Title: Forest of Firelight (The Riven Kingdoms Book One)
Publisher/Author: Shari L. Tapscott
Pages: 302pp
Price: $13.99 / $3.99

Generations ago, the land was torn apart. The Fae split the continent in half and then just … left. The theories given for the sundering are varied, but they don’t much concern Princess Amalia. She is in mourning. With the death of her elder twin brother, choosing her husband — who will be the next king of Renove — falls to her. Setting out in secret, accompanied only by her cousin and the mysterious mercenary Rhys, she travels across the land, hoping to find a man worthy of the throne … and maybe her heart, too ….

Tapscott is rapidly becoming one of my favorite fantasy romance authors. Her books make me happy. There’s magic, star-crossed lovers, political intrigue, noble heroes with terrible secrets, heroines with spunk and intelligence, and appropriately terrible villains. Plus adventure, derring-do, and narrow escapes.

Her books are, quite simply, fun.

Forest of Firelight is no exception. Amalia is naive, but compassionate and a quick learner. Rhys is world-weary and duty-bound, and terrified that he has been so easily charmed by Amalia — a woman who should be his enemy. The world they inhabit is one of magic and monsters, haunted apple orchards and terrible beings of darkness who leech the life and warmth out of anyone they find. It is also a world built on lies and misunderstandings. And Amalia and Rhys will have to unravel those lies and misunderstandings if they want to save their world before it completely falls to darkness and chaos.

Fairy warning, though: Forest of Firelight does end on a cliffhanger. If you want the complete story, you have to read the entire four book series.

Recommended to fans of Tapscott’s other books, as well as The Elf Tangent by Lindsey Buroker, the Lady Jewel Diviner series by Rosalie Oaks, Burning Bright by Melissa McShane, and A Proper Dragon by EB Wheeler.

[Reviewed by Rebecca Buchanan.]

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