Take a look at some of the latest additions to our New and Featured Fiction collections! We check in new books nearly every day—check out the First Floor's LibraryThing account where we log all of our newest arrivals!
New Fiction - March 2015
Green on Blue
From a decorated veteran of the Iraq and Afghan Wars, and White House Fellow, a stirring debut novel about a young Afghan orphan and the harrowing, intractable nature of war. Aziz and his older brother Ali are coming of age in a village amid the pine forests and endless mountains of eastern Afghanistan. There is no school, but their mother teaches them to read and write, and once a month sends the boys on a two-day journey to the bazaar. They are poor, but inside their mud-walled home, the family has stability, love, and routine. When a convoy of armed men arrives in their village one day, their world crumbles. Having served five tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, Elliot Ackerman has written a gripping, morally complex debut novel, an astonishing feat of empathy and imagination about boys caught in a deadly conflict.
Gone Are the Leaves
The mesmerizing new novel by the author of Buddha Da
Feilamort can remember very little of his childhood before he became a choir boy in the home of the Laird and his French wife. Feilamort has one of the finest voices in the land. It is a gift he believes will protect him. Deirdre has lived in the castle all her short life. Apprentice to her mother, she embroiders the robes for one of Scotland's finest families. She can capture, with just a few delicate stitches, the ripeness of a bramble or the glint of bronze on a fallen leaf. But with her mother pushes her to choose between a man she does not love and a closed world of prayer and solitude, Deirdre must decide for herself what her life will become. When the time comes for Feilamort to make an awful decision, his choice catapults himself and Deirdre head-first into adulthood. As the two friends learn more about Feilamort's forgotten childhood, it becomes clear that someone close is intent on keeping it hidden. Full of wonder and intrigue, and told with the grace and charm, this is the enchanting story of one boy's lost past and his uncertain future.
Once upon a Mulberry Field
As Roger Connors, a widower with no children, ponders whether to pursue aggressive treatment for his cancer, a cryptic note arrives from a long-lost USAF buddy announcing the visit of an acquaintance from Vietnam. The startling news resurrects ghosts of fallen comrades and haunting memories of the great love he once knew. Shocking revelations from his visitor uncover a missing part of Roger's life he never dreamed possible. Peeling back one layer at a time, he delves into a decades-old secret in search of answers and traces of a passion unfulfilled. From the jungles of Vietnam through the minefields of the heart, Once upon a Mulberry Field follows one man's journey to self-discovery, fraught with disillusionment and despair but ultimately redeemed by the power of love.
I Am Radar
The moment just before Radar Radmanovic is born, all of the hospital's electricity mysteriously fails. The delivery takes place in total darkness. Lights back on, the staff sees a healthy baby boy-with pitch-black skin-born to the stunned white parents. No one understands the uncanny electrical event or the unexpected skin color. "A childbirth is an explosion," the ancient physician says by way of explanation. "Some shrapnel is inevitable, isn't it?" A kaleidoscopic novel both heartbreaking and dazzling, Reif Larsen's I Am Radar begins with Radar's perplexing birth but rapidly explodes outward, carrying readers across the globe and throughout history, as well as to unknown regions where radio waves and subatomic particles dance to their own design. Spanning this extraordinary range with grace and empathy, humor and courage, I Am Radar is the vessel where a century of conflict and art unite in a mesmerizing narrative whole.
The Magician's Lie
Water for Elephants meets The Night Circus in The Magician's Lie, a debut novel in which the country's most notorious female illusionist stands accused of her husband's murder - and she has only one night to convince a small-town policeman of her innocence. The Amazing Arden is the most famous female illusionist of her day, renowned for her notorious trick of sawing a man in half on stage. One night in Waterloo, Iowa, with young policeman Virgil Holt watching from the audience, she swaps her trademark saw for a fire ax. Is it a new version of the illusion, or an all-too-real murder? When Arden's husband is found lifeless beneath the stage later that night, the answer seems clear. But when Virgil happens upon the fleeing magician and takes her into custody, she has a very different story to tell. Even handcuffed and alone, Arden is far from powerless - and what she reveals is as unbelievable as it is spellbinding. Over the course of one eerie night, Virgil must decide whether to turn Arden in or set her free... and it will take all he has to see through the smoke and mirrors.
