Synopses & Reviews
Magic, lust, and power collide in this sexy novel set amid the glittering courts of Echon, from the author of The Queen's Bastard
C. E. Murphy is the author of several successful urban paranormal romance series for Harlequin Luna. Her first novel for Del Rey, The Queen's Bastard, was eagerly received by her fans. Now the story continues in this second novel.
Belinda Primrose is the queen's bastard--the illegitimate daughter of Lorraine, first queen to sit on the Aulunian throne. She is also the queen's deadliest weapon, trained as a spy from the age of twelve.
In The Queen's Bastard, Belinda discovered that she had powers unshared by her mother. Now, in The Pretender's Crown, events spiral as one queen is murdered, another is suspected of having plotted to kill her, and armies marshal on both sides. Belinda learns that she is a pawn in a game much greater than she could ever have suspected--and suddenly stumbles upon a shocking secret that changes her life forever. Her powers at their greatest, she turns away from her mother for the first time ever, and must decide how to forge a life of her own.
"In Murphy's crisply written sequel to 2008's alternate history The Queen's Bastard, aliens known as the Heseth, the people of the sun, have visited Earth in what would be our 16th century, but the supernatural elements are limited to the occasional use of magical abilities. The plot is more focused on the struggle for power in Echon (Europe), which features familiar rivalries between Aulun (England), Gallin (France) and the Prussian Confederation. As political tensions heat up, Belinda, the witchfire-wielding assassin and illegitimate daughter of Aulun's Queen Lorraine, faces relationship problems with Javier de Castille, prince of Essandia (Spain) and Gallin, and with her overbearing mother. Murphy tends toward long discussions of war, succession and various attempts by the Heseth to influence human development, mostly balanced by clever intrigue and raw, explicit sex scenes." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Fiercely intelligent, beautiful, and ready to claim her birthright, she navigates a dangerous world torn between war and witchpower.
Seduction and stealth are Belinda Primroses skills-weapons befitting the queens bastard daughter, a pawn of espionage conceived by Lorraine, ruler of Aulun, and her lover and spymaster, Belindas father. Now an accomplished assassin, Belinda uncovers the true game her father never intended her to play. For Belinda has found her witchpower, a legacy born from something not of this earth. In a treacherous world where religion and rebellion rule, Lorraine is now in a position to sweep over the countries of Echon and to back her chosen successor to the throne: Belinda.
But Belinda is no longer anyones pawn. Lured by the sensual dark magic of Dmitri, envoy to a neighboring throne, yet still drawn to the witchlord embrace of her former lover, Javier, Belinda knows that she has entered a realm where power and control go to those who can master and manipulate their fiercest desires. For the witchpower depends on the skill its wielder holds.
About the Author
C. E. Murphy lived for many years in Alaska before moving to Ireland, where she lives with her husband, two cats, and a dog.