Stephanie Burgis is the author of the Kat, Incorrigible trilogy of Regency fantasy adventures for kids. Masks and Shadows, her first historical fantasy novel for adults, was published by Pyr earlier this year. Martha Wells calls her newest, Congress of Secrets, “A gripping and enjoyable historical fantasy thriller, with engaging characters scheming for survival and revenge, fighting addictive alchemical magic against the lush background of the 1814 Congress of Vienna.” That’s good enough for me.
In 1814, the Congress of Vienna has just begun. Diplomats battle over a new map of Europe, actors vie for a chance at glory, and aristocrats and royals from across the continent come together to celebrate the downfall of Napoleon… among them Lady Caroline Wyndham, a wealthy English widow. But Caroline has a secret: she was born Karolina Vogl, daughter of a radical Viennese printer. When her father was arrested by the secret police, Caroline’s childhood was stolen from her by dark alchemy.
Under a new name and nationality, she returns to Vienna determined to save her father even if she has to resort to the same alchemy that nearly broke her before. But she isn’t expecting to meet her father’s old apprentice, Michael Steinhüller, now a charming con man in the middle of his riskiest scheme ever. The sinister forces that shattered Caroline’s childhood still rule Vienna behind a glittering façade of balls and salons, Michael’s plan is fraught with danger, and both of their disguises are more fragile than they realize. What price will they pay to the darkness if either of them is to survive?
Our previous coverage of Stephanie Burgis includes:
Congress of Secrets was published by Pyr on November 1, 2016. It is 347 pages, priced at $17 in trade paperback and $9.99 in digital formats. The cover was designed by Nicole Sommer-Lecht.