Forget Me Knot (Royal Reaper 2)
by Ruth Silver
Published: June 23, 2015
Also available on Barnes & Noble and iBooks
I'm a fan of paranormal fantasy (yes, I'll admit it) and was pleasantly surprised to find one that has a knights and castle twist. Unlike many books like this I've read, this one has a more historical feel to the setting--paupers and queens, kings and swords, and a terrifying plague, which has killed many and is already on its second sweep. It was interesting to watch the young Queen Mara not only deal with all the mysteries in the paranormal world, but simply battle with her new royal position in a time where disease and fear is wide-spread, and hunger abounds. By placing her in this situation, it gave her a strength that I couldn't help but respect.
I'll admit, I didn't read the first book in this series (something I'm going to have to catch up on), and as such, I had a little trouble understanding what was going on in the first few chapters. There's enough information to get the story going and have a general idea of what's happening, but with the somewhat large variety of characters, each with their very own individual background, I would suggest reading book one first.
The writing is well done, and I had no trouble diving into the world or feeling as if I knew the characters personally. There's lots of little details, which make the story tangible, and the characters, in general, are down to earth making it easy to understand their actions. This isn't written from one character's point of view, but rather hops from one individuals scene to another. Although I felt a little jolted at times and would have liked to remain in a couple scenes longer (some were pretty short), this scene and point of view jumping allowed the story to take on a depth and complexity which otherwise, couldn't have been achieved. And it's exactly this complex weave which made the plot really enjoyable.
I can recommend this to all YA Paranormal fans, especially those who have a special love for castles, and kings and queens.
Death crept into the castle. Mara could feel its darkness pressing her down. As she walked to her father's bedchamber, the thought of marrying a man she did not love weighed heavily on her. All the invitations had been sent out months ago. Just as her life was beginning to almost feel normal, her father, King Philip, had fallen ill along with the court of Casmerelda and much of the kingdom. The second wave of the plague violently spread, leaving a trail of death and burning corpses for the living to clean up.
Her father had been bedridden for three days. His fever spiked and his skin glistened. He grew delirious, falling in and out of consciousness. As much as she despised him for what he’d done to her sister’s boyfriend, he was still her father. She didn’t want to be left alone.
“You must marry Astin at once.”
Mara cringed. “I can’t.” Her lips hidden as she wore a piece of ivory cloth against her nose and mouth, the slightest bit of protection from the disease that had taken over the kingdom. “I don’t love him. Please don’t do this to me.”
“Don’t be selfish.” The words struggled to reach his lips. He coughed and heaved, his chest rising and falling quickly as his pulse raced. “I’ll be with your mother soon…”
“You’ll be dead.”
Taking in several deep breaths, he opened his mouth, his words coming out as a whisper. “You will be reigning queen. Mara, you must act the part. Marry Astin and forge an alliance with the country of Morro, for the sake of Casmerelda. Your people need you.”
“I need you,” Mara said, gripping her father’s hand. She frowned, studying the tips of his fingers, a blackened hue lacing his skin.
“You shouldn’t touch me.” He tried to pull away, unsuccessfully. Her grip remained tight, but more significantly, he’d grown weak from the disease ravaging his body.
“I haven’t been infected, and I’ve been at your bedside every night.” Mara ordered the servants to bring more water and rags. It had done little good to break his fever or alleviate the discomfort he must have been experiencing, but it was all she could think of to help.
“Marry Astin.” His words were rough slipping past his lips. He wheezed, trying to speak, but Mara rested a hand upon his chest.
“Don’t.” She didn’t want to have this conversation again.
“For the sake of the kingdom,” he said, pleading with her.
Mara refused to answer. Marrying Astin wasn’t what she wanted. “I have no desire to be queen so young. You will pull through, do you hear me?”
He’d fallen into a deep slumber, unable to answer her.
And here she is. . .
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