The Vanished Queen by Lisbeth Campbell
English | 2020 | Fantasy | LGBT | ePUB | 6.5 MB
When a country is held in thrall to a vicious, despotic king, it’s up to one woman to take him down.
Long ago, Queen Mirantha vanished. King Karolje claimed it was an assassination by a neighboring king, but everyone knew it was a lie. He had Disappeared her himself.
But after finding the missing queen’s diary, Anza—impassioned by her father’s unjust execution and inspired by Mirantha’s words—joins the resistance group to overthrow the king. When an encounter with Prince Esvar thrusts her into a dangerous game of court politics, one misstep could lead to a fate worse than death.
Esvar is the second son to an evil king. Trapped under his thumb and desperate for a way out, a chance meeting with Anza gives him the opportunity to join the resistance. Together, they might have the leverage to move against the king—but if they fail, their deaths could mean a total loss of freedom for generations to follow.
Set in a world where resistance is as dangerous as it is important, The Vanished Queen is a tale of the courage and sacrifice it requires to take on a tyrant.
Once she had asked her father why Karolje walled the books away instead of burning them, and he had said, Those were the early days. Before the war with Tazekhor ended, before the killings began, before the queen vanished. Mirantha had disappeared three years after her husband was crowned, and no one spoke of her. Her vanishing was one of the stories everyone knew and no one could remember hearing. The thought was disquieting in the darkness, the silence.
She went to the nearest room and tried the key.
It fit in the third door, but stiffly. She twisted harder. There was a horrific screech from the lock. The hinges were not much quieter when the door swung open.
The air flowing out was stale and musty. Dust lay on the floor like velvet. Books were stacked unevenly here and there, some leaning against each other, on mostly empty shelves. Where the moonlight hit them, the gilt on the spine was bright. A table had been shoved out of place, and one of the two chairs was on its side. Soldiers like her father had come, forced the master or student out, and locked the door. Any books that were illegal would have been confiscated. Anza was surprised the College had been allowed to keep the key.
Softly, as though the floor were fragile, she walked in. Clouds of dust raised by her footsteps showed in the moonbeams, wraithlike. The shadows of the lead bars on the window made a lattice in the silver light. When she stepped forward, the lattice fell across her legs, caging them.
Absurdly, she righted the chair. She went to the window to look out at the empty square. No movement, no shadows. Her breath fogged the cold glass. Jance’s taunt to Rumil suddenly seemed fitting. The library might have been a tomb, full of the dead and their uneasy shades.