But soon stormclouds rise on the horizon. Her fathers army is slaughtered and invaders from the desert conquer her land. The son of the king of the invaders offers to keep the people alive if the princess of the realm marries him. He had the famous beauty that is her sister in mind but tomboy Linnet steps up as she thinks she will be able to stand more then her sister can.
So she has to travel with that prince to his desert underground keep and marry him. But there are rumours that his father hopes to rise a famous king of the past from the death the moment he solves the riddle of an inscription. Linnet's mother is hoping for revenge before that will happen and urges her daughter to kill the prince as soon as he comes to her bed alone.
The thing is very lonely Linnet and that prince surprisingly become friends. And the marriage is one in name only. So Linnet starts to dread her obligation to kill him. But her mother is on the move. Someone wants to kill her. A lady wants to have the prince for herself. The terrible king is on his way home. And what about the riddle?
There are two moments of intense loss in the book. While the first is just sad, the second had me in tears. Exactly like the writer predicted.
"You’ll hold your breath, you’ll laugh, you’ll sit on the edge of your chair, you’ll stay up till two in the morning pinned to the page—and you might even cry. In fact, I’ll bet on that."The writer states that with her books
"you’ll never have to squint, worrying that the romantic scene is about to get FAR too steamy—or that, in a tirade, someone is about to spew a stream of obscenities that will make you want to shut the book and go take a shower.
I don’t write sexual scenes in my books. EVER. And I do not use profanity. EVER."
The book is set in a fantasy world but seems to be influenced a lot by Moghul / Indian culture and a medieval European one.
It is certainly worth all the 5 star nominations!
Sixteen-year-old Linnet has been given a grave task. If she succeeds, it could end her life. If she fails, it could destroy her people.
She must kill a prince.
But first, she must marry him.
Prince Rajak of the Badi, son of the tyrannical desert king, has given Linnet's Highland kingdom of Hilrigard an ultimatum: give him a princess for his bride, or be slaughtered. Linnet's older sister is his first choice, but when she begs not to be sent, Linnet volunteers, to save her people.
Her mother, however, sees an opportunity. She secretly instructs Linnet to gain Rajak's trust and then assassinate him, before he discovers the legendary chamber that will resurrect the Badi's greatest king.
However, the more Linnet learns of the prince, the more she realizes that his brooding exterior conceals a good heart. And the more she learns of the chamber, the more she suspects that the legend is not what it seems. But time runs short when Linnet's mother sets the coup in motion, and Linnet is faced with a heart-rending choice--for the one sent to kill the prince may now be the only one who can save him.