As one of the four princesses of Welce, Corene always thought she might one day become queen. Only circumstances changed, leaving fiery Corene with nothing to show for a life spent playing the game of court intrigue—until a chance arises to become the ruler of a nearby country.
After stowing away on a ship bound for Malinqua with her loyal bodyguard, Foley, Corene must try to win the throne by making a play to marry one of the empress’s three nephews. But Corene is not the only foreign princess in search of a crown.
Unaccustomed to being anyone’s friend, Corene is surprised to find companionship among her fellow competitors. But behind Malinqua’s beautiful facade lie many secrets.
The visiting princesses are more hostages than guests. And as the deadly nature of the court is revealed, Corene must rely on both her new allies and Foley’s unwavering protection—for the game she has entered is far more perilous than she ever imagined…
This book was glorious. GLORIOUS. This series has been pretty amazing in general (ok, so maybe book 2 was slow as fuck, but nobody’s perfect), and this was a spectacular ending.
It’s got everything. Amazing character development. A high fantasy world that’s actually decent and spectacular and thoughtfully built. Palace intrigue. Diversity. Female friendship. Low on romance. No insta-love or love triangles of any kind in sight. Spying. Danger. Murder. A mystery.
If this book sounds overwhelming, let me reassure you it’s not. It was so well-written that I, who have a tremendous dislike for conspiracy and needlessly complicated plots, had no problem at all keeping up. I read quickly. I can finish a book in an hour or two. It took me a week to read this book because I read slowly, savoring every word. It was spectacular. What can I say?
The world building in this book is quite complicated, and if you started with book two, you’d be quite confused. However, this book could be read as a standalone, because the character travels to a different country, and everything is fleshed out enough for a reader to understand.
I am saddened that this series is not more popular, while other crap YAs are so highly rated and adored.