Summary: Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden. Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine (called Mare), sister of her betrothed. When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. Soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more. But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.
What can I say about this book? It broke my heart, then put it back together, then broke it again. Denna and Mare are two strong, smart young woman, on different tracks in life but equally determined to do right by the people they care about. Denna has trained all her life to be a queen, and is determined to be a good one, but is frustrated when no one in the Mynarian court appreciates her politically astute intelligence – no one, that is, except her fiance’s sister and Denna’s riding instructor, Mare. Headstrong, independent Mare struggles to find her place – and she is more surprised than anyone to find that where she truly belongs is at Denna’s side. When these two princesses fall in love, it’s fire and stars and romance and political turmoil, all wrapped up in the dangers of Denna’s hidden magical gifts spiraling out of her control. I loved this story, and I can’t wait to read Coulthurst’s next book – I might even have forgiven her for the heartbreaking death of one of my favorite characters by the time it comes out.
OF FIRE AND STARS is out now.