Nakira is made queen, but has no idea how to rule. Will her people accept her?
When the rightful rulers of Dalriada are killed in war, the lone daughter returns to a land she hardly remembers. Everything is fear and confusion. Trying to do the right thing, but never knowing what that is.
Then she is betrayed by the land’s most loyal knight, and forced to marry a strange warrior for the sake of their kingdom.
I was eleven when the warriors attacked. Two years later war encircled us. Everyone knew someone who was killed.
I’ll always remember the way Father looked at me that last evening. He didn’t often look at me. I was never important. Girls were not.
I felt his gaze first. When turning, found his green eyes solemn. Evaluating. My only other memory was back of his purple cloak. Watching father stride from the hall. Faint glimmer of the gold crown across back of his forehead.
Even before I found servants packing my chamber, I tasted fear on my tongue. My stomach tumbled in knots.
“It will be for the best.”
Sometimes, I think Mother said those words.
Often that I only wished she had. That she’d given me some farewell before I was sent away. To marry a foreign lord in a foreign land. Not even a prince of any rank.
That was thirteen years ago.
For thirteen years, I lived in this new world. It has become my home. The other seems like long ago dream.
When the messenger arrived, he seemed like visitor from an imagined world.
The message: “King Brutus was dead.” My father.
King Feargan was dead.
King Halvod was dead.
My brothers. Older than me. I barely knew them even when I lived in Dalriada.
“You fair Princess Nakira are our remaining Heir.”
You are our heir.
I stared at the messenger disbelieving. Heir.
They wanted to make me Queen.
You don’t read this book—you fall into it.
From the opening page with the description of Pixie’s wonder at the arrival of Revenna of Rathbone, you’re done, and might as well give up on life for a while. The people, places and storyline are fantastic.
We go straight on, to the arrival of Queen Nakira, coming home to take up her position in Dalriada. Settling isn’t easy for her, and learning who she can trust isn’t straightforward.
Tierolm is a man without a kingdom, and it’s fortunate for him and his band when they come across a greedy Dracon, who tells them of a land a mere six days’ walk away. Everything comes at a price, the map, the donkey— eventual love.
What I liked most about this novel is the intricacy of the prose. You’re in from page one. From ‘sleepy Pixora,’ the writing grabs hold and doesn’t let go. Every character brings its own colour and texture. The style is just beautiful. And Ms Hibbert is one of those authors with the alchemy to conjure a story made up of the right words in the right order.
There’s a lot of story in this book, it’s hard to decide if it’s more character or plot driven because they are pretty equally balanced. The people—even the fae and cryptids are real to us as we read them. We believe in every one of them and get embroiled in their relationships. It’s fantasy and myth. There’s wizardry and magic with very adult themes twisting and weaving themselves into the otherworldliness. We’ve got folklore and battles between clans—but there’s a light social commentary dealing with issues covering everything–including religion that transcends time, place and even what we know of traditional history.
This one is a must for lovers of magic and fantasy—but let’s not niche this to one genre. This is the perfect book if you just want to escape into something different for an hour.
Loved every word of it, and have no hesitation in recommending this book.
Katherine Black / Susan (Sooz) Simpson
Founder of Best Book Editors
Katherine has held almost every single job imaginable, from painting gnomes to zookeeper. She spent most of her life in the caring profession and has managed both a nursing home and a care agency. But her passion for the written language always brings her home to novel writing.
Born in Tyne-and-Wear, North-East England, she has settled in the beautiful Lake District, Cumbria, with her partner, two dogs, a cat, an iguana and a python (just don’t ask her which of those six things is her favourite!).
She specialises in content creation and social media outreach, and has been a developmental editor for hundreds of clients. She owns and operates bestbookeditors.com where she helps foundling authors polish their skills. However, after being diagnosed with a dramatic brain condition in 2022, she has had to let 23 staff go, and scale back the business. BBE is still very much open, we are just fewer and can’t take as much work on.
Katherine Black is the author of psychological thriller/detective/fantasy adventure novels.