Moulin Rouge meets Holly Black in a thrilling sapphic friends-to-lovers romantasy!
This lavish and decedent LGBTQ+ fantasy romance will leave fans of Divine Rivals and Emily Wilde's Encyclopedia of Faeries utterly enchanted!
After running away from home, Sybil Clarion is eager to embrace all the freedom the Belle Époque city of Severon has to offer. Instead, she’s traded high-society soirées for empty pockets. At least she has Esme, the girl who offered Sybil a home, and if either of them dared, something more.
Ever since Esme Rimbaud brought Sybil back to her flat, the girls have been everything to each other—best friends, found family, and secret crushes. While Esme would rather spend the night tinkering with her clocks and snuggling her cats, Sybil craves excitement and needs money. She plans to get both by stealing the rare posters that crop up around town. With rent due, Esme agrees to accompany—and more importantly protect—Sybil.
When they’re caught selling a poster by none other than its subject, Maeve, the glamorous girl invites Sybil and Esme to The Absinthe Underground, the exclusive club she co-owns, and reveals herself to be a Green Faerie, trapped in this world. She wants to hire thieves for a daring heist in Fae that would set her free, and is willing to pay enough that Sybil and Esme never have to worry about rent again. It’s too good of an offer to pass up, even if Maeve’s tragic story doesn’t quite add up, and the secrets could jeopardize everything the girls have so carefully built.
Jamie Pacton, author of The Vermilion Emporium, dazzles in this whimsical and daring romantic fantasy. Fans of Fae lore, slow-burn sapphic pining, and decadently magical worlds will find The Absinthe Underground as ensorcelling as a fairy delight.
About the Author
Jamie Pacton is an award-nominated young adult and middle grade author, who writes swoony, funny, magical books across genres. When she’s not writing, she’s teaching college English, obsessively reading obscure history, hiking, baking, or playing video games .Her books include The Vermilion Emporium, Lucky Girl, and The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly.
★ "In this haunting tale, Pacton weaves a romantic and thrilling story of ambition, magic, and peril. Sybil and Esme’s chemistry is palpable, and Pacton’s lush portrayal of Severon as a city filled with art and beauty reminiscent of fin de siècle Paris adds additional layers of enchantment and appeal to the setting."—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"A sweetly undemanding, cozy sapphic romance sprinkled with magic and adventure."—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
"A delightful, magical tale that’s as comforting as a hot cup of tea."—Kirkus Reviews
What BookTok is saying about The Absinthe Underground!
“My heart is so full after reading The Absinthe Underground! The Moulin Rouge setting, the enchanting magic, and the lush writing – it's a must-read!” —@megstearoom
“A lush tale of sapphic pining, heists, and a fae world that will enchant you.” —@emilysarahart
“Sapphic pining for your bestie, a heist in Fae, and the feeling of a cozy fantasy!? Pacton truly strikes a goldilocks chord with this one. The Absinthe Underground gave me everything I wanted and more!” —@booksdogsandcoffee
From Booksellers and Librarians!
“In this beautiful story about found family and adventure, Sybil and Esme embark on a journey between the human world and the world of the fae. As secrets are uncovered, so are desires. If you enjoy sassy heroines, a good heist, and a friends-to-lovers story, then this is the book for you.” —Indigo, Schuler Books, Grand Rapids, MI
“In The Absinthe Underground, Jamie Pacton weaves a tender, unabashedly sapphic love story with a thrilling heist wrapped in a fairytale. Cozy and adventurous, heroines Sybil and Esme form an unstoppable duo they you can’t help but cheer for.” —Mike Lasagna, Barnes and Noble Poughkeepsie
“For lovers of Barbie and the Diamond Castle & for those who claimed it as a sapphic story, this is your book! A dazzlingly enchanting portal fantasy filled with the whimsy, & overflowing with sapphic yearning. An ultimate cozy comfort read!” —Faye Larson, Indigo Bookseller
“There is no shortage of enchantment in this sapphic romantasy and readers will pine for another visit to Severon.” —Megan Nigh, Teen Services Librarian, Kenosha, Wisconsin
“Behold: the queer Belle Époque fantasy of my dreams, brimming with yearning and adventure and written by a true master of whimsy! From cats in cozy clock towers to schemes in the glittering world of Fae, Pacton spins a tale thatenchants like a glass of absinthe.” —Allison Saft, New York Times bestselling author of A Far Wilder Magic
“An enchanting romantasy brimming with glittering, intoxicating prose and wild Fae magic. These quick-handed thieves will steal your heart from your first meeting, and their escapades will keep it racing until the last page.” —Elizabeth Kilcoyne, Wake the Bones, William Morris Award finalist
“Thrilling and romantic, The Absinthe Underground is an intricately woven tale filled with sapphic yearning, daring thieves, and glittering fae magic. I loved every word of it.” —Alicia Jasinska, author of The Midnight Girls