From the author of Remainder and C (short-listed for the Man Booker Prize), and a winner of the Windham-Campbell Literature Prize, comes Satin Island, an unnerving novel that promises to give us the first and last word on the world--modern, postmodern, whatever world you think you are living in. U., a "corporate anthropologist," is tasked with writing the Great Report, an all-encompassing ethnographic document that would sum up our era. Yet at every turn, he feels himself overwhelmed by the ubiquity of data, lost in buffer zones, wandering through crowds of apparitions, willing them to coalesce into symbols that can be translated into some kind of account that makes sense. As he begins to wonder if the Great Report might remain a shapeless, oozing plasma, his senses are startled awake by a dream of an apocalyptic cityscape. In Satin Island , Tom McCarthy captures—as only he can—the way we experience our world, our efforts to find meaning (or just to stay awake) and discern the narratives we think of as our lives.
A couple finds their perfect beach vacation shattered when MI5 use their villa to spy on the crime boss next door in the newest thriller from the "best spy novelist ever" (Philadelphia Inquirer) MI5 officer Winnie Monks has never forgotten - or forgiven - the brutal murder of a young agent on her team at the hands of a former Russian Army officer turned fixer and criminal known as the Major. Now, ten years later, she learns that the Major is travelling to a villa at the popular Spanish holiday destination Costa del Sol, and she asks permission to send in a surveillance unit. The spooks locate an empty property near the Major's: the Villa Paraiso. It's perfect to spy from - and as a base for Winnie's darker, less official, plans. But it turns out the villa isn't deserted. The owners have invited a young British couple to house sit while they are away. Jonno and Posie, a new couple, think they are embarking on a romantic, carefree break in the sun. But when the MI5 team arrives in paradise, everything changes—their holiday is about to become a terrifying journey into the violent global business of organized crime in The Outsiders by Gerald Seymour—a sophisticated thriller from a renowned master.
The Marble Orchard
An engrossing and tragic literary thriller that evokes the sinister realism of Cormac McCarthy and the inescapable family bonds of Daniel Woodrell, The Marble Orchard tells the story of Beam, the black sheep of the Sheetmire family, a large and entrenched rural Kentucky clan. Beam finds himself on the run after killing a man who was trying to rob him, a man who turns out to be the son of Loat Duncan, a powerful local businessman and cold-blooded killer. With Loat—who is hiding a devastating secret about Beam's past—and Elvis, the local sheriff, hot on his trail, Beam leads a nomadic existence as he descends deeper into his own heart of darkness, slipping from one place to the next, each more mysterious than the last. The people he meets during his journey—an enigmatic trucker dressed in a suit, a cemetery-dwelling Good Samaritan, an armless brothel owner—are pieces of a puzzle that hold the key to Beam's past, as wellas his possible future salvation.
Twelve year old Caitlin lives alone with her mother-a docker at the local container port-in subsidized housing next to an airport in Seattle. Each day, while she waits to be picked up after school, Caitlin visits the local aquarium to study the fish. Gazing at the creatures within the watery depths, Caitlin accesses a shimmering universe beyond her own. When she befriends an old man at the tanks one day, who seems as enamored of the fish as she, Caitlin cracks open a dark family secret and propels her once-blissful relationship with her mother toward a precipice of terrifying consequence. In crystalline, chiseled yet graceful prose, Aquarium takes us into the heart of a brave young girl whose longing for love and capacity for forgiveness transforms the damaged people around her. Relentless and heartbreaking, primal and redemptive, Aquarium is a transporting story from one of the best American writers of our time.
New Science Fiction and Fantasy - March 2015
Dark Intelligence: Transformation Book One
One man will transcend death to seek vengeance. One woman will transform herself to gain power. And no one will emerge unscathed... Dark Intelligence is the explosive first novel in a brand new trilogy from military SF master Neal Asher and a new chapter in his epic Polity universe.
Fatal Feast (A Merlin Mystery)
When an Irish knight dies mysteriously at a banquet she is hosting, Queen Guenivere is charged with murder and faces death at the stake if found guilty. Her loyal page, Gildas, rushes to the woods to track down Merlin and convince him to take up the investigation and save the queen. Fatal Feast is a fast-paced murder mystery set in the legendary court of Camelot, imagined as it might have existed in the high Middle Ages, with Sir Gawain, Sir Gareth, and Sir Lancelot in pivotal roles, and the young Gildas, enamored of the queen's young lady-in-waiting Rosemounde, an unlikely courtly lover focused on saving the queen and impressing his Rosemounde — not necessarily in that order.
Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy: Annihilation; Authority; Acceptance
In time for the holidays, a single-volume hardcover edition that brings together the three volumes of the Southern Reach Trilogy, which were originally published as paperback originals in February, May, and September 2014.
New Mysteries - March 2015
Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman
Lady Montfort has been planning her annual summer costume ball for months, and with scrupulous care. Pulling together the food, flowers and a thousand other details for one of the most significant social occasions of the year is her happily accepted responsibility. But when her husband's degenerate nephew is found murdered, it's more than the ball that is ruined. In fact, Lady Montfort fears that the official police enquiry, driven by petty snobbery and class prejudice, is pointing towards her son as a potential suspect. Taking matters into her own hands, the rather over- imaginative countess enlists the help of her pragmatic housekeeper, Mrs. Jackson, to investigate the case, track down the women that vanished the night of the murder, and clear her son's name. As the two women search for a runaway housemaid and a headstrong young woman, they unearth the hidden lives of Lady Montfort's close friends, servants and family and discover the identity of a murderer hiding in plain sight. In this enchanting debut sure to appeal to fans of Downton Abbey , Tessa Arlen draws readers into a world exclusively enjoyed by the rich, privileged classes and suffered by the men and women who serve them. Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman is an elegant mystery filled with intriguing characters and fascinating descriptions of Edwardian life—a superb treat for those who love British novels.
Silence the Dead
The new mayor of a small town in Illinois unearths a series of devastating secrets when he re-opens a 30-year-old murder investigation. 17-year-old Betty Jo Dean was abducted and murdered thirty years ago. It took two days to find her body. She was found, fully dressed apart from her slacks, beneath a gnarled, stunted tree, shot in the back of the head. No one was ever charged with her murder. Now, following an appeal from one of his constituents, Mayor Mac Bassett has called for the case to be re-opened. But when the body is exhumed, it is revealed that the skull, found loose in the coffin, does not belong to Betty Jo. If Mac could discover why Betty Jo's head was taken, he would be one step closer to finding out who killed her. But no one in the small town of Grand Point is talking. Sheriffs, doctors, medical examiners: everyone seems to be warning Mac off. And then people start dying ...
Sour Grapes (A Shakespeare in the Vineyard Mystery)
When the home security alarm awakens Cait in the middle of the night, she assumes there are bugs in the new system and has it checked out the next day. When the security company technician arrives, he finds a halberd — a Shakespearean weapon — and a knife on the ground, which are construed as evidence of an attempted break-in. Cait recognizes the knife. It's the same military combat knife found on Hank Dillon, the bank robber she shot and killed two years ago while on duty as a cop in Ohio. Sour Grapes is a fast-paced novel of suspense. Cait and Navy SEAL Royal Tanner reconnect romantically and her Shakespearean plays go on as scheduled.
The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Grimswell Curse
When Rose Grimswell breaks off her engagement to Lord Digby, the concerned fiancé calls on Sherlock Holmes to visit the ancestral home to find out why. Holmes, his cousin Henry, and wife Michelle explore the legend of the Grimswell Curse when a mysterious figure is spotted on the moor accompanied by a large creature.
New Horror - March 2015
From the acclaimed author of The Troop- which Stephen King raved "scared the hell out of me and I couldn't put it down....old-school horror at its best"-comes this utterly terrifying novel where The Abyss meets The Shining. A strange plague called the 'Gets is decimating humanity on a global scale. It causes people to forget-small things at first, like where they left their keys, then the not-so-small things, like how to drive or the letters of the alphabet. Their bodies forget how to function involuntarily. There is no cure. But now, far below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, deep in the Mariana Trench, a heretofore-unknown substance hailed as "ambrosia"-a universal healer, from initial reports-has been discovered. It may just be the key to eradicating the 'Gets. In order to study this phenomenon, a special research lab, the Trieste , has been built eight miles under the sea's surface. But when the station goes incommunicado, a brave few descend through the lightless fathoms in hopes of unraveling the mysteries lurking at those crushing depths...and perhaps to encounter an evil blacker than anything one could possibly imagine.
