The Queen of the Night (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Lilliet Berne is one of the most captivating protagonists I've read this year. The story is operatic (no surprise), immense, complex, and every bit as dramatic as one would hope for a story of this sort. Although the NY Times (or at least Gardiner) disagrees, I did find the novel, and the writing, to be full of transcendental magic and, before reading The Queen of the Night, I didn't realize I had such interest in the songs and voices of opera, not to mention the incredibly detailed descriptions of dress in the 19th century. I highly recommend this book even if you don't *think* the topic of opera or the genre of historical novel is of interest to you. --Nicole

— From Staff Picks - Nicole

February 2016 Indie Next List

“This historical novel about an opera singer is as grand and theatrical as opera itself. It is the story of a legendary soprano who looks back at her past to solve a mystery, but it is also a story of an artist and the road she takes to become one. Chee attempts the seemingly impossible -- to describe a soprano voice with words -- and he succeeds brilliantly, creating a tale that is vivid, intricate, and rich. Throw in cameos by figures like Verdi and George Sand, fascinating details about royal fashions, 19th century Paris, theater, and a circus, and the result is a perfect novel.”
— Anton Bogomazov, Politics & Prose Books and Coffee Shop, Washington, DC


"This book is a glorious performance . . . Enveloping, seductive." --Karen Russell

A National Bestseller, the mesmerizing story of one woman's rise from circus rider to courtesan to world-renowned diva--"a brilliant performance" (Washington Post).

Lilliet Berne is a sensation of the Paris Opera, a legendary soprano with every accolade except an original role, every singer's chance at immortality. When one is finally offered to her, she realizes with alarm that the libretto is based on a hidden piece of her past. Only four could have betrayed her: one is dead, one loves her, one wants to own her. And one, she hopes, never thinks of her at all.

As she mines her memories for clues, she recalls her life as an orphan who left the American frontier for Europe and was swept up into the glitzy, gritty world of Second Empire Paris. In order to survive, she transformed herself from hippodrome rider to courtesan, from empress's maid to debut singer, all the while weaving a complicated web of romance, obligation, and political intrigue.

Featuring a cast of characters drawn from history, The Queen of the Night follows Lilliet as she moves ever closer to the truth behind the mysterious opera and the role that could secure her reputation -- or destroy her with the secrets it reveals.

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9780618663026
ISBN-10: 0618663029
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Publication Date: February 2nd, 2016
Pages: 576
Language: English