Empress & Aniya

by Candice Carty-Williams

Children's & YA Fiction

LoveReading Expert Review of Empress & Aniya

Friendship and empathy abound in this heart-warming contemporary YA take on Trading Places and The Prince and the Pauper

From Queenie to Empress, Candice Carty-Williams’ first YA novel is a fresh, authentically engaging, read-in-one-sitting exploration of class, compassion, friendship and empathy that uses a fab Trading Places/Freaky Friday device to tell the tale of two teenage girls who form a life-changing friendship.

Empress lives in poverty on a South London estate. Being a bright, young thing, she’s won a scholarship to a fancy school, where she’s thrown in with a bunch of privileged girls who (mostly) mock her poverty. It’s also where she meets Aniya, who’s assigned to help her settle in. They share a birthday, but (on the face of it), not much else, given that Aniya lives in a huge house and her parents have high-profile jobs. The rich-poor divide is thrown into stark contrast when Empress goes to Aniya’s house (Aniya wants to make sure Empress eats) and meets her family. Her kindly, successful barrister dad is “a tall, handsome man who looked a bit like a budget Obama”, though their home and lifestyle are anything but budget. When Aniya resolves to understand how it feels to live in Empress’s shoes, they cast a spell that sees them swap bodies, setting in motion a succession of life-changing circumstances.

Honest, warm, and utterly gripping, this heart-felt page-turner also provides generous insights into managing emotions and fostering empathy.

Joanne Owen

Empress & Aniya Synopsis

The first YA novel from the bestselling author of Queenie.

When Empress starts at Aniya's school, they're not exactly best friends. But, when the two teenage girls accidentally cast a spell on their 16th birthday and end up switching bodies, they quickly learn that friendship is the most important magic of all.

South London's answer to 'Freaky Friday', Empress and Aniya is a moving portrayal of the importance of real friendship and the ups and downs of being a teenager.

A message from Candice Carty-Williams;  “Some of us are Empresses; those latchkey girls who are raising themselves, unknowingly desperate for the love they deserve but are too defensive to understand — or even receive — it. And some of us are Aniyas. The girls who are raised with love, and are able to, in turn, give and show that love to those who don’t know it. This story is for the Empresses; you are loved. And this story is for the Aniyas; we are grateful for you.”

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781913311100
Publication date: 7th October 2021
Author: Candice Carty-Williams
Publisher: Knights Of Media
Format: Paperback
Primary Genre Children's & YA Fiction
Other Genres:

What To Read After Empress & Aniya

Everything All At Once
As Far as You'll Take Me
The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh
The Crossing

Candice Carty-Williams Press Reviews

“A genuine joy to read something so big-hearted and empathetic.” Bethany Rutter

“Beyond a refreshing story, she’s gifted us characters that stick – two new homegirls, and two new heroes.” Jason Reynolds

“Queenie fans will recognise the humour, warmth and loving exploration of female friendship alongside an ability to deftly tackle difficult topics with care. . . expect it to charm and captivate readers of all ages.” Alexandra Sheppard, for The Bookseller

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781913311100
Publication date: 07/10/2021
Format: Paperback

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About Candice Carty-Williams

Candice Carty-Williams was born in 1989, the result of an affair between a Jamaican cab driver and a dyslexic Jamaican-Indian receptionist. She is a journalist, screenwriter, and author of the Sunday Times bestselling Queenie, a book described as 'vital', 'disarmingly honest' and 'boldly political'. In 2016, Candice created and launched the Guardian and 4th Estate BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) Short Story Prize, the first inclusive initiative of its kind in book publishing. As a journalist she has written for the Guardian, i-D, Vogue International, every iteration of the Sunday Times, BEAT Magazine, Black Ballad and more. She will probably always ...

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