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Island Queen

(2021)
A novel by

 
 

“Riveting and transformative, evocative and immersive...by turns vibrant and bold and wise, discovering Dorothy’s story is a singular pleasure.”--The New York Times

A remarkable, sweeping historical novel based on the incredible true life story of Dorothy Kirwan Thomas, a free woman of color who rose from slavery to become one of the wealthiest and most powerful landowners in the colonial West Indies. 

Born into slavery on the tiny Caribbean island of Montserrat, Doll bought her freedom—and that of her sister and her mother—from her Irish planter father and built a legacy of wealth and power as an entrepreneur, merchant, hotelier, and planter that extended from the marketplaces and sugar plantations of Dominica and Barbados to a glittering luxury hotel in Demerara on the South American continent.

Vanessa Riley’s novel brings Doll to vivid life as she rises above the harsh realities of slavery and colonialism by working the system and leveraging the competing attentions of the men in her life: a restless shipping merchant, Joseph Thomas; a wealthy planter hiding a secret, John Coseveldt Cells; and a roguish naval captain who will later become King William IV of England.

From the bustling port cities of the West Indies to the forbidding drawing rooms of London’s elite, Island Queen is a sweeping epic of an adventurer and a survivor who answered to no one but herself as she rose to power and autonomy against all odds, defying rigid eighteenth-century morality and the oppression of women as well as people of color. It is an unforgettable portrait of a true larger-than-life woman who made her mark on history.

Genre: Historical

Praise for this book

"Island Queen is what you would get if you were to drop Olivia Pope and all the men who lusted after her into the 18th Century Caribbean. . . With prose that reads like poetry, Vanessa Riley expertly steers the reader through Dolly’s heartbreaking lows all the way into her triumphant emergence as the richest free woman of color in the islands. Passionate, headstrong, and loyal, Riley’s version of the real-life Dorothy Kirwan Thomas legend will make readers fall in love with this overlooked 'hidden' queen." - Kaia Alderson

"Richly detailed, vividly depicted, and sweeping in scope, Island Queen is historical fiction at its absolute finest. A stunning must-read!" - Chanel Cleeton

"Island Queen is the magnificently reconstructed life story of Dorothy 'Doll' Kirwan Thomas, whose fascinating legacy of grit and success desperately deserves to be better known. With lush prose and raw emotion, Riley vividly captures the complexity of bringing to life a time of rebellion and possibility." - Stephanie Dray

"Reading Island Queen and I am riveted. RIVETED, I tell you! Whew! That woman can WRITE! What a book!" - Kristan Higgins


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Used availability for Vanessa Riley's Island Queen

Hardback Editions

July 2021 : USA Hardback
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Title: Island Queen: A Novel
Author(s): Vanessa Riley
ISBN: 0-06-300284-1 / 978-0-06-300284-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: William Morrow
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

June 2022 : USA Paperback
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Title: Island Queen: A Novel
Author(s): Vanessa Riley
ISBN: 0-06-300285-X / 978-0-06-300285-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


July 2021 : USA Paperback
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Title: Island Queen: A Novel
Author(s): Vanessa Riley
ISBN: 0-06-311503-4 / 978-0-06-311503-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: William Morrow & Company
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


July 2021 : USA Paperback
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Title: Island Queen: A Novel
Author(s): Vanessa Riley
ISBN: 0-06-309025-2 / 978-0-06-309025-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: HarperLuxe
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Audio Editions

July 2021 : USA Audio CD
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Title: Island Queen: A Novel
Author(s): Vanessa Riley
ISBN: 1-66509-608-X / 978-1-66509-608-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: HarperCollins B and Blackstone Publishing
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


July 2021 : USA Audio CD
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Title: Island Queen: A Novel
Author(s): Vanessa Riley
ISBN: 1-66509-609-8 / 978-1-66509-609-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: HarperCollins B and Blackstone Publishing
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


July 2021 : USA Audio CD
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Title: Island Queen: Library Edition
Author(s): Vanessa Riley
ISBN: 1-66509-607-1 / 978-1-66509-607-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Blackstone Pub
Availability: Amazon CA   


July 2021 : USA Audio edition
thumb

Title: Island Queen: A Novel
Author(s): Vanessa Riley
Publisher: HarperAudio
Availability: Amazon   


July 2021 : Australia Audio edition
thumb

Title: Island Queen: A Novel
Author(s): Vanessa Riley
Publisher: HarperAudio
Availability: Amazon AU   


July 2021 : Canada Audio edition
thumb

Title: Island Queen: A Novel
Author(s): Vanessa Riley
Publisher: HarperAudio
Availability: Amazon CA   


July 2021 : UK Audio edition
thumb

Title: Island Queen: A Novel
Author(s): Vanessa Riley
Publisher: HarperAudio
Availability: Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

July 2021 : USA, Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition
thumb

Title: Island Queen: A Novel
Author(s): Vanessa Riley
Publisher: William Morrow
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU