters to keep track of throughout the book, but Mara Wilson does an exceptional job making each sound distinct by giving each character their own little quirks–from Théa’s high energy to Madame de Treville’s refined elegance. I also enjoyed the way the narrator captures the emotions behind each scene, such as Tania’s frustration, which makes this a satisfying listening experience.
❀ Feminist Story
One for All by Lillie Lainoff is a feminist story of strength and found family. I adored the concept of a gender-bent retelling of The Three Musketeers, and the cast of richly developed characters is one of the book’s highlights. The audiobook is also well-narrated, and I would definitely recommend this format to those looking for an action-packed story of sisterhood.