A man broken in body and spirit, Cazaril returns to the noble household he once served as page and is named secretary-tutor to the beautiful, strong-willed sister of the impetuous boy who is next in line to rule. It is an assignment Cazaril dreads, for it must ultimately lead him to the place he most fears: the royal court of Cardegoss, where the powerful enemies who once placed him in chains now occupy lofty positions.
But it is more than the traitorous intrigues of villains that threaten Cazaril and the Royesse Iselle here, for a sinister curse hangs like a sword over the entire blighted House of Chalion. And only by employing the darkest, most forbidden of magics can Cazaril hope to protect his royal charge—an act that will mark him as a tool of the miraculous … and trap him in a lethal maze of demonic paradox.
Topics: Royalty, Trilogy, First in a Series, Magical Curses, Alternate Universe, Love, Destiny, Death, Demons, Princesses, Miracles, Journeys, Servants, Saints, Betrayal, Politics, Revenge, Military, Teachers, Medieval Period, Adventurous, Dark, Lush, Female Author, Battles of Succession, and Gods & Goddesses
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And it's not as easy to write one of those as you might think. You have to give your readers some of the conventions of the genre, because that's usually why they're reading it in the first place. You also have to make it seem fresh, not just a tired rehash of whatever came before.
This book has all the stuff you look for in a political-intrigue-type fantasy (princesses, dark magic, sinister courtiers, etc.) and takes it seriously unlike some of those lame Hey Look At Me Subverting The Conventions writers.
At the same time, it has characters that are more than just chess pieces (imagine, women that are strong but still believable within the society of the period!), and a plot that's kind of like going over Niagara Falls in a barrel--you just jump in and hold on and have faith that it's going to come out all right in the end.more