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A Venom Vice

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246 pages3 hours

Summary

Princess Bellardia Andryala Pimpernel is actually much more skilled at crafting highly combustible potions than she is at basic human interaction. This is unsurprising as her father's obsession with finding one of the Four True Heirs of Matheque led him to banishing all the nobility and gentry from the castle (save for on special occasions every now and then, of course). Thus, our princess grew up in a nearly empty castle (aside from all the maidservants, menservants, cooks, gardeners, guards, tutors, the councilors, her Lady-in-Waiting, and the court soothsayer/alchemist/doctor, Merdwick. So, practically deserted).
She was quite used to being ignored until on her eighth birthday she is given the gift of her very own jester. This boy, Jack, proves to be her very dearest friend despite a past he won't discuss and his predisposition to causing chaos. Aside from crafting the occasional small explosive to clear her head, Jack is her only anchor to sanity when seven years later she comes of age. Now that she’s a woman grown (at a very mature fifteen years of age), she’s thrust into a world of arranged marriage, cloying nobility with suspect machinations, whispers of regicide, and darker parts of her family history that she would really prefer not to think about.
But of course, she’s not in love with Jack. Oh, no. That would be ridiculous. He's a jester. His tousled black hair, emerald green eyes, and taut, agile build never enter into her thoughts in the slightest.

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