★ "This witty and romantic story is a must-read.”— SLJ
★ "Compelling and unique—there's nothing else like it."—Booklist
★ "[A] powerful and resonant story of compassion, love, and finding a way to fulfill obligations while maintaining one’s identity."—PW, starred review
“That Inevitable Victorian Thing is alternate history at its most intricate—woven with Victorian airs and a deeply optimistic vision of the future. I fell in love with E. K. Johnston’s world, along with the bright, beautiful characters who call it home.” —Ryan Graudin, award-winning author of Wolf By Wolf
"This book, by alternate-history wizard and all-around word genius E. K. Johnston, is both an enchanting modern fairy tale and an un-put-downable, utterly captivating, thoroughly surprising work of speculative fiction. I would be delighted to brush up on my curtsy and join these characters for a tea party or coming-out ball."—Robin Talley, New York Times bestselling author
That Inevitable Victorian Thing
Dutton Books for Young Readers / 2017
Victoria-Margaret is the crown princess of the empire, a direct descendent of Victoria I, the queen who changed the course of history. The imperial tradition of genetically arranged matchmaking will soon guide Margaret into a politically advantageous marriage. But before she does her duty, she'll have one summer of freedom and privacy in a far corner of empire. Posing as a commoner in Toronto, she meets Helena Marcus, daughter of one of the empire's greatest placement geneticists, and August Callaghan, the heir to a powerful shipping firm currently besieged by American pirates. In a summer of high-society debutante balls, politically charged tea parties, and romantic country dances, Margaret, Helena, and August discover they share an extraordinary bond and maybe a one-in-a-million chance to have what they want and to change the world in the process.
Set in a near-future world where the British Empire was preserved not by the cost of blood and theft but by the effort of repatriation and promises kept, That Inevitable Victorian Thing is a surprising, romantic, and thought-provoking story of love, duty, and the small moments that can change people and the world.