The Cruel Prince meets Ash Princess in this thrilling fantasy, the much-anticipated sequel to Crown of Coral and Pearl.
Ever since Nor was forced to go to a nearby kingdom in her sister's place, she's wanted nothing more than to return to the place and people she loves. But when her wish comes true, she soon finds herself cast out from both worlds, with a war on the horizon.
As an old enemy resurfaces more powerful than ever, Nor will have to keep the kingdom from falling apart with the help of Prince Talin and Nor's twin sister, Zadie. There are forces within the world more mysterious than any of them ever guessed—and they'll need to stay alive long enough to conquer them...
Excerpted from Kingdom of Sea and Stone by Mara Rutherford © 2020 by Mara Rutherford, used with permission by Inkyard Press.
On the day Zadie and I turned thirteen, Father surprised us with a trip to the floating market—our first glimpse of the world beyond Varenia.
I spent the journey perched on the bow of our family’s boat, welcoming the cold ocean spray on my face and the wind in my tightly plaited hair. Zadie sat between Mother and Father, her knuckles white on the edge of the bench, her golden-brown eyes wide with anticipation.
As we approached, I eagerly took in the sight of the intricately carved wooden boats, with their colorful wares and raucous merchants. While Father traded our precious Varnian pearls for drinking water and food, Mother made Zadie and me sit next to each other near the front of the boat where everyone could see us. She had shown us off to every villager in Varenia a hundred times, but today an entirely new audience was at her disposal.
Men and women smiled at us as we floated past, likely because identical twins were a novelty.
“Lovely girls,” one of the merchants said, and I watched as Mother swelled with pride like a pufferfish.
She thanked him and urged us to do the same. But just as I started to speak, the man craned his neck to get a look at the right side of my face.
“Pity about the scar, though.”
I could feel Mother wilt behind me like a seaf lower left out in the sun.
Zadie, embarrassed, settled into the bottom of the boat where no one could stare at us, but I stayed where I was, watching as Father looked over a basket. I was used to these kinds of comments by now, but it felt as though Mother would never accept that one of her daughters was a damaged good, just like the basket Father handed back to the merchant, gesturing to a hole in the bottom.