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!
At the start of Coulthurst's spectacular debut, seven-year-old Princess Dennaleia of Havemont discovers that she has a magical "Affinity" for fire. Unfortunately, she is already betrothed to Prince Thandilimon of Mynaria, a kingdom where the practice of magic is considered heresy. Dennaleia's mother swears that if she ignores her gift, it will fade, but the opposite proves true; when a 16-year-old Dennaleia arrives in Mynaria to start her new life, she nearly starts a conflagration. While hiding her ability, Dennaleia must also find a way to work with the prince's prickly and rebellious older sister, Amaranthine, to dissuade Mynaria's king from waging an unjustified war. But Dennaleia is faced with difficult choices about her future after something other than friendship unexpectedly develops between the two princesses. Dennaleia and Amaranthine's narratives combine to create a powerful and exquisite love story that also provides incisive political commentary and cautions against zealotry, vengeance, and intolerance. The central mystery is intriguing, Coulthurst's worldbuilding is excellent, and the book's explosive conclusion both thrills and satisfies. Ages 13 up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I personally say this book series would make a great tv show. It has enough drama and magic that would make a show just sizzle with excitement. It would be “lit”.
I read it all in one day and I loved it so much. The relationships, politics, and facts were so well thought out and so realistic. There is so much depth to it, which is so important. It requires thinking, empathy, and a love for justice (and romance) to truly love it. I love books like that. I love it I love it I love it. Also I love both Mare's and Denna's characters so much and they are so perfect for each other. Just AHHHH. Thank you, author, for bringing this wonderful book into existence.
This was exactly the kind of story that I was looking for when I picked it up. It’s exactly like its description, an old tale with a new twist. There’s nothing groundbreaking about this tale, and it was predictable from time to time. The pacing was sometimes great, and sometimes questionable. What I loved most about it, are the characters. I think Audrey Coulthurst did a great job bringing emotional depths to these characters. Her vivid descriptions and sense of adventure kept me reading for hours. The queer representation brought a warm feeling to my heart which brings me to recommend this book to anyone!