Queen High

Thrilling dystopian fiction from the acclaimed author of Widowland, 'Clever, thrilling, brilliantly imagined ... chillingly convincing post-war dystopia' (Clare Chambers). Perfect for fans of Fatherland and The Handmaid's Tale.

Picked as a Book of the Year by The Daily Telegraph and The Financial Times

Nominated for the 2023 Prometheus Award

Britain, with the wrong queen.

1955. The Leader has been dead for two years. His assassination, on British soil, provoked violent retribution and intensified repression of British citizens, particularly women. Now, more than ever, the Protectorate is a place of surveillance and isolation - a land of spies.

The royal family has been usurped, and the widowed Queen Wallis reigns in their place. Yet still some citizens hold out hope that Elizabeth may one day return.

Every evening Rose Ransom looks in the mirror and marvels that she's even alive. A mere woman, her role in the Leader's death has been miraculously overlooked. She still works at the Culture Ministry, where her work now focuses on the outlawed subject of Poetry, a form of writing that transmits subversive meanings, emotions and signals that cannot be controlled. Therefore all Poetry is banned and Rose is appointed a Poet Hunter.

To widespread surprise, President Eisenhower is to make a state visit to the Alliance and Rose is tasked with visiting the widowed Wallis to provide a background briefing. When she arrives at the palace, she finds Wallis in a state of paranoia, desperate to return to America and enjoy the liberty of her homeland. She claims she has a secret document so explosive that it will blow the Protectorate apart - but will she dare to pull the trigger on the Alliance?

Brilliantly imagined and thoroughly chilling, this is a counterfactual tour de force

The Guardian

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Queen High book cover

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Signs of the times

It was fabulous to sign this stack of Queen High at Goldsboro Books this week. They produce a beautiful edition with a special sprayed edge. How cool is that! Though my C.J.Carey signature still comes less easily than my own name, I’m certainly getting the hang of it. According to Harry, the bookseller in Goldsboro’s treasure trove shop in Cecil Court, some authors are on a par with doctors for the legibility of their signatures…