April 8, 2018

Art History Lecture at Chicago Ridge Library

Mastery, Mystery and Majesty: The Enduring Allure of Velázquez’s Las Meninas

Join author Dawn Patitucci for this lively retrospective of Diego Velázquez, preeminent painter of the Spanish Golden Age. Humble tavern scenes, magnificent royal portraits, and Velázquez’s spellbinding masterpiece, Las Meninas, will transport viewers to 17th-century Spain and to the bizarre and decadent court of Philip IV. Enjoy some of the finest images in the Western canon by one of the most esteemed artists in history.

Thursday, May 31st at 7PM
Chicago Ridge Public Library
10400 Oxford Ave, Chicago Ridge, IL

Hope to see you there!

January 22, 2018

AudioFile Review of The Queen’s Prophet Audiobook

“Narrator Justine Eyre brings a porcelain fragility to Patitucci’s wonderfully imaginative tale of the Spanish court in Madrid in the 1600s. Based on Velázquez’s painting LAS MENINAS, which prominently features the dwarfess Maria-Barbara, the audiobook captures intrigues, superstitious royals, would-be intellectuals, artists, magicians, dwarves, and fools. Eyre’s winning performance makes Mari’s struggle to survive as a prophet for the queen of Spain engaging and authentic. At a time when dwarves were kept as pets or good-luck charms, it takes all of Mari’s wit to fabricate the sorts of prophecies that will elevate the queen’s status, among politicians and peasants alike, and insure her own safety. Eyre’s skillful descriptions of lush chambers; elegant costumes; devious plots; and an independent, if unusual, heroine make for satisfying listening. S.J.H. © AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine [Published: JANUARY 2018]”


December 14, 2017

TED Mention for The Queen’s Prophet!

Pleased to share some exciting news! The Queen’s Prophet is on TED’s recommended holiday reading list, thanks to actress/filmmaker/TED speaker Naomi McDougall Jones, who also wrote a wonderful blurb for the book. Here’s the link: Your holiday reading list: 56 books you won’t be able to put down

Happy holidays!
Dawn P.

November 25, 2017

BookReporter Review

Here’s a snippet from Carly Silver’s very well-written review of The Queen’s Prophet:

“Patitucci is to be commended for tackling a tricky location and time in history…. She really does make the extravagance of every jewel on the king’s finger apparent, as well as the cruelty of society, come to vivid life.”—BookReporter

The full review is posted here.


November 4, 2017

San Francisco Book Review

Thank you, Tamara Benson and San Francisco Book Review, for this generous review of The Queen’s Prophet. 4.5/5 stars!

“…a surprising work of historical fiction...Patitucci masterfully builds a compelling narrative around a seemingly minor servant…The sufferings and triumphs of the queen and her dwarfess are believable, and I found myself unable to put the book down on many a night…”—San Francisco Book Review

The full review can be found here.


October 31, 2017

The Queen’s Prophet Is Here!

Happy Halloween, all! The Queen’s Prophet is out today! If you’re into art and/or history (and kings, queens, royal dwarfs, politics, and intrigue), please check it out (the audio book, narrated by Justine Eyre, is amazing)!















October 22, 2017

The Queen’s Prophet Book Trailer #3

Third and final book trailer, in which I discuss royal dwarfs in the 17th century:


October 15, 2017

The Queen’s Prophet Book Trailer #2

In this video I discuss Velázquez, Las Meninas, and the artist’s role in The Queen’s Prophet. Enjoy!


October 5, 2017

Library Journal Review

Thank you, Julie Ciccarelli and Library Journal, for my first magazine review!

“Patitucci, Dawn. The Queen’s Prophet. Turner. Oct. 2017.

As a dwarf in 17th-century Europe, Maria-Barbara knew she was one of the lucky ones when her mother sold her to the Countess of Walther. For almost 40 years, Mari was the German countess’s companion and lived in comfort and security until her mistress’s death forced her to make a difficult choice: either be sold to another master or live the uncertain life of “freedom.” Impulsively, Mari joins forces with a traveling magician and together they earn enough to keep themselves warm and fed. But then the magician betrays Mari by selling her to the Queen of Spain. Worse yet, she has been bought for her reputed skill as a prophet. At the Spanish court, Mari gets sucked into a world of intrigue and political maneuvering and must learn how to play the role of prophet to save both her own life and that of her new queen. Mari is a sympathetic protagonist, and Patitucci does a good job of depicting the precarious, often heartbreaking, existence of dwarves in the 1600s. The court politics are fascinating, as are many of the players, especially fellow court dwarf Nicolas. But at times the story gets bogged down in excessive details of court life, and the ending feels a little abrupt. VERDICT Inspired by the life of the dwarf Maribáribola [sic], depicted in Velázquez’s masterpiece Las Meninas, this debut novel will likely appeal to fans of Philippa Gregory and the HBO series Game of Thrones.”—Library Journal, 10/1/2017


September 28, 2017

Book Trailers Are Here!

Please enjoy this book trailer for The Queen’s Prophet, the first of three I’ll be sharing in the run-up to publication. Thanks for watching!

Dawn P.


May 22, 2017

Advance Praise for The Queen’s Prophet

“The Queen’s Prophet offers masterful storytelling, memorable characters, and an imaginative depiction of a world that is as layered and enthralling as the Velázquez painting the novel brings to vivid life.”—Deborah Davis, author of Strapless: John Singer Sargent and the Fall of Madame X

“Impeccably researched, The Queen’s Prophet offers a rare glimpse into an age that was at once colorful, magical, and beautiful but also brutal and violent—a world few people today can begin to imagine, but wonderfully and vividly rendered by the author. The reader is drawn into a world of passions, loyalties, betrayals and ruthless court intrigue filled with twists and surprises. In Mari we have a heroine who is unique, sympathetic, strong, and we pull for her all the way. An impressive debut.”New York Times best-selling author, Barbara Wood

The Queen’s Prophet is an extraordinary reenactment of the life of Maribarbola, dwarf-prophet of Mariana, the wife-niece of Felipe IV of Spain. This captivating tale, written in elegant and sumptuous prose, is an exquisite portrayal of court life in a well-rendered historical fiction, one that kept me turning pages into the wee hours, wanting to read the conclusion yet sorrowful to know it would soon end.”—Nina Romano, The Secret Language of Women, Lemon Blossoms, and In America



March 12, 2017

The Prophet Is Coming

I’m thrilled to announce The Queen’s Prophet has been acquired by Turner Publishing and will debut on October 31, 2017! Feel free to check this page during the run-up to publication for news and updates. For now, the book is available for pre-order at:

Barnes & Noble

Thanks for visiting!
Dawn P.