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Though Helene is a favorite of Queen Marie Antoinette’s, she only wants to escape her dark past. A handsome soldier offers her the chance to do this, if she will reveal the Queen's secrets. But as the Queen's trust in her grows, she finds this difficult. Caught in the terror of the Revolution, she may have to put her trust in those she’s betrayed, or who have betrayed her, in order to survive. More
Since Helen’s mother, Caroline, poisoned her, she sees and hears the dead, particularly those who died broken hearted. Caroline, once a courtesan at Versailles and closest confidante to Queen Marie Antoinette, fled the court with her daughters when she was betrayed by one of her many lovers. She locked the girls in a tower in the forest and taught them the ways of both the court and the woods.
Helene and her sister Celene learn to dance gracefully and style hair, as well as how to set a trap for an animal and to read the sky for approaching storms.
One night, mad with loneliness and envy, Caroline gives Helene a drink poisoned with wintergreen and put her to bed. In a haze Helene heard Caroline attack Celene in a rage, jealous of her beauty. Helene wakes to find Caroline gone and Celene confined to the shadows.
Years pass. Helene creates wondrous hairstyles using flowers and jewels as charms that bring luck or love closer.
A young man, Aleron, guard of Queen Marie Antoinette, rides to the foot of the tower and sees her in the window. He is thrilled to have found her, having searched for her for years. She has become a legend in Versailles.
Aleron begs her to come to court with him and allow him to present her to the Queen. Desperate to escape the tower, and the ghosts who won’t leave her alone, Helene agrees. Celene begs Helene to allow her to come to Versailles, but Helene knows that this will mean being haunted by her sister forever. She leaves her behind in the tower.
Queen Marie Antoinette instantly recognizes Helene as the daughter of her closest confidante and orders her to style her hair. Aleron requests that Helene glean the Queen’s secrets and report them to him. He promises that he wants to protect the Queen from those who would trick her into betraying France, triggering the Queen’s enemies to move against her. When Helene balks, he promises her enough money to settle in Paris if she will give him only one of the Queen’s secret. Anxious to gain her independence and reluctant to return to the tower, Helene accepts.
When next the Queen summons Helene to her chamber, the Queen reveals that her son is dying. Outside, people have gathered, shouting insults in at the Queen. Helene styles the Queen’s hair, decorating it with buttercups to bring cheer. But her attempts are fruitless; soon comes the news that the Dauphin has died.
Helene is touched by the Queen’s sorrow until she soon encounters the Queen locked in a passionate embrace with her lover.
Alarmed by the commoners’ fury toward the Queen and her court, and disappointed in the Queen, Helene decides it is time to escape. But before she can, the palace is stormed. Helene realizes she may have to put her trust in those she’s betrayed, or who have betrayed her, in order to survive.
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