A debut entry in an alternate-history fantasy series depicts a magical and dominant British Empire where princess Marie trades places with her illegitimate magician best friend to escape an unwanted marriage.
Once, they were inseparable, just two little girls playing games in a formidable castle. Now Princess Marie-Victoria, heir to the mightiest empire in the world, and Aelwyn Myrddyn, a bastard mage, face vastly different futures.
As the annual London season begins-a whirlwind of wealth and magic marked by lavish parties and gorgeous girls vying for the attention of young royals-the talk of the town is Ronan Astor, a social-climbing American with only her beauty to recommend her. After falling for a handsome rogue on the voyage over, she must balance her desire for love with her duty to save her family's position.
Meanwhile, Isabelle of Orleans finds herself cast aside by Leopold, heir to the Prussian crown, in favor of a political marriage to Marie-Victoria. Isabelle is bent on reclaiming what is hers, but Marie doesn't even want Leopold-she lost her heart long ago to a boy she will never be able to have.
Desperate to escape a life without love, Marie turns to Aelwyn, and the girls form a perilous plan that endangers the fate of the monarchy.
"Preening royalty, a touch of magic, and dramatic betrayal. What's not to love?" -Teen Vogue
"This character-driven novel has fabulous balls, glitzy gowns, and plenty of drama and plot twists, making it hard to put down." -School Library Journal
Melissa de la Cruz is the #1 New York Times, #1 Publishers Weekly and #1 IndieBound bestselling author of Isle of the Lost and Return to the Isle of the Lost as well as many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for readers of all ages. Her books have also topped the USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times bestseller lists and have been published in more than twenty countries.
A former fashion and beauty editor, Melissa has written for the New York Times, Marie Claire,Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Allure, the San Francisco Chronicle,McSweeney’s, Teen Vogue, CosmoGirl! and Seventeen. She has also appeared as an expert on fashion, trends and fame for CNN, E! and Fox News.