Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Turncoat Prince (Dragonsfall, Book 2) by Amelia Smith

Release date: September 27, 2016
Subgenre: Epic fantasy, dark fantasy

About The Turncoat Prince


Darna is just a guildswoman, or so she’d like to think, but her alleged father was the prince of a backwater province. Her uncle assassinated him to claim the throne, and now he's coming after her.

With assassins on her heels, Darna takes on a job in the remote province of Slaradun. The prince is irate to find that this limping woman has replaced the able-bodied man he hired, but according to the contract, he’s stuck with her for the season. Darna finds the prince arrogant and high-handed, but he’s also intelligent and well-read. As winter closes in on Slaradun keep, late night conversations turn from sea walls to more intimate territory, and the province’s lost dragon reappears.

This book is the second in the Dragonsfall trilogy. To enjoy it properly, read The Defenders' Apprentice first, and perhaps also the beginning of Darna’s story in the prequel novels, Scrapplings and Priestess.


This place isn’t safe for you,” he said. “I think you should go stay in the temple.”
Don’t be ridiculous; I’ve lived here for years.” Darna looked over her shoulder and drew the curtains across that last gap. “Is it something to do with Tiadun?”
Thorat nodded. “Was the prince of Tiadun your father?”
I don’t know.” He might have been. After all, her mother had been a priestess and might have lain with any number of men, including the prince of their province, but no man was supposed to claim a priestess’s child as his own, though they did when it suited them. The prince had tried to claim her. He’d sponsored her priestess training, possibly because she’d stood as proof that he could sire a child, although a girl child wouldn’t normally inherit the throne. He’d needed that, not that it had done him any good in the end.
He’s dead now, so it doesn’t matter.”
Thorat shook his head. “That’s the trouble. It does matter. Calar, his brother, your uncle, he found out about you. He wants you dead. He’s offered a land grant, a rather large land grant, and a share of the Cerean trade in dragon stones to the man who kills you.”
Kills me? Me?” Darna’s voice squeaked. “Why?”
I don’t know all of it,” Thorat said, running his hand through his hair. His hand looked strong, competent. He had a good longsword which he knew how to use. Maybe he would protect her, not that she’d ever needed protection before.
You don’t know all of what?” Darna asked. If she was going to be murdered, she’d like to know why.
He had your father murdered.”
I don’t know that he was my father.” The idea that Calar had killed his brother, the prince, was not at all surprising.
The prince looks like you. Looked like you. He had the same expressions. I believe he was your father, even though you’re not like any other princess I’ve seen.”
I wasn’t raised to be a princess.”
You weren’t raised at all. You’re half-wild.”
Exactly,” Darna said, “but now I’m also a full initiate of the Guild of Planners.”
Congratulations. I didn’t know that.”
They blessed my masterwork this past winter, just before Tiada was killed.” Tiada was the dragon and guardian deity of her home province. Dragons were supposed to live forever, as long as the land, so now her homeland was dead. The death of the dragon meant far more to her than the death of a man ever could, even if that man had sired her, and that was far from certain. Thorat had been there at Tiada’s death. That much she knew, though the details of why he’d been there were not entirely clear.
You know about that?” Thorat asked.
Iola thought I should know. She said that Tiada had joined the deepest stream, and that that was different from death, though it looks the same to us on the surface. She knew that I was Tiada’s child.” Darna had sensed the absence of the dragon before Iola had told her about it.
And not the prince’s,” Thorat mused.
I have no interest in being connected to the prince of Tiadun,” Darna said. “He had nothing that I wanted. Everyone knows that. Besides, it wouldn’t make any difference. Why would Calar want me dead?” She did know her alleged uncle’s name. She kept track of what was happening in Tiadun, just in case. “I’m no threat to him.”
But he thinks you are, and he’s right,” Thorat said.

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About Amelia Smith:

Amelia Smith writes magazine articles about Martha's Vineyard, fantasy sagas about dragons, and blog posts about nothing in particular. To learn more about her, visit

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