A feminist COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO based on a true story…
The king killed her husband.
The duke betrayed her.
Neither knew they were creating their worst nightmare.
Now 43-year-old Jeanne de Clisson—France’s most notorious female pirate—will stop at nothing to destroy them both.
The end began with the cat.
Black as the depths of the sea—seeming less like a cat and more like a cat-shaped hole cut into the world, a shadow that moved between this plane and the next—the cat arrived at Castle Clisson just as the sun lit up the courtyard with its morning hues of pink and gold.
Jeanne watched from an upper window with a half smile as the panicked servant girls tried to shoo the cat away, screaming and skittering away anytime it turned toward them. Black cats were bad omens. The familiars of witches. Dark portents. Messengers of the devil himself.
The servant girls crossed themselves and squealed and brandished rags and sticks. Even serious Sandrine—usually the least easily ruffled of Jeanne’s attendants—stood back from the animal, not screaming, but not making a move to help either.
Jeanne shook her head, rolled her eyes, and turned from the window to make her way down to the courtyard and remove the offending animal herself. She didn’t believe in omens or the familiars of witches or that the devil had enough interest in the affairs of men to send his servants disguised as animals to torment them.
But she did believe in fleas—and that cats had no place in her castle.
So down the stairs she went. But as she rounded the last corner and stepped into the courtyard, the cat no longer mattered at all.