Princess Alyce stood at the window and watched the rain dripping slowly down the glass. It had been raining non-stop all day and she could feel the chill of the wet glass. Long dark hair tumbled down her back with only a simple blue ribbon around her head to keep it in place. Her gown was made of the finest silk and the vibrant blue matched both the ribbon and her eyes. Her hands rested gently on the windowsill but she felt far from peaceful.
Inside, her heart was an emotional turmoil, all bubbling to the surface until she wasn’t even sure which one was dominant.
The letter from the would-be king lay crumpled at her feet. She had read it twice—the first time with surprise and the second with growing anger.
She clenched her hand and the rain outside turned to ice. The so-called king demanded that she relinquish the castle and publicly acknowledge him as rightful ruler of the kingdom. But she would be damned if she did that. A loud crash of thunder echoed through the castle.
Then she thought of her older sister and rain began to fall softly again. Whatever he had done to Alexandria was so powerful that she hadn’t been able to break it. Poor Alex—she was so soft and gentle and susceptible to weaknesses in others. It was why she became queen rather than Katharine herself. Alexandria was Katharine’s equal at all the tests bar one, and that was always going to be Alex’s strength. Compassion. It was the thing that set her apart from Katharine and ensured she would continue the long line of queens that had ruled the Southern Isles.
But this prince had somehow snuck through their defenses and now he had ensnared Alexandria.
Time. Alyce needed more time to build the power to break the spell and return the Isles to its rightful leader. This was her chance to prove herself once and for all.
But time was the one thing Princess Alyce did not have. She had already heard about the army that Prince Ranulph had been secretly building and now there was nothing stopping it from marching right across the Southern Isles and causing destruction.
Another crash of thunder rang out.
Princess Alyce turned and strode downstairs towards the library. Somewhere in her book of shadows was the answer she sought. Her mother had always said she was gifted but didn’t study hard enough. Now she would prove her wrong and she—Princess Alyce—would be the one to save the day.