I love reading everything from fantasy to historical romances. On a constant quest for more books to read.
Princess Marinda of Balinore is used to being ignored by her father the king who prefers her blonde and more magically talented sister Imogen. Rindas birthright magic is that she can add luck to inanimate objects by smearing some of her blood on them.
But neither Rinda nor the rest of Balinore considers it something to be proud of.Not when it is such an insignificant magic compared to her sister who can call forth water from the ground with her Birthright.
One day their father declares that its time that they both found husbands. Imogen is happy but Rinda is furious knowing its just a way to remove her from the castle and her father presence.
Rinda comes up with a plan. She will scare away the prospective suitors by insulting them so badly that they wont want to marry such a rude princess even if she is a connection to the throne of Balinore.
When the day of the ball arrives she sets her plan into motion and the suitors soon give up their courtship but things go wrong when the entourage of the King of Lioncourt arrives and Rinda noticing how unshaven and dirty from the road they are calls out..
"King of Lioncourt…more like King of Scarecrows!" I laughed and laughed and laughed at the ridiculousness of it.
Her father is furious by her behavior and declares that he will marry her to the first man who enters the castle. Rinda not taking his threat very seriously learns how wrong she is when she finds herself married off to a poor wandering minstrel named Aleksandr.
This does not suit her at all!
Her new husband brings her from the castle and tells her that according to the customs of his country he will give her a symbolic gift a flower for the 30 days.If after those days she still refuses to accept it then they will be divorced.
This suits Rinda very well as she figures if she can just find her way to the kingdom of Lioncourt she can convince the king to marry her.Then she will have the life she deserves at last.
Luckily Alek is from Lioncourt so she can just as well accompany him.Its not like she will accept his stupid flower.
This is a retelling of the King Thrushbeard fairytale so if you know that story it will be very obvious who Alek really is.
But the author fleshes out the story and strays from the original tale in that instead of Alek being mean to her and stashing her away in a shack to humble her- they go adventuring together instead.
Along the way Rinda learns some valuable lessons and grows as a person and finds her happy ending.
As for the romance...well from what I can judge compared to the authors other books this is pretty chaste. Sure there is kissing but the more intimate scenes are not described in great detail.
I found Alek a guy who could be firm with Rinda but who didnt push her around (even when she deserved it) He does call her out on some of her prissy princess ways but over all he was a great guy. (even if he wasnt a great minstrel lol)
Some people mention in their reviews that Rinda falls in love with Alek a little bit too fast.
While part of me can agree another part of me thinks that no they had been in each others company for some time and had to save each other from some dangerous situations. How could they not fall in love after all that.
We accept it in the fairytales when the basis on the couples relationship is being kissed by a stranger while you are uncocscious.
If there is one thing... I wish Rinda had a confrontation with her father towards the end.But he just seems to disappear from the story.
This is a wonderful retelling of one of the more obscure fairytales out there that has a flawed but most of the time likable heroine,a sweet brave hero and enough humor,drama and romance to satisfy anyone who wants to disappear to faraway kingdoms for a spell.