"The ignorant outlanders whisper drunkenly in the inns that she is evil and cursed; that to gaze upon her face is death. This is a lie! Some careless folk say, when they think no one is listening, she walks across the lake to drink the blood of babes and drain the life force from careless husbands. I know this is also a lie; I have never seen her walk on water."
The Dark Lady
Young Princess Nefasti wakes to discover her father, the King, poisoned and her mother near death. As she is the sole heiress to the ancient high kingdom of Vadio, the king’s three brothers begin to plot and quarrel over who will become Regent and control the kingdom until she comes of age, or dies. Their solution is to marry her off. If this trio were not enough of a problem, the greedy surrounding kingdoms all want to gobble Vadio up, and their ambassadors scurry through the castle plotting and scheming.
Princess Nefasti has two main goals: to survive, and to discover who is responsible for the death of her parents.
Young Queen Nefasti’s hold on her throne is tenuous. Her powerful neighbor to the west has declared war, and her other neighbors want something in return for their offered aid, such as her hand in marriage and her kingdom. Assassins lurk in the shadows while handsome suitors try to bribe her with gold and jewels. Her best friend and protector is leaving and one of her favorite ladies-in-waiting is threatening to commit suicide. Could anything else go wrong?
It has happened at last. Queen Nefasti’s friends are deserting her on all sides, treachery threatens from inside her own castle, and an invasion led by an old and angry acquaintance is knocking at the very gates to the Kingdom of Vadio. Dark Magic has stirred up things best left alone. Nefasti has been given a final choice, marry The Lord High Protector’s son, or suffer dire consequences. All of this threatens to ruin her 16th birthday celebrations, and probably end her life.