Brand new hard cover
An atmospheric and romantic debut fantasy perfect for fans of Ash and The Winner’s Curse.
Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile kingdoms.
But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a land where magic is forbidden.
Now Denna has to learn the ways of her new kingdom while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine, sister of her betrothed.
When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, they discover there is more to one another than they thought—and soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.
But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.
Plus don't miss the sequel: Of Ice and Shadows!
From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—In this fantasy world of kings and magic, Princess Dennaleia has been groomed for her most important task: to marry Prince Thandilimon in order to solidify the relationship between their kingdoms. It is a future that she fully embraces, hindered only by her secret magical affinity for handling and creating fire, which she has kept hidden and cannot control. Upon her arrival in the kingdom of Mynaria, Denna is paired with Princess Amaranthine (Mare), who is to give her riding lessons in preparation for the wedding day. Mare's standing in her own kingdom is somewhat tenuous, as she has very little interest in her duties as a princess and prefers to spend her time riding and training horses. The two strike up a friendship amid a series of royal murders and terrorist acts supposedly orchestrated by renegade magic users and separatists. The real focus is on the attraction and love that soon develop between Denna and Mare. As they work to solve the murders and mysteries, the teens fall in love and begin to question their predestined roles. Same-sex love is neither forbidden nor controversial in Mynaria, so the novel's theme does not center on LGBTQ issues. It is simply a love story that just happens to be about two women, and the setting and plot are tangential. Some mild sexual scenes make this appropriate for older readers. VERDICT Those looking for a complex sci-fi/fantasy may be a little unsatisfied with the narrative. However, the gentle LGBTQ romance will win over many teens.—Patricia Feriano, Montgomery County Public Schools, MD
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