Eleanor Brice Desmarais, she of the cracked glass slipper and unladylike intellectual propensities, has learned that happily-ever-after is as rare as a frozen dragon, even for a happenstance princess. She survived a plot against her life, but her marriage to the alcoholic, womanizing Prince Gregory of Cartheigh remains at best a sham, and at worse, a potential noose around her neck. Gregory is increasingly suspicious of Eleanor's unusually close relationship with his best friend, Dorian Finley, and with good reason. Ironically, Gregory seems to be engaged in his own scandalous love affair-- with Eleanor's scheming stepsister, no less. Eleanor understands the harsh realities of women's lives in her kingdom, so she turns her energies to a school for impoverished girls, until an evil magician's deception destroys the school and unleashes a festering plague. From the Fire-iron walls of Eclatant Palace to the slums of Meggett Fringe, no one, magical or mundane, is safe from the fever-induced delirium of the Great Burning. Not even Eleanor's children.
As Eleanor's happily-ever-after morphs from circumspect to heartbreaking to mortally dangerous, for both herself and Dorian, she faces her greatest losses and her harshest reckoning. No matter what life hands her, however, she finds the strength to do what she must. She stares down her challenges, protects her loved ones, and fights to change the world. Just like women everywhere, in her world, and ours.
About the Author Alexander, Stephanie: - Stephanie Alexander is a writer and a family law attorney. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina, with her husband, their blended family of five children, and their miniature dachshund, Trinket.