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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2016 Audrey Coulthurst (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Queer Princesses

Queer princesses. Need I say more? Yes? The story was thrilling, the characters were layered and not too cliché, and the performance was delightful.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A lovely earnestly romantic fantasy romp.

Overall a fantastic book. The fantasy world is interesting and has egaging political and social drama. The friendship turned romance is handled well and the tension is a slow burn to a beautiful payoff.

Pros:

Sweetly romantic and full of feel good moments.

Tons of political intriuge as cultures and Alliences clash.

Two great protagonists with unique viewpoints on the plot

A well structured and executed metaphor using the protagonists acceptance of her forbidden magic to parallel her coming out story.

is very gay

Towards the end the obstacles grow larger and the tension pays off beautifully.


Cons:

Pacing issues towards the middle

Some characters are developed right before dying and the deaths are sometimes trivial.

Some characters are one note and do not meaningly impact the plot.

The fantasy names get a little wordy and they start to get confusing.

tone is not consistant during some key scenes.


Overall a phenomenal story that hit just the right spot for me. A fun gay fantasy adventure with likable characters. Would Recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Exhilarating

I could not stop listening!!!

I will be buying the hard cover copy to have on my bookshelf!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A horse girl and a magic nerd fall in love

Mare is every horse girl you knew in elementary school and she falls in love with a nerd princess who is basically the avatar.
I really wanted to love this because who hasn't been longing for w|w magic fantasy but I merely liked it. The main characters are interesting but are the only developed characters in the book. The plot starts out intriguing and mysterious and then meanders in the last half. The world building starts out strong and then only sort of goes anywhere. A fun book to listen to once but not one I'd listen to again.

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Absolutly one of the worst books I've ever started

I'm so angry I paid money instead of just waiting for it to be available from the library.
Initially, I was so excited for this book. The main character has a same sex love interest, representation matters, this hasn't really been done before and it will help open more doors for this type of story arch.

BUT THE BOOK IS HORRIBLE. Absolutely dull. No character development, they are completely flat. Like a piece of printer paper. This book was banking on it's "edgy" arch and has nothing going for it in terms of actual quality writing. I wasted the money on it so I have to read/listen to it now, but I've learned my lesson.

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my lesbian heart

I love this book!!! a user on Tumblr recommend this to me. read/listen to this!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent!

Great book! It kept me on the edge of my seat. It was not cheese, and the love story was well developed throughout. I can definitely see a sequel.:) it’s great to see strong women characters!

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Best Narrator

Book aside (loved it) I was hooked from chapter one because of the narrator. She has a wide variety of voices that paint a picture of the characters and tell the story in vivid detail

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10 out of 10 would recommend

Fantastic! Wish there were more well written and told stories in the fantasy ya genre where the main characters are LGBTQ like this one.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Tries to fill a gap in LGBT ya fantasy

I picked up this book because I love fantasy stories and reading LGBT narratives is important to me. Something about this fell short though. A lot of the characterization felt a little slippery-often characters were stuck between vaguely annoying and sudden shifts in character that didn't make sense. For example, I could never really get a grasp on the relationship between the prince and princess. Their sibling relationship veered between abusive and fond with irregularity. Also, while I loved having a butch woman narrator, at a certain point you can only have so many horse similes and equine metaphors. This is speaking even as an equestrian.
That said, it's nice to have a lesbian romance depicted in a healthy way, that doesn't end in death! There are a lot of really nice, tender moments between the two narrators, and the author does a nice job of showing different relationships between children and parents, and what were told to do vs what we yearn to do.