Review: One for All by Lillie Lainoff

One for All by Lillie Lainoff

One for All
Lillie Lainoff
Farrar, Strauss and Giroux
Published March 8, 2022

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About One for All

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.

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea on Goodreads

My Review

I’ve been wanting to read this book since before it came out! I wasn’t able to get a pre-release copy, but a group that I write editorial reviews for sent me a copy a while ago, so I cleared my schedule and sat down to read it!

The setting swept me away. I loved getting lost in the beautiful descriptions of places and lovely dresses and parties. Tania also spends a good deal of time practicing fencing, so I loved getting to read about some of the technical side of that. I thought those descriptions were easy to follow (and I know nothing of fencing) and well-paced.

The characters are charming, too. I loved the girls Tania joins at Madame Treville’s establishment. They each bring different talents and sensibilities to the team of Mousquetaires. I loved reading about them getting to know one another and building relationships with each other. I kind of wish we had gotten to know Henri a bit more, but it makes sense that the story would focus on the four girls.

I really enjoyed reading this book. I can’t speak for the accuracy of the representation, but I can say as a reader, Tania’s experience was very accessible. Her illness intruded into her life in some ways, but it didn’t define her. Sometimes it meant she had to work hard to compensate for her limits as best as she could, and other times it meant she leaned on people she could trust. I thought that seemed like a great balance, and it kept the story from being dominated by her symptoms and Tania centerstage.

On the whole, I loved it. I would definitely read more by Lillie Lainoff, so I’m excited to see what she writes next. I think readers who enjoy historical fiction like THE RING AND THE CROWN by Melissa de la Cruz will love this one.

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea on Bookshop

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 12 up.

Representation
Tania is disabled and has POTS.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Brief profanity in French used infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between boy and girl. References to girls’ reputations and the harm that rumors about them being taken advantage of or being caught in a romantic position could do. References to an assault that happened before the story began.

Spiritual Content
None.

Violent Content
Tania and her sisters in arms are trained in fencing. Some situations of peril occur. Some brief battle violence, no graphic injuries.

Drug Content
References to social drinking at parties and dinners.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support this blog. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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