Raby’s tremendous Hearts and Thrones series gets its best entry to date with the release of Prince’s Fire. The timeline for this chapter advances a decade after the events of Assassin’s Gambit. The politics of empires and kingdoms can be treacherous; knowing who to trust is vital, as Imperial Princess Celeste and Prince of Inya, Rayn, are about to learn. Raby’s deliberate worldbuilding and empathetic character development combine to make a story that is adventurous while still packing an emotional punch.
For the last decade, Lucien, the Kjallan emperor, has been trying to undo some of the damage done by his war-obsessed predecessors. Knowing an alliance with Inya would be highly advantageous, Lucien would like to arrange both a trade agreement and marriage between his sister, Celeste, and Prince Rayn. Rayn however has reservations about allying with the militaristic Kjallans. When an assassination attempt unexpectedly throws Celeste and Rayn together, they must join forces in order to survive. Deadly political plots are swirling around Rayn, and it may be up to Celeste to find a way to save them all. (SIGNET ECLIPSE, Apr., 400 pp., $7.99)