Therese Doucet

The Prisoner of the Castle of Enlightenment

A historical fantasy novel by Therese Doucet, published by D.X. Varos (February 4, 2020).

Paperback $17.95 | ISBN 978-1941072622

E-book $6.99 | ISBN 978-1941072639

Audiobook edition coming soon!

About the Novel

A lover in and of the darkness …

Violaine, a devotee of books and learning, is sold by her father to a mysterious nobleman to become his companion. Fearing herself at the mercy of a monster, she instead succumbs to the seductive spell of her magical new home, and the love of a man she has never seen, who comes to her only in the darkness of night.

The Château de Boisaulne is a place of many mysteries, but also a refuge for children of the Enlightenment in a time when Europe still languishes under the repressive chains of monarchy and superstition. But modern thought meets ancient lore, as the castle borders the forest lair of the roi des aulnes, an ogre said to be the ancestor of Violaine’s unseen lover … Or are they one and the same?

Author Q&A on The Prisoner of the Castle of Enlightenment


About the Author

Therese Doucet’s publications have included fiction, essays, poetry, and literary translations. She is a former Fulbright fellow, as well as a creative writing residency fellow of the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. She divides her time between Washington, DC, and Knoxville, TN. Learn more …

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The Prisoner of the Castle of Enlightenment took me on a journey, to France, to centuries ago, to the exotic and erotic castle where ideas and philosophy are debated and fought over, and the desire to learn more, to be more, to love more deepens, especially as night descends. Unforgettable. A fabulist, fabulous tale from a new novelist to watch.

Caroline Bock, author of Carry Her Home, Before My Eyes, and Lie


At the center of Therese Doucet’s enchanting debut novel is a library teeming with rare and unusual volumes. The Prisoner of the Castle of Enlightenment feels like a book pulled from its shelves, a heady mix of historical fiction, fairy tale, philosophy, demonology, and romance. Call it baroquepunk — a fantasy of the French Enlightenment with a libertine edge and a goth heartbeat.

Jeff Jackson, author of Destroy All Monsters and Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist

“Exquisitely rendered”

Set against an exquisitely rendered French gothic backdrop, The Prisoner of the Castle of Enlightenment is an intelligently erotic page-turner not to be missed.

Joe McGinnis, Jr., Kirkus Prize finalist and author of Carousel Court and The Delivery Man


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