In this gripping sequel to the acclaimed Mayhem, author Sarah Pinborough continues the adventures of troubled Victorian forensics expert Dr. Thomas Bond. Haunted by the nerve-shattering events he endured during the Jack the Ripper and Thames Torso Killer investigations, Dr. Bond is trying to reestablish the normal routines of daily life. Aiding in his recovery is the growing possibility that his long-held affections for the recently widowed Juliana Harrington might finally be reciprocated. He begins to allow himself to dream of one day forming a family with her and her young boy. Soon, however, a new suitor arrives in London, challenging the doctor's claims on Juliana's happiness. Worse, it seems the evil creature that Dr. Bond had wrestled with during the Ripper and Torso Killer investigations is back and stronger than ever. As the corpses of murdered children begin to turn up in the Thames, the police surgeon finds himself once again in a life-and-death struggle with an uncanny, inexorable foe.
New World Fiction - March 2015
The Forgotten Girls
The dark secrets of a closed mental institution are revealed in this mystery by Denmark's queen of crime.
The Country Road
The stories in this volume are largely set in the Swiss countryside, and though resonant of nineteenth-century village tales and of authors such as Adalbert Stifter, Ullmann's distinctive, otherworldly voice has inspired comparisons to her contemporary Robert Walser. In her stories, the archaic and the modern collide. In one tale, a young woman on an exhausting country walk recoils at a passing bicyclist, but accepts a ride from a wagon, taking her seat on a trunk with a snake coiled inside. As Ullmann writes, "sometimes the whole world appears to be painted on porcelain, right down to the dangerous cracks." This delicate but brittle beauty, with its ominous undertones, gives Regina Ullmann her unique voice.
The author of Red Sorghum and China's most revered and controversial novelist returns with his first major publication since winning the Nobel Prize In 2012, the Nobel committee confirmed Mo Yan's position as one of the greatest and most important writers of our time. In his much-anticipated new novel, Mo Yan chronicles the sweeping history of modern China through the lens of the nation's controversial one-child policy.
New LGBTQ Fiction - March 2015
Chef Evan Stanford steadily climbed New York City's culinary ladder, earning himself the Rising Star James Beard award and an executive chef position at an acclaimed restaurant. But in his quest to build his reputation, he forgot what got him there: the lessons on food--and life--from a loving hometown neighbor. Patrick Sullivan is contented keeping the memory of his grandmother's Irish cooking alive through the food he prepares in a Brooklyn diner. But when Chef Stanford walks in for a meal, Patrick is swept up by his drive, forcing him to reconsider if a contented life is a fulfilled one. The two men begin a journey through their culinary histories, falling into an easy friendship. But even with the joys of their burgeoning love, can they tap into that secret recipe of great love, great food and transcendent joy?
Blackmail, My Love: A Murder Mystery
Blackmail, My Love is an illustrated murder mystery deeply steeped in San Francisco's queer history. Established academic and first-time novelist Katie Gilmartin's diverse set of characters negotiate the risks of same- sex desire in a tough time for queers. Humor leavens the grave subject matter. Set in such legendary locations as the Black Cat Cafe, the Fillmore, the Beat movement's North Beach, and the sexually complex Tenderloin, Blackmail, My Love is a singular, visually stunning neo-noir experience.
New African-American Fiction - March 2015
Want, Need, Love
Mona Ballinger has a talent for bringing the right people together - and keeping the wrong people apart. But when Anson Tyler's fiance ends their engagement thanks to Mona's advice, he angrily confronts her. Unfortunately, Mona has not only caused him a broken heart - she ends up giving him a broken leg as well. Guilt-ridden over Anson's injury, Mona decides to help him recover - whether he likes it or not. Soon, comfort turns to chemistry and it seems like Mona may have found a love of her own - until Anson's handsome brother, Hunter, shows up...
