My book talks are coming at you from a librarian, not a reviewer. You won’t find me talking about style or craft, why I think this could’ve been better or what worked or didn’t work. I only do book talks on books I liked and want other people to know about. So if it’s here I probably think it won’t injure your brain if you read it.
Emalina is one of the last royalty of her people, the Ruined. Once powerful, yet feared for their magic and cruelty of their ruling family, they were destroyed by the neighboring kingdom of Lera. Em saw her parents murdered, and her younger sister Olivia kidnapped. Though Em is the older sister, she did inherit magical abilities, and Olivia is now the rightful Queen. And Em is determined to save her at all costs.
Em ambushes the Leran Prince’s fiancee’s carriage on its way to their marriage – and what would have been their first meeting. She takes the girl’s place, posing as the Princess Mary and following through with a marriage to one of the worst enemies of her people – the royal family of Lera. Though she expects to hate her new husband, she’ll suffer anything – even her wedding night – to learn where the Lerans are holding her sister.
But Prince Casimir is kind and nothing like his father, who would see all Ruined hunted down and executed. When one of Em’s conspirators and best friends is captured in the woods, Cas even listens to his wife when she raises questions about the treatment of the Ruined, and the Leran policy of killing them on sight.
Em finds herself dangerously close to falling in love with her husband – the man she will need to kill when she and the other Ruined spring their trap, and release her sister.