translated by Françoise Bui

A fiery heroine seeks vengeance against a royal court of deadly vampires in this epic alternate history set in lavish Versailles.

Two-time winner of the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire, Victor Dixen stands at the forefront historical horror fantasy in France. Now, thanks to an impeccable translation by Françoise Bui, English readers will have the opportunity to experience Dixen’s thrilling writing firsthand. THE COURT OF SHADOWS: Vampyria Saga Book One will be published in hardcover by Amazon Crossing on September 19, 2023.

Victor Dixen, who grew up in Versailles, has long been interested in the Grand Siècle, which shaped France into what it is today: centralization of power, development of architecture and the arts, the rise of gastronomy, and the art of living. It’s a pivotal moment in French history that brims with paradoxes. It’s the time of Descartes, of Pascal, and of the advent of reason, which prefigured the Age of Enlightenment. But paradoxically, it’s also an age of darkness, with an incredible resurgence of superstitions and of the occult. Witchcraft was never more practiced in France than under Louis XIV, while in Spain, the Inquisition reached its sinister apogee, and in America, suspected witches were burned in Salem.

In THE COURT OF SHADOWS, Dixen has composed a baroque and horrifying alternate history of this pivotal period in history. “Essentially, this story is a way for me to tackle an icon that has always fascinated me, the vampire,” says Dixen. “The vampire is, in fact, the supreme literary creation, truly immortal, always reborn from its ashes, from century to century, from book to book.” In writing THE COURT OF SHADOWS, Dixen was inspired by Anne Rice for her intoxicating Gothic ambiance and characters with psychological depth; Alexandre Dumas for his breadth of epic adventure; and Quentin Tarantino for his frenzied pacing, the eruption of “pop” patterns in the narrative, and psychological tension.

“Supernatural alternate histories don’t come much more suspenseful or fully realized than this impressive series debut from Dixen…. Dixen excels at concocting unexpected detours and jaw-dropping cliffhangers. Anne Rice fans will be especially enthralled.” Publishers Weekly
“Seductive, thrilling, and deliciously dark, THE COURT OF SHADOWS brings the glamour and danger of eighteenth-century Versailles to life. This is historical fantasy at its finest!” Kass Morgan, bestselling author of The 100

“I loved it! The tension, the intrigue, the undercurrents of revolution, and above all else, a warrior girl who still wants to love and be loved. This will be an immediate classic. Bravo!” Amy Harmon, Wall Street JournalUSA Today, and New York Times bestselling author
“Victor Dixen’s THE COURT OF SHADOWS is an entirely original version of a world ruled by vampires. His protagonist, Jeanne, makes choices that are genuinely unpredictable as she seeks vengeance for the deaths of her family. I could not put this book down.” –Charlaine Harris, author of All the Dead Shall Weep


“You will bloom in Versailles like an exotic flower. The vampyres of the palace love anything out of the ordinary. But beware: the Court of Shadows has its codes, its deadly traps, and the slightest faux pas pay with the price of blood…”

In the year of grace 1715, Louis XIV transformed from the Sun King into the King of Shadows when he embraced immortality and became the world’s first vampire. For the last three centuries, he has been ruling the kingdom from the decadent Court of Shadows in Versailles, demanding the blood of his subjects to sate his nobles’ thirst and maintain their loyalty.

In the heart of rural France, commoner Jeanne Froidelac witnesses the king’s soldiers murder her family and learns of her parents’ role in a brewing rebellion involving the forbidden secrets of alchemy. To seek her revenge, Jeanne disguises herself as an aristocrat and enrolls in a prestigious school for aspiring courtiers. She soon finds herself at the doors of the palace of Versailles.

But Jeanne, of course, is no aristocrat. She dreams not of court but of blood. The blood of a king.


Victor Dixen is the author of many bestselling French novels, including the acclaimed series: THE STRANGE CASE OF JACK SPARK, ANIMALE, PHOBOS and VAMPYRIA; and he is a two-time winner of the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire, the most prestigious science-fiction and fantasy award in France. Born to a French mother and Danish father, Victor grew up in the city of Versailles. As an adult, he has lived in Denver, Dublin, Singapore, and New York City. He now divides his time between Paris and Washington, DC with his family and his two inquisitive cats. Discover more about Victor Dixen on Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter: @VictorDixen and at:

A major international success, the VAMPYRIA series has been widely translated and is available in 9 languages (French, Spanish, Italian, Czech, German, Russian, Dutch, Finnish, and now English).

Françoise Bui spent twenty years as an executive editor at Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, where her list of edited books included numerous novels in translation. Of these, four received the Mildred L. Batchelder Award (for most outstanding children’s book initially published in a foreign language), and two were Honor titles. Originally from France, Bui lives in New York City.