Kayla's father has made her the prize in a deadly, impossible tournament, and Kayla has retaliated in the only way she knows how; by choosing her champion beforehand. But taking control of the outcome changes the game completely, and when the real reason behind the strange test becomes apparent, Kayla realizes not just her life, but her entire kingdom is at stake.
In order to save his brother, Rane will do whatever he has to--including deceive and betray a princess. He knew nothing about this tournament would be easy, but when it turns into a deeper, far more sinister game, Rane is forced to see it through to the end, or leave his brother at the mercy of their enemy.
Now their fates are entwined, and they must venture into the deep, dark forest together . . .
Kayla and Rane are bound to one another by an enchantment and Kayla's actions. But the sorcerer forcing them to do his will may have miscalculated, because no-one comes out of the Great Forest unchanged. No-one.
This story is loosely based on The Princess on the Glass Mountain, I read that story, and I do not remember if I have come across it before. Perhaps long long ago. But like with everything, Diener makes the story her with all it's twists and turns.
Kayla is a princess, but she wants to choose her own destiny and so she does. Afterwards she is put on that glass mountain for a man to win her.
Rane wants to save his brother, and the princess is just a way to it. They have both lied and used each other. But they both also know it. Romance? Well it takes time, they need to trust each other as they are bound together on a journey. And I do like slow-building romance. Considering this is more fairy-tale in my mind than fantasy, I like that is builds, that they need to be friends, or sort of, and to watch each other's backs.
There are dangers, magic, wicked wizards and an enchanted forest, that is not kind to travelers.
Even if the book does reach somewhat of a conclusion to this story, more is to come. The might have won the battle but not the war. I do wonder how they will over come certain things... ;) I can't wait to read more.
A fairy-tale like fantasy.
Paperback, 298 pages
Published March 24th 2014 by Michelle Diener
Fairy-tale remake / Fantasy romance