Friday, May 1, 2015

The Ring & The Crown - An Alternative History/Fantasy World of Magic with a secondary gay male couple

The Ring & The Crown by Melissa De La Cruz

"Magic is power, and power is magic...

Once they were inseparable, just two little girls playing games in a formidable castle. Now Princess Marie-Victoria, heir to the mightiest empire in the world, and Aelwyn Myrddyn, a bastard mage, face vastly different futures.

Quiet and gentle, Marie has never lived up to the ambitions of her mother, Queen Eleanor the Second. With the help of her Merlin, Eleanor has maintained a stranglehold on the world's only source of magic. While the enchanters faithfully serve the crown, the sun will never set on the Franco-British Empire.

As the annual London Season begins, the great and noble families across the globe flaunt their wealth and magic at parties, teas, and, of course, the lavish Bal du Drap d'Or, the Ball of the Gold Cloth.

But the talk of the season is Ronan Astor, a social-climbing American with only her dazzling beauty to recommend her. Ronan is determined to make a good match to save her family's position. But when she falls for a handsome rogue on the voyage over, her lofty plans are imperiled by her desires.

Meanwhile, Isabelle of Orleans, daughter of the displaced French royal family, finds herself cast aside by Leopold, heir to the Prussian crown, in favor of a political marriage to Marie-Victoria. Isabelle arrives in the city bent on reclaiming what is hers. But Marie doesn't even want Leopold-she has lost her heart to a boy the future queen would never be allowed to marry.

When Marie comes to Aelwyn, desperate to escape a life without love, the girls form a perilous plan that endangers not only the entire kingdom but the fate of the monarchy."

What's queer about it?

Ronan (the American socialite out to land a wealthy husband to save her nearly bankrupt family's position) becomes friends with a gay male couple who are part of the London social scene - Perry and Archie (Lord Stewart and the Honorable Archibald Fairfax.) They're not main characters, but they play a role, and their inclusion in this fantasy book that mixes magic with a different history for our world was really exciting.

Add your review of "The Ring & The Crown" in comments!

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