The Absinthe Underground (Hardcover)

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The Absinthe Underground By Jamie Pacton Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

An entrancing tale of magical, sapphic intrigue in a Moulin-Rouge- style setting (but make it FAE!). This story of the friendship and slow-burn blossoming romance of two neurodivergent young women who get drawn into the lush, dark, and dangerous Absinthe Underground will delight and enrapture you! — From **Preorders of books Gretchen Loves

March/April 2024 Kids Indie Next List

“This book is Moulin Rouge meets the Fae realm with a sapphic friends-to-lovers romance. Sybil and Esme are tasked to enter the Fae Realm and steal gems from Queen Mab. There’s romantic pining and heists. What more could you ask for?”
— Meghan Molinari, Lark and Owl Booksellers, Georgetown, TX


An INSTANT National Bestseller!

This lavish and decedent sapphic friends-to-lovers romantasy will leave fans of Moulin Rouge and Divine Rivals utterly enchanted!

“A romantic and thrilling story of ambition, magic, and peril.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

After running away from home, Sybil Clarion is eager to embrace all the freedom the Belle Époque city of Severon has to offer. Instead, she’s traded high-society soirées for empty pockets. At least she has Esme, the girl who offered Sybil a home, and if either of them dared, something more. 

While Esme would rather spend the night tinkering with her clocks and snuggling her cats, Sybil craves excitement and needs money. She plans to get both by stealing the rare posters that crop up around town. But when she’s caught selling a poster by none other than its subject, Maeve, the glamorous girl invites Sybil and Esme to The Absinthe Underground, the exclusive club she co-owns, and reveals herself to be a Green Faerie, trapped in this world. 

Maeve wants to hire thieves for a daring heist in Fae and is willing to pay enough that Sybil and Esme never have to worry about money again. It’s too good of an offer to pass up, even if Maeve’s tragic story doesn’t quite add up, and the secrets could jeopardize everything the girls have so carefully built.

Jamie Pacton, author of The Vermilion Emporium, dazzles in this whimsical and daring romantic fantasy. Fans of Fae lore, slow-burn sapphic pining, and decadently magical worlds will find The Absinthe Underground as ensorcelling as a fairy delight.

About the Author

Jamie Pacton is an award-nominated young adult and middle grade author, who writes swoony, funny, magical books across genres. When she’s not writing, she’s teaching college English, obsessively reading obscure history, hiking, baking, or playing video games .Her books include The Vermilion Emporium, Lucky Girl, and The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly.

Praise For…

★ "In this haunting tale, Pacton weaves a romantic and thrilling story of ambition, magic, and peril. Sybil and Esme’s chemistry is palpable, and Pacton’s lush portrayal of Severon as a city filled with art and beauty reminiscent of fin de siècle Paris adds additional layers of enchantment and appeal to the setting."—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"A delightful, magical tale that’s as comforting as a hot cup of tea."—Kirkus Reviews

"[A] sweetly enchanting ‘romantasy’ for fans of quasi-historical fiction."—Booklist

"A sweetly undemanding, cozy sapphic romance sprinkled with magic and adventure."The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

"This is a heartwarming Sapphic love story with a gauzy heist plot for cozy-fantasy ­lovers and art fans."—School Library Journal

What BookTok is saying about The Absinthe Underground!
"My heart is so full after reading The Absinthe Underground! The Moulin Rouge setting, the enchanting magic, and the lush writing – it's a must-read!" —@megstearoom
"A lush tale of sapphic pining, heists, and a fae world that will enchant you." —@emilysarahart
"Sapphic pining for your bestie, a heist in Fae, and the feeling of a cozy fantasy!?  Pacton truly strikes a goldilocks chord with this one. The Absinthe Underground gave me everything I wanted and more!" —@booksdogsandcoffee

"With hints and flavors of Barbie & The Diamond Castle and Barbie in A Mermaid Tale, mixed with steampunk, fae, and a dangerous heist, The Absinthe Underground is a quick but intriguing read that is sure to grab readers' attention." —@pagesofbellerose

From Booksellers and Librarians!

"In this beautiful story about found family and adventure, Sybil and Esme embark on a journey between the human world and the world of the fae. As secrets are uncovered, so are desires. If you enjoy sassy heroines, a good heist, and a friends-to-lovers story, then this is the book for you." —Indigo, Schuler Books, Grand Rapids, MI
"In The Absinthe Underground, Jamie Pacton weaves a tender, unabashedly sapphic love story with a thrilling heist wrapped in a fairytale. Cozy and adventurous, heroines Sybil and Esme form an unstoppable duo they you can’t help but cheer for." —Mike Lasagna, Barnes and Noble Poughkeepsie
"For lovers of Barbie and the Diamond Castle & for those who claimed it as a sapphic story, this is your book! A dazzlingly enchanting portal fantasy filled with the whimsy, & overflowing with sapphic yearning. An ultimate cozy comfort read!" —Faye Larson, Indigo Bookseller
"There is no shortage of enchantment in this sapphic romantasy and readers will pine for another visit to Severon." —Megan Nigh, Teen Services Librarian, Kenosha, Wisconsin

"This adventure completely stole me away! The Absinthe Underground is for both the soft girlies who want to stay home with their cats AND the girlies who want to ride dragons first, ask questions later. Glittery, lush, and oh-so-swoony, this sapphic Belle Époque faerie-tale romantasy is the book we've been waiting for!" —Kassie King, The Novel Neighbor, Webster Groves, MO

From Authors!

"Behold: the queer Belle Époque fantasy of my dreams, brimming with yearning and adventure and written by a true master of whimsy! From cats in cozy clock towers to schemes in the glittering world of Fae, Pacton spins a tale that enchants like a glass of absinthe." —Allison Saft, New York Times bestselling author of A Far Wilder Magic
"An enchanting romantasy brimming with glittering, intoxicating prose and wild Fae magic. These quick-handed thieves will steal your heart from your first meeting, and their escapades will keep it racing until the last page." —Elizabeth Kilcoyne, Wake the Bones, William Morris Award finalist
"Thrilling and romantic, The Absinthe Underground is an intricately woven tale filled with sapphic yearning, daring thieves, and glittering fae magic. I loved every word of it." —Alicia Jasinska, author of The Midnight Girls

Product Details
ISBN: 9781682634929
ISBN-10: 1682634922
Publisher: Peachtree Teen
Publication Date: February 6th, 2024
Pages: 304
Language: English