Book Reviews

One for All by Lillie Lainoff // Book Review

Blurb

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.

Rating

Review

The disability rep and discussions around Tania’s disability, Post Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, was excellent, but unfortunately the rest of the book fell pretty flat for me. I struggled to really engage with the story, or care about the characters.

I did find myself frequently wondering why I should care if the King was assassinated. If I was in Les Mis, I certainly would be part of the lowest classes, and I know that 100 years after this comes the revolution anyway. I don’t believe we ever meet the King or are given any real reason to care if he died.

I found the plot quite predictable, and extremely slow moving. It could have been fleshed out by using the time to build strong connections between the girls, because I never fully got a sense of the sibling-like bond that they claimed to have.

This feels like a weak start to what could be a strong series, but this is looking to be a standalone. I would be interested in sequel, which I think is needed to better build Tania and Henry’s connection, as well as give us a better view of the world around them.

Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments!

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2 thoughts on “One for All by Lillie Lainoff // Book Review

  1. Hadn’t seen a lot of mixed reviews about this one, but I appreciated reading your honesty! I feel like sometimes books sound great on the premise but sometimes the execution may not work 😭 Interested in seeing the characters & delving into the plot, they still sound so interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review! I added this to my TBR when I first heard about it but I’ve been seeing a lot of mixed reviews for it. A lot of others mentioned that the disability rep was great but that the rest of the story fell flat or didn’t live up to expectations, which is disappointing!

    Liked by 1 person

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