What’s better then books?
Reading good books, which this author has in spades.
Fantasy author H.L. Burke recently released an exciting original fairy tale called To Court a Queen that I am super excited to share with you. As a reader in her FB group (you can join HERE too!), when she first shared the premise of this story last December, I was instantly intrigued.
I mean, she had me at her male hero being similar to Han Solo. What’s not to like? 😉
If you’re curious how so, then your in luck because H.L. Burke is sharing all about that today. Read on, friend!
About the Book
He doesn’t want to get married, but he wants to be a frog even less.
Knight errant, Devin, takes a shortcut through the woods, only to be captured by fairy forces. The fairy queen has run out of breathing males to fight for her hand, and Devin, while not ideal fairy stock, is breathing–for now.
Telling a vain fairy queen you’d rather not be her one true love is a ticket to life on a lilypad, so the knight agrees to face three challenges to win Queen Agalea’s hand. When a clever servant girl offers to help him navigate the trials in order to stop the constant bloodshed of the courtship ritual, Devin jumps at the chance. However, as he balances “flirting” with his “beloved” and overcoming tasks specifically designed to kill him, he finds his heart drawn to his new partner in survival.
Where men are concerned, fictional or otherwise, I’ve always had two distinct types:
Aragorn and Han Solo.
I love a quiet, competent, grim-faced man who can lead armies and who is, you know, kind of perfect … and I love a rogue with a secret heart of gold, an excessive amount of confidence, and a snarky sense of humor.
Sir Devin, the main character of To Court a Queen, is definitely in the Han Solo camp. A restless knight who insists openly he’s “not really be the hero type,” Devin finds himself in over his head when a shortcut lands him lost in fairy territory, the unwilling guest of their queen, Agalea. You see fairy folk have a problem, Queen Agalea will only marry a man who can complete her three trials—and the majority of fairy men who have tried have died on the first, only one even getting to the second.
She sighed. “Ah, the days of true heroes are long past. A queen such as myself deserves a mate who will be spoken of in legend for centuries to come, and I can’t even find one who can pass three simple tests.”
While Devin had no desire to compete for the queen’s hand, insulting the queen by telling her outright she’s not worth dying for is the fastest way to end up a frog … and Devin’s never had a problem with lying.
When determined felys (Cat-Elf) slave girl, Sevaine, offers to help him beat the trials, Devin jumps at the chance. Now he’s in it for the fight of his life, and you might say, he’s got a bad feeling about it.
Another trait Devin shares with Han is his swaggering self-confidence.
“You gonna make me beg?”
“Would it take your ego down a peg or two if I did?”
“Probably not. I have it on the authority of my mother, several instructors at the knights’ academy, and two former sweethearts that I’m a lost cause that way.”
Devin, however, isn’t all swagger and deceit. He’s a competent, clever knight who knows how to improvise when put in a tight place. As Princess Leia might say, he has his moments.
“If something goes wrong, I’ll improvise. I’m not helpless you know.” His hold on her hand tightened. “I’ve been in tough spots before, Sev. I wouldn’t have lasted this long in my line of work if I didn’t know how to think on my feet.”
She gave him a weak smile. “From what you’ve told me, your ‘line of work’ consists mainly of fleeing from people you owe money to and maybe an occasional jealous husband.”
“Nah, that’s just what I do for fun.”
Also, like Han, in spite of his claims not to be a hero, Devin can’t help himself, especially when he realizes that maybe he cares a little more for Sevaine than he does even for himself. To find out if Devin steps up to save the day, survive the trials, and maybe even find true love (and if it involves carbonite or not … probably not. I think that would get me sued by Disney.), you’ll have to read To Court a Queen.
About the Author
H.L. Burke is the author of multiple fantasy novels including the Dragon and the Scholar saga and The Nyssa Glass YA Steampunk series and Coiled. She is an admirer of the whimsical, a follower of the Light, and a believer in happily ever after.
Blog Tour Schedule
January 30th-Book Review
February 4th-Book Spotlight
February 7th Author Interview
February 8th Author Interview/Book Review:
February 13th Character Interview with Sevaine
February 10th Character Interview with Devin:
February 12th Author Interview
February 15th Book Review/Interview
February 17th Character Interview with Devin:
February 19th Guest Post
February 21st Guest Post <— You are here!
February 26th Character Interview with Sevaine:
February 26th Book Review
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