To Deceive a Kingdom: A Princess and the Pea Retelling by Kathryn Radeker (Shattered Tales book 6)
Ceris is one of the “tainted” fae: she’s half human, meaning her magic is watered down like so many others in the kingdom. But she has enough magic to fulfill her role as a medicinal smuggler. And to keep up the facade of being a princess from another kingdom to lure the crown prince into a marriage agreement. Too bad the plan isn’t hers and she doesn’t want to play along.
Aieldir is one of the “pure” royals. They never intermarried with humans so their magic should be strong. Except it isn’t. His father’s magic couldn’t sustain the portal to the human realm, so Aieldir must secure a marriage to a foreign princess before their enemies realize how weak the kingdom truly is.
But will Ceris be able to pass the magic tests? Or will their fraud be found out?
The fae world was beautifully described and the different values of humans and fae played off each other well. The twist was great, and I loved how the “pea” was tied in.
I did struggle with the info dump that took up most of the first few chapters of the story. It wasn’t needed as the information was repeated later. And I’m not really sure when Ceris and Aieldir fell in love… we kept being told they had feelings for each other, but they hardly spent time together.
Ceris was hard to relate to as she expressed views which felt like barely concealed racism. At the very least, she seems to prefer fae values of deception and power over honor and compassion. Conversely, she’s concerned about the lack of readily available medicine and eats street tacos from a human. She does sort of change her mind by the end, but her inconsistency was hard to follow.
A really fun story though, and I enjoyed how Radeker spun the Princess and the Pea tale!
A few kisses. Mild innuendo; some inebriation.
(Thank you to the author for the ARC of this book. This is my honest review.)