The Chatelaine

By Kate Heartfield

Winner of the Aurora Award for Best Novel

Hell is empty and all the devils are here.

The Chatelaine has come.

The year is 1328 and Hell has overrun Bruges. Demons stalk the streets and revenants swarm the walls. The city’s men have fallen and only widows remain.

But Hell should fear them.

Margriet de Vos killed her first soldier when she was eleven. She has buried six children and will fight for the daughter left to her. Their only wealth is gone, taken into the inferno. And she will not be stolen from. The Devil be damned.

Together with a man-at-arms with unfinished business, a widow and her forgehammer, and a alderman’s wife who escapes with her children, Margriet will raise a raiding party like Hell has never seen.

Format: Paperback (A Format)
Release Date: 05 Sep 2023
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780008567859

Kate Heartfield is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling The Embroidered Book, the Aurora-winning novel Armed in Her Fashion, and the Nebula-shortlisted novella Alice Payne Arrives, along with dozens of other stories. Her interactive fiction projects The Road to Canterbury and The Magician’s Workshop were shortlisted for the Nebula in game writing. She lives in Canada.

Visit her at or on Twitter @kateheartfield.


‘The novel is written with arresting detail and challenges literary tropes about women. Its roster includes half a dozen complex female characters and one trans male character, all of them captivating, sympathetic, repulsive, flawed, dangerous, selfless, determined, and damaged. They and Heartfield's powerful battle scenes make this well worth the price of admission’ Publishers Weekly, starred review


Armed in Her Fashion is Kate Heartfield’s debut novel, and what a strange, compelling, genre-bending debut it is. Part horror, part fantasy, part history, and part epic, it combines all of its elements into a commentary on gender, power, and patriarchy…enormously fun…’ Liz Bourke,

‘An absorbing novel … Heartfield sustains a fine balance between history and fantasy’

‘Where fantasy and history meet … an entertaining and dark read’

‘Reminded me in places of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. I loved the depth of characterisation and the feel of the magic … beautifully written’
Elizabeth Chadwick, bestselling and award-winning author of The Summer Queen

‘Richly imagined and skilfully told, The Embroidered Book is an intricate and spellbinding tale’
JJA Harwood, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Shadow in the Glass

The Embroidered Book is superb from its opening scene to its heartbreaking end … Politics, magic, love, and sacrifice compete on equal terms in a sweeping, absolutely splendid epic novel about two sisters and familial love. If you like historical feminist fantasy, you will love The Embroidered Book
Lisbeth Campbell, author of The Vanished Queen

‘Sacrifice, family, dreams, and deep, dark magic, The Embroidered Book is a triumph’
Julie E. Czerneda, author of The Gossamer Mage