Seduction, deceit, and bloody mayhem are the key ingredients in this third and final part of the Deep Throat Diva saga, where Pasha Allen's insatiable appetite for revenge takes on a sensual twist when unexpected desire threatens to disrupt everything she's worked so hard to destroy
New Historical Fiction - March 2015
The Empty Throne
In the battle for power, there can be only one ruler. Britain, early tenth century AD: a time of change. There are new raids by the Vikings from Ireland, and turmoil among the Saxons over the leadership of Mercia. A younger generation is taking over. When Æthelred, the ruler of Mercia, dies, he leaves no legitimate heir. The West Saxons want their king, but Uhtred has long supported Æthelflaed, sister to King Edward of Wessex and widow of Æthelred. Widely loved and respected, Æthelflaed has all the makings of a leader but can Saxon warriors ever accept a woman as their ruler? The stage is set for rivals to fight for the empty throne. With this eighth entry in the epic Saxon Tales series, we are reminded once again why New York Times bestselling author Bernard Cornwell is "the most prolific and successful historical novelist in the world today"(Wall Street Journal).
The Season of Migrationt
This is a lyrically told story of one of the world's greatest artists finding his true calling. Though Vincent van Gogh is one of the most popular painters of all time, we know very little about a ten-month period in the painter's youth when he and his brother, Theo, broke off all contact. In The Season of Migration, Nellie Hermann conjures this period in a profoundly imaginative, original, and heartbreaking vision of Van Gogh's early years, before he became the artist we know today.
Tesla: a Portrait with Masks
An electric novel of the extraordinary life of one of the twentieth century's most prodigious and colorful inventors Nikola Tesla was a man forever misunderstood. From his boyhood in what is present-day Croatia, where his father, a Serbian Orthodox priest, dismissed his talents, to his tumultuous years in New York City, where his heated rivalry with Thomas Edison yielded triumphs and failures, Tesla was both demonized and lionized. Tesla captures the whirlwind years of the dawn of the electrical age, when his flair for showmanship kept him in the public eye. For every successful invention—the alternating current electrical system and wireless communication among them—there were hundreds of others. But what of the man behind the image? Vladimir Pistalo reveals the inner life of a man haunted by the loss of his older brother, a man who struggled with flashes of madness and brilliance whose mistrust of institutional support led him to financial ruin. Tesla: A Portrait with Masks is an impassioned account of a visionary whose influence is still felt today.
After the War Is Over
The International bestselling author of Somewhere in France returns with her sweeping second novel—a tale of class, love, and freedom—in which a young woman must find her place in a world forever changed. After four years as a military nurse, Charlotte Brown is ready to leave behind the devastation of the Great War. The daughter of a vicar, she has always been determined to dedicate her life to helping others. Moving to busy Liverpool, she throws herself into her work with those most in need, only tearing herself away for the lively dinners she enjoys with the women at her boarding house. Just as Charlotte begins to settle into her new circumstances, two messages arrive that will change her life. One, from a radical young newspaper editor, offers her a chance to speak out for those who cannot. The other pulls her back to her past, and to a man she has tried, and failed, to forget. Edward Neville-Ashford, her former employer and the brother of Charlotte's dearest friend, is now the new Earl of Cumberland—and a shadow of the man he once was. Yet under his battle wounds and haunted eyes Charlotte sees glimpses of the charming boy who long ago claimed her foolish heart. She wants to help him, but dare she risk her future for a man who can never be hers? As Britain seethes with unrest and post-war euphoria flattens into bitter disappointment, Charlotte must confront long- held insecurities to find her true voice . . . and the courage to decide if the life she has created is the one she truly wants.
New Short Stories - March 2015
All about Skin: Short Fiction by Women of Color
All about Skin features twenty-seven stories by women writers of color whose short fiction has earned them a range of honors, including John Simon Guggenheim Fellowships, the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, the Flannery O'Connor Award, and inclusion in the Best American Short Stories and O. Henry anthologies. The prose in this multicultural anthology addresses such themes as racial prejudice, media portrayal of beauty, and family relationships and spans genres from the comic and the surreal to startling realism. It demonstrates the power and range of some of the most exciting women writing short fiction today.
We think about it every day, sometimes every hour: Money. Who has it. Who doesn't. How you get it. How you don't. In Refund, Bender creates an award-winning collection of stories that deeply explore the ways in which money and the estimation of value affect the lives of her characters.
Almost Famous Women
From the acclaimed author of Birds of a Lesser Paradise, a dazzling new collection that explores the lives of unforgettable women in history. The fascinating characters in Megan Mayhew Bergman's new stories are defined by their creative impulses, fierce independence, and sometimes reckless decisions.
