“In Charlatan, Braithwaite weaves a dark, intricate tale of mystery, sorcery, and a woman’s desperate pursuit to charm the most powerful man in the seventeenth-century France. Braithwaite’s debut is stunning with an array of distinctive characters, a gripping plot, and a perfection portion of poison and witchcraft. Brilliant!”
Weina Dai Randel, author of The Moon in the Palace and The Empress of Bright Moon
“I enjoyed it enormously…you brought The Affair flooding back to me with added excellent detail…It really is a remarkable achievement.” Anne Somerset, author The Affair of the Poisons
“This book kept me reading into the night…luxury and squalor, royal scandal and sorcery…how could it not?” Fay Weldon, author The Life and Loves of a She-devil
1676. In a hovel in the centre of Paris, the fortune-teller La Voisin holds a black mass, summoning the devil to help an unnamed client keep the love of the King of France, Louis XIV.
Three years later, Athénaïs, Madame de Montespan, the King’s glamorous mistress, is nearly forty. She has borne Louis seven children but now seethes with rage as he falls for eighteen-year-old, Angélique de Fontanges. Athénaïs must do something to keep the King’s love and secure her children’s future, but how? And at what length is she willing to go?
At the same time, police chief La Reynie and his young assistant Bezons have uncovered a network of fortune-tellers and poisoners operating in the city. Athénaïs does not know it, but she is about to be named as a favoured client of the infamous La Voisin.
Charlatan was published by Fireship Press in September 2016 and is available in paperback and ebook formats. In 2016, Charlatan was longlisted for both the Historical Novel Society New Novel Award and the Mslexia Novel Prize. It is currently shortlisted for the Chanticleer Chaucer Award for Historical Fiction. In 2010 an early draft of Kate’s novel won the Random House/Toronto University Student Writing Award.