In Winterstaar’s debut fantasy romance, a recently divorced woman and her three young children are pulled into a different world—one where she’s expected to be a prophecy-fulfilling queen.
As her marriage unravels, Adele retreats to her dreams: nightly rendezvous with a man she’s never met who nevertheless seems to be everything she’s longed for in a lover. Though they can’t touch or speak in her dreams, their passion is strong enough to haunt her waking life. Adele’s dreams connect her to a magical world called Evendaar: a realm haunted by a prophecy about the end of the world and “A child born into the Golden Age [who] shall be stolen from the Light and hidden from the eyes of the world.” High Wizard Ohren knows that Adele is this child, sent to the mundane world by his own magic long ago; she is, in fact, the rightful heir to the Throne of St. Lucidis and destined to protect the kingdom of Unisia. Not that Adele has any idea how to do so. Summoned by Ohren’s magic, she and her three kids enjoy a life of luxury while she tries to figure out her purpose. Then her dream man walks into a royal reception: he’s the outcast Prince Rainere of the Marchant family, an Immortal rumored to dabble in Dark Magic. Still, Adele starts a secret affair with Rainere, little knowing that he, like Ohren, sees her birthright as a potential weapon to be wielded. Even as he urges her to marry him, he’s in league with dark forces with their own sinister agendas. Although Adele is initially passive in her dealings with Ohren, Rainere, and the court intrigues she’s thrust into, debut author Winterstaar effectively shows how she gains confidence and strength, determined to be the best queen she can be, however absurd that notion is. The author’s prose is unusually straightforward for the genre, which makes for a page-turner. In particular, she’s adept at revealing detail slowly and naturally, without falling into the common fantasy-writer trap of seemingly endless expository monologues. This results in a tale that’s readable, layered, and engaging throughout.
A promising start to a new fantasy series.