You probably don’t know this but I’m a bit of a K-drama addict and I do love some Chinese epic movies (I adore Red Cliff). So I dipped into this double header this week: The Hidden Princess and Hidden Promises by Georgian Makalani.
First, aren’t these cover’s gorgeous!? Wow!
These are the first two books in a trilogy.
In Book One we get the set up: Lis and her family are enjoying an idyllic life on their own island, far from the Empire and her father’s former work as a general in the magic wars. She has a marriage planned and spends her day using magic to open flowers and change her clothes.
But you know that isn’t going to last – she’s summoned to court to audition as a possible bride for the new Crown Prince (his brother being mysteriously killed).
The problem is her magic is forbidden. And the Crown Prince is a magic hunter, his mission to kill magic users as he finds them.
The first book is fast paced enough that the reader doesn’t lose interest in what we (the reader) knows is bound to happen – being chosen as the future Hidden Princess bride. We follow Lis as she gets selected, tries to find her footing with her future in-laws, and most of all, tries to hide her magic when others target her for assassination.
This first book especially reminded me of the better dramas I’ve watched where we find out more about the world, the politics, and where the heroine starts to make friends and enemies.
The secrets from book one come out in book two, fracturing the new relationship that had been forming between Crown Prince Remi and Lis. When Remi starts to realize that his ability to hunt those who use magic, may in itself be magical, he can’t accept it – he may lose Lis and the Empire.
What’s interesting about Book 2 is that even while secrets held by Lis in book one are revealed, a deeper mystery is woven together about what the purpose of the Hidden Princesses were in the beginning, possibly alternate realities or a past intruding on the present.
Will Lis and Remi’s relationship end in tragedy or a peaceful union of opposites?
If you love Chinese dramas, the costumes, etiquette, and relationships, you must check these two books out. I can’t wait to read the next one!