Magic is long dead in Twelve Realms, a peaceful kingdom where the dark arts were once as normal as the seasons. At least this is what most believed until the life of a princess becomes the obsession of a man who defies time by stealing the one thing that sustains his life: true beauty.
Princess Caityn is more than a pretty face. Her beauty runs soul deep, and because of this, her life is priceless to the thief. On the eve of her wedding to the high prince, Caityn is attacked by his powerful dark magic, leaving her a wretched hag with a soul so empty even she barely recognizes herself.
But it’s not too late. Her betrothed and a group of loyal knights might be able to save her from a living death, but it will take more than a kiss to rescue this princess. Love means sacrifice.
What will those who profess to love Caityn be willing to sacrifice to save her life? Time is not on their side. Doubt is a strong enemy, and the thief knows exactly how to use it to his advantage.
Review: This is a beautifully-weaved young adult fantasy. Having said that, many children will love this tale as well, especially little girls. The story starts out like a fairy tale, but with a little more depth… a beautiful princess, maids in waiting, a wedding being arranged, the handsome prince, and an evil character… it’s all there and very well constructed. My mind was immediately cast into the world of fairy tales. In particular, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. I was beginning to wonder if it would be much different to be perfectly honest, but then Richey stepped it up a little as the story progressed and I soon realised that this was much better than other fairy tale fantasies I’ve read.
As characters developed, as more was revealed about the beauty thief, and more characters came into the story with unexpected twists and turns, I found myself needing to read on. Although I knew how it had to end, I had to know how things were all going to be resolved. In essence, I was successfully drawn in.
As far as grammar, dialogue, and all the do-da’s go. I couldn’t fault it and therefore needn’t say more. Ritchey knows her stuff.
I love the cover on this book, it’s attractive, very high quality, and has a great blending of colours. You can actually see shadows of green from the leaves of the trees as they are illuminated from the pale moonlight as night draws in.