Vanessa Riley

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Queen Charlotte, Black Queen, Black History, Queen of Haiti, Women's Empowerment, Black Royals, Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex Markle

Looking for A Good Book to Read? Try Queen of Exiles!

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"You may not know Marie-Louise Christophe but once you have met her, you won't forget her. Vanessa Riley's historical novel feels timely and relevant, commemorating a time when Black women were queens." - Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"A sweeping look at the political, social, and romantic intrigue surrounding Haiti's first and only queen. Riley's depiction is richly imagined and wholly original." - Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Magnolia Palace

"Queen of Exiles is the riveting account of Marie-Louise Christophe, Haiti's first and only Queen. Bold, ambitious, historically sound and beautifully told." - Sadeqa Johnson, New York Times bestselling author of The House of Eve
Fans of Regency romances and stories of strong Black women will find Haiti's Queen Marie--Louise irresistible. Riley's engaging characters pull us into the world of privileged royals, their stately homes, breathtaking wealth, and, deliciously, their romances and illicit affairs. Acutely aware of the challenges facing a Black queen, Riley deftly builds a portrait of a proud woman who commits her life to showing the world "that it was possible to be royal, Black, and have a happily-ever-after life." -- Kirkus
"A gripping tale of triumph and tragedy. . . The immensely talented Vanessa Riley traces the little--known yet crucially important life of this real--life, nineteenth--century woman, immersing readers in Queen Louise's inspiring history. A tour de force!" --MARIE BENEDICT, New York Times bestselling author of The Mitford Affair
"From the very first page, I was drawn into the Kingdom of Hayti and into the life of Marie--Louise Christophe. This book is majestic from the characters that were so well written it seemed as if 1 could feel each one's heartbeat, to the travel between the decades where I felt the joy of her triumphs as the queen, to the pain of her exile. Queen of Exiles is one novel that you will never want to put down. It should be required reading. -- VICTORIA CHRISTOPHER MURRAY,
New York Times bestselling author of The Personal Librarian
The Queen of Black historical fiction is back, following Sister Mother Warrior (2022) with another novel exploring the life of a powerful but often overlooked Black woman, Queen Marie--Louise Coidavid of Haiti. Riley brings well--deserved vitality to the story of an incredible woman and a unique newborn nation. -- Booklist

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Need a Good Book to Read or Listen to? Queen of Exiles is for you. 

Passionate, regal Marie-Louise Christophe, wife and then widow of King Henry I, jointly ruled the newly liberated Kingdom of Hayti, guiding the nation's renaissance until it fell to a violent uprising.

In 1810 in a ceremony befitting European royalty, Louise is crowned queen, reigning over the first free Black nation in the Western Hemisphere. She must temper Henry's lust for power and honor against court intrigues and the indifference exhibited by former allies like Britain and the new United States that leave Hayti vulnerable to demands of French reparations, war, and recolonization. Louise desperately tries to steer her ambitious husband from ruin as King Henry descends into a mire of mental illness.

In 1820, the kingdom is overthrown. Henry dies by his own hand. Louise and her daughters manage to flee to Europe with their smuggled jewels. The resilient Louise recovers Henry's fortune and reestablishes herself as an equal to the kings of Europe. With newspapers and gossip tracking their every movement, she and her daughters tour Europe like other royals, complete with glittering balls and princes and marriage proposals. As they find their footing--and acceptance--they discover more about themselves, own their Blackness in elite spaces, and celebrate opportunities in a European and male-dominated world.  

Queen of Exiles is the tale of a remarkable Black woman of history--a canny and bold survivor who chooses the fire and ideals of political struggle and then is forced to rebuild her life on her own terms, forever a queen.


List and Reviews Featuring Queen of Exiles:

        Editor's Choice

Sisters AARP

Duchess of York's Historical Book Club



Publisher: HarperCollins | Imprint: William Morrow |Hardcover
Release: July 2023