Ace, Dec 2002, 7.99, 464 pp.
By drinking from the sacred Chalice, Pheresa saves her life. Pheresa expects to be the next monarch, but first must trick the church that wants her as an icon of the holy Chalice.
After succeeding at that endeavor, Pheresa manages to get through to King Verence still in a fog while mourning the death of his son. He names her Princess of the Realm, but she must marry her cousin Lervan to inherit the throne. To keep his heir safe, the king designates Sir Talmor to guard Pheresa. When King Verence suddenly dies, Pheresa and Talmor flee the city as enemies attack. As they struggle to survive, they prepare for the day when she returns for her crown even as they fall in love with one another.
THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT is a powerful romantic sword and sorcery tale that readers will gain tremendous pleasure from perusing due to the lead couple. Pheresa almost obsesses over her belief that her destiny is to be queen. Talmor will die to keep his beloved safe and he also provides the pin that keeps Pheresa from going over the edge with her contention. Fans of S&S will relish this delightful tale especially when the beleaguered heroes try to defeat their foes within the regal court and from outside the capital.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner