Taweyr and neweyr - the force of brute power beyond muscles and the force of growing life - are only found on this one island shared by two kingdoms, two unlike kings, and a prophecy that could change history. Two princesses hear the prophecy, wonder whether if its fulfilment is finally here, and worry that their own gifts of weyr may not be enough to overcome human treachery.
Princess Ailsbeth loves music, a little-appreciated gift in Rurik, and knows that she's just a political pawn to her father, King Haikor, who keeps order through might, taking taweyr from his nobles as a tax. Women's neweyr gift of growth is despised in Rurik, and its crops suffer. Across the narrow landbridge, King Jaap lets jousts keep the taweyr levels down, and Princess Marlissa leads Weirland's women in strengthening their green land through neweyr.
When Duke Kellin arrives from Rurik to offer a betrothal between Prince Edik and Marlissa, the princess and her father are wary, since there's little love lost between the two kingdoms. Accepting the offer will stave off a war and might be the first step in fulfilling the prophecy of a royal child who will have both weyrs and will reunite the island. Perhaps 13-year-old Prince Edik will grow less like his father during their long betrothal...
What a change from the simplicity of rural Weirland accosts Princess Marlissa as she enters Rurik's cities where no green thing grows, where strict court protocol rules everything, where King Haikor's hatred of the ekhono who hold the wrong weyr for their gender leads him to hunt them to the death.
Having no gift of neweyr seems no burden to Princess Ailsbeth, who saw that it did her mother the Queen no good in Rurik. But when the young woman discovers that she has as much taweyr as her brother Edik lacks, she must use all her skill to conceal it.
Can the two princesses become allies, if not friends?
Can they survive the treachery and deceit of the Rurese court?
Can they live long enough to give the prophecy a chance to come true?
Required to marry for royal alliances instead of love, regal opposites Ailsbeth and Marlissa are so alike in their love for their homelands in this tale of magic, intrigue, boundaries, and heart.
Recommended by: Katy Manck, Librarian-at-Large (retired academic/corporate/school librarian), Gilmer, Texas, USA – blogging young adult books beyond the bestsellers at http://BooksYALove.com