Get your first book for just $9.99.

Join today!

We’ll make this quick.

We’ll make this quick.

First, enter your email. Then choose your move.

By pressing "Pick a book now" or "Pick a book later", you agree to Book of the Month’s Terms of use and Privacy policy.

Get your first book for just $9.99.

Join today!
undefined

You did it!

You did it!

Your account is now up to date.

get the appget the app

Our app is where it’s at.

Unlock our Reading Challenge, earn prizes, and get notified of new books on our app.

Our app is where it’s at.

Unlock our Reading Challenge, earn prizes, and get notified of new books on our app.

get the ios appget the android app

Already have the app? Explore here.

get the ios appget the android app
The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee

Historical fiction

The Queen of the Night

by Alexander Chee

Excellent choice

Excellent choice

Just enter your email to add this book to your box.

By pressing "Add to box", you agree to Book of the Month’s Terms of use and Privacy policy.

Quick take

An original role is something every opera star dreams of, but this is not a role that is new to Lilliet... There are only four people who know the truth about her secret past. And one of them has talked.

Why I love it

Love, music, secrets, and betrayal are at the heart of this captivating novel, set in 19th-century France.

World-famous soprano of the Paris Opera, Lilliet Berne is approached at a party by a writer. He has just completed a new novel and is excited to turn it into an opera, with her as its star.

An original role is something every opera star dreams of, but this is not a role that is new to Lilliet. As the novelist describes the part he is writing for her, Lilliet realizes he is telling a story she already knows: it is the story of her life before she became famous. There are only four people who know the truth about Lilliet's secret past. And one of them has talked.

In the years before Lilliet's fame, she was an orphan who traveled from America to Europe, where she found work as a hippodrome rider, a courtesan, and even a maid to the Empress herself. In these positions, she made the acquaintances of the four people who hold her secrets.

Why has Lilliet's past resurfaced now? And who has spilled her secrets? As she seeks answers, the reader discovers, through flashbacks from Lilliet's life, her love and losses, her triumphs and setbacks. Each chapter of her past is vividly imagined and exquisitely detailed.

The Queen of the Night is one of the most seductive, richly detailed novels I've ever read. Chee does a remarkable job immersing you in the history – complete with beautifully described details of fashion and opera– as you move seamlessly through the story. (And you really do not need to have any knowledge of opera to enjoy this book.) It's a big, enchanting novel, and I'm completely under its spell. I hope you will be, too.

Member ratings (624)

  • Jacklyn M.

    Fredericksburg, VA

    A little awkward at first like bring thrown into a new world with no preparation, but once you get your feet under you this is an amazing and at times heart wrenching book that is worth the commitment

  • Katee H.

    Roanoke, VA

    Alexander Chee takes you into the life of a Parisian opera singer in this novel. I loved walking in her steps and it felt like its own little opera. I can't wait to read more from him in the future.

  • Erin V.

    Yorba Linda, CA

    What a fantastic novel. This is a side of the French revolution not often told, along with a beautiful coming-of-age story and a touching romance. As artfully written and performed as an aria.

  • Emlyn D.

    New Fairfield, CT

    A strong woman who survived and in the process, builds a fantastical life for herself in late 19th century Europe. One day, it's not enough and she wants to do more than survive. Love this!

  • Elizabth S.

    Des Moines, IA

    Can you think in your mind what it would be like if The Phantom of the Opera had a part two, staring the magnificent, malevolent Carlotta? This is not that....but it's pretty darn close.

Historical fiction
Lady Tan’s Circle of Women
The Women
The Lion Women of Tehran
Husbands & Lovers
Shelterwood
A Thousand Times Before
All We Were Promised
Spitting Gold
The Mayor of Maxwell Street
The Great Divide
The Storm We Made
The Disappearance of Astrid Bricard
Lessons in Chemistry
The Frozen River
What We Kept to Ourselves
The River We Remember
Take My Hand
The Last Russian Doll
The First Ladies
The House Is On Fire
River Sing Me Home
The People We Keep
The Attic Child
Malibu Rising
The Book of Longings
Hester
The Final Revival of Opal & Nev
The Nightingale
Daisy Jones & The Six
The Lincoln Highway
The Secret Book of Flora Lea
Did You Hear About Kitty Karr?
The Circus Train
Peach Blossom Spring
Hang the Moon
Booth
The Good Left Undone
The Perishing
The Postmistress of Paris
The Family
Things We Lost to the Water
The Spectacular
Still Life
Send for Me
The Magnolia Palace
The Bookbinder
China Room
This Tender Land
Atomic Love
All the Light We Cannot See
The Vanishing Half
Outlawed
The Four Winds
Independence
The Fountains of Silence
Libertie
Queen of Thieves
The Great Believers
The Clockmaker's Daughter
A Gentleman in Moscow
The Great Alone
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
The Paris Hours
The Heart’s Invisible Furies
Rules of Civility
Circling the Sun
The Moor's Account
Jacqueline in Paris
Don't Cry for Me
The Christie Affair
Bloomsbury Girls
The Wedding Dress Sewing Circle
Bronze Drum
Historical fiction
View all
Lady Tan’s Circle of Women
The Women
The Lion Women of Tehran
Husbands & Lovers
Shelterwood
A Thousand Times Before
All We Were Promised
Spitting Gold
The Mayor of Maxwell Street
The Great Divide
The Storm We Made
The Disappearance of Astrid Bricard
Lessons in Chemistry
The Frozen River
What We Kept to Ourselves
The River We Remember
Take My Hand
The Last Russian Doll
The First Ladies
The House Is On Fire
River Sing Me Home
The People We Keep
The Attic Child
Malibu Rising
The Book of Longings
Hester
The Final Revival of Opal & Nev
The Nightingale
Daisy Jones & The Six
The Lincoln Highway
The Secret Book of Flora Lea
Did You Hear About Kitty Karr?
The Circus Train
Peach Blossom Spring
Hang the Moon
Booth
The Good Left Undone
The Perishing
The Postmistress of Paris
The Family
Things We Lost to the Water
The Spectacular
Still Life
Send for Me
The Magnolia Palace
The Bookbinder
China Room
This Tender Land
Atomic Love
All the Light We Cannot See
The Vanishing Half
Outlawed
The Four Winds
Independence
The Fountains of Silence
Libertie
Queen of Thieves
The Great Believers
The Clockmaker's Daughter
A Gentleman in Moscow
The Great Alone
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
The Paris Hours
The Heart’s Invisible Furies
Rules of Civility
Circling the Sun
The Moor's Account
Jacqueline in Paris
Don't Cry for Me
The Christie Affair
Bloomsbury Girls
The Wedding Dress Sewing Circle
Bronze Drum