Review posted February 6, 2012.
Samhain Publishing, 2008. 325 pages.
2011 Sonderbooks Stand-out: #5 Fantasy Fiction for Teens
Here's another book that I bought quite some time ago, as soon as I heard about it, and then didn't get read because it wasn't a library book with a due date. I recently made myself a rule to read a book I own after I finish any library book. Then I realized I could now read the books I'd been so wanting to read! I knew I would love a Sherwood Smith book, and I was absolutely right.
Okay, I will admit that this particular Sherwood Smith book has not one but two abductions of the heroine! I will also admit that I find her books, including the abductions, wonderfully romantic. I don't want to think too hard about what that might say about me.
This book opens with Flian waking up from a head injury. A red-haired prince comes to her room. He tells her:
I am Garian Herlester of Drath. You are Flian Elandersi, my cousin. You were on your way to visit me before your marriage. You rode in an open carriage, and you encouraged your driver to go too fast. The carriage overturned and your driver was killed.
You have a father and a brother. They know. They wish you to stay here. You have never gotten on well with your father. He is old and autocratic, and favors your brother, who incidentally opposes your marriage because you are betrothed to a king. This will place you in a position of power. So you came here. We have always been friends.
Garian is eager to help Flian's marriage happen. She thinks it would be nice if she remembered her betrothed, King Jason Szinzar. But before the ceremony can happen, a dashing prince, Jason's brother, breaks into the castle and abducts Flian. But then she begins remembering and thinks maybe she should be grateful.
This is a fun and romantic tale with political intrigue and danger and lessons in trust. There's a touch of magic, as in all of Sherwood Smith's books. Her books always make me smile. Read this book and enjoy another tale of a perfectly ordinary princess caught up in extraordinary events and trying to figure out what's right and who she really loves. Definitely fun reading.