New Romance - March 2015
Rebound: A Boomerang Novel
At Boomerang, one night can change everything . . . Adam Blackwood has it all. At twenty-three he's fabulously wealthy, Ryan Gosling-hot, and at the top of his game in the business world. His life is perfect until a scandal from his past resurfaces and threatens to knock the tech wunderkind down and throw his company, Boomerang—a hook-up site for millennials—into chaos.
The Master (The Game Maker Series)
A need colder than Siberian winter meets an attitude hotter than the Florida sun in #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole's sultry new Game Maker novel.
The Remedy for Love
They're calling for the "Storm of the Century," and in western Maine, that means something. So Eric closes his law office early and heads to the grocery store. But when an unkempt and seemingly unstable young woman in line comes up short on cash, a kind of old-school charity takes hold of his heart—twenty bucks and a ride home; that's the least he can do. Trouble is, Danielle doesn't really have a home. She's squatting in a cabin deep in the woods: no electricity, no plumbing, no heat. Eric, with troubles—and secrets—of his own, tries to walk away but finds he can't. She'll need food, water, and firewood, and that's just to get her through the storm: there's a whole long winter ahead. Resigned to help, fending off her violent mistrust of him, he gets her set up, departs with relief, and climbs back to the road, but—winds howling, snow mounting—he finds his car missing, phone inside. In desperation, he returns to the cabin. Danielle's terrified, then merely enraged. And as the storm intensifies, these two lost souls are forced to ride it out together.
Lead: A Stage Dive Novel
Stay up all night with the sexy rockers in Stage Dive, the epic New Adult series from New York Times bestselling author Kylie Scott, author of Lick and Play . Can rock n' roll's most notorious bad boy be tamed by love? As the lead singer of Stage Dive, Jimmy is used to getting whatever he wants, whenever he wants it—now he's caught up in a life of hard partying and fast women. When a PR disaster serves as a wake-up call and lands him in rehab, he finds himself with Lena, a new assistant hired to keep him out of trouble. Lena's not willing to take any crap from her sexy boss and is determined to keep their relationship completely professional, despite their sizzling chemistry. But when Jimmy pushes her too far, he just might lose the best thing that's ever happened to him. Can he convince his stubborn assistant to risk it all and let her heart take the lead?
New Inspirational Fiction - March 2015
At Home in Last Chance
Kaitlyn Reed and Steven Braden have always had a similar philosophy of life: when the going gets tough, they get going—out of town and away from the problem. Now they are both back in Last Chance, New Mexico, and trying to start over. Kaitlyn is working to reestablish a relationship with the seven-year-old daughter she left behind six months earlier. Steven is trying to prove to his family that he is not the irresponsible charmer they have always known him to be. As Kaitlyn and Steven find themselves drawn to one another, one big question keeps getting in the way: How will they learn to trust each other when they don't even trust themselves? With emotional depth and characters who leap off the page and into the reader's psyche, Cathleen Armstrong continues to delight her readers and win new fans. Readers will be thrilled to return once more to the small town they've grown to love.
Proof of Angels
From the critically acclaimed author of Proof of Heaven comes an unforgettable tale that asks the question "Are there angels among us?" Sean Magee is a firefighter—a hero who risks his own life to save others, running into dangerous situations few have the courage to dare. While fighting a horrific blaze, Sean becomes trapped by flames and is nearly overcome by smoke. Just when it seems that all is lost, he's led to a window, by what he swears is divine intervention. And then he jumps . . . . . . into a new life. For years, Sean has shut down his feelings, existing in a state of emotional numbness. Coming through that fire, he knows he can no longer be that man whose heart is closed to the world. But before he can face his future, he must confront his past and everyone in it: the family, the friends, the woman—and the love—he carelessly left behind.
The Bishop's Wife
In the predominantly Mormon city of Draper, Utah, some seemingly perfect families have deadly secrets. Inspired by an actual crime and written by a practicing Mormon, The Bishop's Wife is both a fascinating look at the lives of modern Mormons as well as a grim and cunningly twisted mystery.
Esther: Royal Beauty (A Dangerous Beauty Novel)
When an ambitious tyrant threatens genocide against the Jews, an inexperienced young queen must take a stand for her people.