Victoria Princewill FRSA is a historical fiction novelist, whose work is driven by a desire to write forgotten intelligent African women back into our world. Born in the U.K. in 1990 and educated at Oxford and UCL with degrees in literature and philosophy, she is currently working towards a third-degree in Neuroscience. Writing for the Guardian, the London Reviews of Books, n+1, BBC News & more crystallised the extent to which her first love remains fiction. It still feels slightly impossible — as do her many other goals. But Victoria has always sought the impossible. She used to say that within the pursuit lay the art of self-mastery. Nowadays she lives in London and the closest she gets to the pursuit of the impossible (in a pandemic) is attempting to touch the sky from her balcony.
Set in Iran at the end of the 19th Century ―in the Persian royal court of the Qajars―, In The Palace of Flowers is an atmospheric historical novel about Jamila, an Abyssinian slave who stands at the funeral of a Persian nobleman, watching the rites with empty eyes. In that very moment, she realises that her life will never be acknowledged or mourned with the same significance. The fear of being forgotten, of being irrelevant, sets her and Abimelech, a fellow Abyssinian slave and a eunuch, on a path to find meaning, navigating the dangerous and deadly politics of the royal court, both in the government and the harem, before leading her to the radicals that lie beyond its walls. Love, friendship and the bitter politics within the harem, the court and the Shah’s sons and advisors will set the fate of these two slaves. Highly accomplished, richly textured and elegantly written, In The Palace of Flowers is a magnificent novel about the fear of being forgotten.