Queen's Gambit: Book 1 of The Bonded
The Royal heirs of the rival cities of Rashanor and Gashan must put aside prejudices and work together for peace. But Amaril is not even human to Lothor's people, and her own emotional turmoil is devouring her mind. Plots launch a coup in Rashanor while the Queen lies dying and traitors work to kill both heirs. Can the two save Rashanor and Gashan when they might not be able to save themselves? More
The cities of Rashanor and Gashan have been at war for years even though no one is completely sure why. Both cities and populations have been decimated, and there does not seem any hope for future peace. Into this volatile situation was born the First Heir to the Throne of Rashanor, Amaril Velgara.
But Amaril is no ordinary Rashanorian: she is a Morkarda, a rare individual able to bind others to her soul, allowing her to enhance and heal them physically. Raised as a warrior, she and her Circle are the most elite fighting team on the planet but such things come with a heavy price.
Viewed by some as savior, and others as not human, she struggles to balance the demands of her duty to the Throne and Rashanor against the cost those bound to her ultimately pay. Though the Bonded volunteer and reap the rewards of the Bond, Amaril blames herself for putting them in harm’s way and sometimes not being able to save them. Her Circle knows something is wrong but they are helpless to find out what, able only to give what little help she will accept.
While returning from their latest mission, a chance discovery brings Lothoriel dav Hara'shian, Crown Prince of Gashan, into their midst. Having entered Rashanor on a desperate mission to force a peace treaty, Lothor and his men were ambushed, leaving the Prince as the sole survivor. But plots run thick and someone has sent an assassin to ensure he never returns. Luckily for him, Amaril and her band find him and bring him to the Palace for healing.
Immediately attracted to each other, they hide their feelings, and identities, to avoid a diplomatic incident in a culture of extreme social restrictions. Little does Lothor know, Amaril intends to bond him to her, an act his people revile. And Amaril has no idea Lothor crossed into Rashanorian territory in the hopes of ending the war.
Things become more complicated when Amaril learns her mother, the Queen, has been acting irrationally since her daughter left, and allowing the running of the city to be handled by the councilor to the Throne, First Sage Sisren. As Amaril begins to drown in a flood of grief, guilt and emotional pain, a traitor sparks a rebellion within the very Palace, forcing her Circle to cut their ties to her.
Can Amaril hold it together long enough to defeat the rebels and save her mother's throne and Rashanor?
Or will she lose the battle to the demons in her head?