Respect the Harlequin Queen

Some were meant to rule, others to ruin.

In a city built on the bones of Misery, two children came to be; Elia Vora, a villain, Lysander, a promise; one to slave for the city, the other to lead it. 

Born to a corrupt tyranny that stands to gain from the poverty of her fallen family, Elia dreams of liberation. When the tyrant Triumvirates massacre her mother, Elia whets dreams into action. Burning with grief and regret, Elia will make any sacrifice to ascend the throne, even if it means leaving a trail of broken hearts and shattered dreams in her wake. 

As Elia daggers any foe in her path to greatness, Lysander seeks to protect her from the bloodlust of the Triumvirates. He will try his hardest to shield her from the magic and power of the tyrant authorities. But Lysander cannot protect her from their past.

When her world burns, Elia burns with it. In the wake of constant brutality, she defies the life she was born to lead and instead risks sacrifice and reward, love and betrayal, all for things she has never known. Elia will sacrifice anything to become Queen, but could she sacrifice Lysander?

Both may lose the crown, but only one will lose their heart.

Respect the Harlequin Queen is a science fiction book that explores women in villainy, sacrifice, and power inequality in a speculative society. 

Natalie wrote the first draft of the book in 2021 over six months. She will revisit this project in 2024.


“I always saw you as a daughter,” Iaet says, “Before Amice,” her hand circles her swollen stomach, “I wanted you as Queen. But you’re sloppy. You’ll never be Queen. You’re not great because you don’t have a stomach for it.”’

My lips move but the words don’t sound like mine. “I have the stomach.”

She shakes her head. “No, you don’t. Not yet. You’re just hurting people. That isn’t the same.”

“And if hurting people is what it takes?"

Amice has no answer.

"I’ll be Queen. I’ll be the best Queen Avrinyth has every known,” I say. The next words are a whisper, crescendoing into a heartache. “I’ll be better than good. I’ll be great.”

- An excerpt from Respect the Harlequin Queen