The best-laid plans, even of princesses, can go awry…very, very awry.

Seventeen-year-old Saraid of Thekla is on her way to marry the ruler of far-off Mauburni. But she’s not sobbing into her silk-curtained litter at the thought of leaving home, because she has plans—and The Book. She’s studied this ancient treatise on the art of kingship for months to make herself the ideal queen for her adopted country. Once her new husband sees that, he’ll fall madly in love with her. It will all be perfect. She knows it.

But The Book is silent on what to do when one’s journey across a cursed desert wasteland is halted by a mysterious young warlord. Cadel has plans of his own—plans that don’t include her going to Mauburni. As she begins to unravel his secrets, Saraid will have to lay aside The Book and trust her own wisdom—and her heart—to navigate the treacherous shoals of politics and power and become the queen she yearns to be.

“What an exciting journey this story turns out to be! …The world is realistic and the relationships believably written as the tension and conflict ratchets up to an explosive conclusion. Overall, this is a fantasy lover’s treasure!” —4 1/2 stars (Crowned Heart of Excellence), InD’tale Magazine


  • International Digital Award, Best Young Adult Book 2018
  • WISRWA Write Touch Award 2019 Winner, Young Adult Category
  • Virginia Romance Writers’ Holt Medallion Finalist, 2019
  • OCC-RWA’s Book Buyer’s Best 2019 Finalist 2019, Young Adult Category
  • NEC-RWA Readers’ Choice Award 2019 Finalist, Young Adult Category