Title: The Cursed Queen (2017)
Author: Sarah Fine
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBTQIA+
Ansa has always been a fighter. As a child, she fought the invaders who murdered her parents and snatched her as a raid prize. She fought for her place next to Thyra, the daughter of the Krigere Chieftain. She fought for her status as a warrior in her tribe: blood and victory are her way of life. But the day her Krigere cross the great lake and threaten the witch queen of the Kupari, everything changes.
Cursed by the queen with fire and ice, Ansa is forced to fight against an invisible enemy—the dark magic that has embedded itself deep in her bones. The more she seeks to hide it, the more dangerous it becomes. And with the Krigere numbers decimated and the tribe under threat from the traitorous brother of the dead Chieftain, Ansa is torn between her loyalty to the Krigere, her love for Thyra, and her own survival instincts.
With her world in chaos and each side wanting to claim her for their own, only one thing is certain: unless Ansa can control the terrible magic inside her, everything she’s fought for will be destroyed.
Read an excerpt…
She’d never seen fire as an enemy, not until it crept like a snake along the grass to where she lay bleeding, not until it struck. And even then, Lotta didn’t scream from the pain.
She screamed for Ansa, though. Screamed until the smoke choked off the sound. Her tears dried to a salty crust as she fought to keep her eyes open. Though she had no strength to rise, her fingers clawed in the blood-soaked dirt beneath her as she watched one of the monsters sling her daughter over his massive shoulder.
Only two days ago, she had resolved to hide Ansa forever and keep her safe, even if the priests from the city came calling with offers of copper piled to the thatched eaves. As soon as that red flame mark had appeared on Ansa’s right calf, Lotta had known what it meant. When her brother’s family had visited from the city yesterday and brought word of the Valtia’s death, it had only confirmed her fear. She’d heard the fantastical tales of how the Saadella, the heir to the Valtia’s magic, was chosen. She knew the Saadella lived in luxury at the Temple on the Rock. Many parents would give anything to see that kind of life for their child.