Duchess Aleana Melora of Eniva, future queen of Halvaria, is resigned to the gilded cage of her life, facing a loveless marriage to Tallak, the prospective king, and struggling under the pressure to carry on the family name despite her wish to find a woman to love.
When her convoy is attacked on the journey to Tallak’s palace, Aleana is saved by her guard, Ori, only to discover her people have turned against her and joined forces with the kingdom of Dakmor, Halvaria’s greatest enemy. Her only hope is to reach Tallak, but she and Ori don’t make it far before another attack and an unlikely rescue by Kahira, a Dakmoran woman banished from her kingdom for reasons she is hesitant to share.
Though Kahira is marked as a criminal, Aleana’s heart makes itself known. Aleana is facing danger and betrayal at every turn, and she fears giving in to her desires will mean she will enter her marriage knowing exactly the kind of passion she will never have as the Halvarian Queen—if she survives long enough to be crowned.
Absolutely lovely, quiet but fast-paced fantasy F/F YA. The story revolves around Aleana, a duchess destined to be queen; Ori, her loyal and hardheaded guard who protects Aleana after an attack on her convoy; and Kahira, a foreign woman marked as a criminal.
I read the first 2/3 in one sitting, I was so consumed by the details, the action, the characters. The ending happens rather suddenly, but it’s satisfactory. Definitely enough to make me want to read the next book!
There is a story of a young goddess who comes to the earth in the form of a golden bird, then, a woman of unparalleled beauty.
She meets a prince of noble heart and they fall in love, but alas she cannot stay, she must return to her home in the heavens.
The prince beseeches her to choose earth, to choose him, to choose love, and for the length of one moonless night she considers it.
But ultimately the decision is not up to her, nor is it the prince’s, for there are two more characters in this story:
The goddess’ heavenly handmaiden, sent to watch over her mistress, and the prince’s loyal bodyguard, stalwart but severe.
There are three endings to this story–all of them dependent on the dance between handmaiden and bodyguard during that long moonless night.
Every day, it seems, you are reminded of how powerless you are. Always two steps behind and one to the left. Everything, even yourself, designed around her and her desires. Clothing and food, activities and lighting.
In the summer, you carry a parasol to protect her complexion from the sun. When it rains the umbrella in your hand is to keep her dry. Music is always set to her rhythm, not yours.
This is how it’s been your entire life.
She has power over you and doesn’t seem to be aware. If you ask for a favor, you make yourself vulnerable–she may choose to be generous, or she may reprimand you for being so daring. She does not ask you for favors, she gives you commands.
This entire sojourn has been a misadventure from beginning to end, and you know when you return it will not be her skin beneath the lash or even her neck below the blade.
This is your first time on earth, too. You are also a goddess.
Tonight your mistress has gone to her mortal, and there is no moon tonight. There is no one but yourself to know these truths. Your actions are safe from prying eyes.
Or so you think.
A/N: … sometimes you get to make your everyday problems sound super flowery and beautiful and pretend like they’re not your problems at all!
Alright, so I just got this amazing book from Barnes and Noble, and I was thinking: “What if Bill just left this under Dipperito’s pillow one night because he saw it and thought he would like it? I wonder what Dippin’ Dots’ reaction would be?”
I don’t want to be the person who isn’t listening when someone talks; instead, thinking about your eyes, your hair, your lips, your voice. But I can’t help it. You can’t tell yourself not to think about someone — that’s just asking to think about them even more. It’s like riding a wave, I guess. I have to wait for this love to crest and fall and then I’ll finally be able to function knowing you’re so far away from me, with no end in sight.
Karen Noble, Distance Doesn’t Matter, I Still Think About You All Day Long