Originally published in Vella format, The Court Under the Sea is a tale of suspense and magic.
Protagonist Karina Starheart lives a quiet life with her parents and sister. Theirs is a happy family, united and strong. It isn’t the sort of family that would expect a large change or challenge.
Perhaps Karina’s life has been arranged that way on purpose. She does not know the truth about her past, the king and queen who, in times of peril, sent their baby daughter away to safety. She hasn’t a clue about the magic in her past.
What she does know is that she’s always wanted to visit the ocean, but her parents won’t allow it. They offer no satisfying explanation as to why. It simply is not an option.
Karina’s life loses the stability she has known when a the current king issues a decree. Prince Zarek, also known as the Dark Prince, is of age to find a wife—but he cannot marry just anyone.
The decree states that several eligible ladies will visit the Court Under the Sea and pass a series of tests so that Zarek can meet a woman worthy of one day being his queen. Being of minor noble descent, Karina is one of these ladies—and none too excited about it, as the rumors about Zarek do not paint a wonderful portrait.
However, she has no choice. From her parents’ savings, a modest wardrobe is purchased, and Karina finally has the opportunity to see the ocean.
Her dream does not come true peacefully, though. When a handful of ladies are vying for the Prince’s hand, there is bound to be chaos—those who do not like him are still very fond of his title. Ambition makes a person careless; several of the competing ladies are willing to do what’s necessary to eliminate competition.
That turns out to be the least of Karina’s troubles. Something more sinister is happening at the Palace, something too dark for any of the ladies to achieve. A series of attacks and a death interrupt the competition; all of a sudden, nothing matters to Karina or Zarek more than keeping the guests safe.
Karina faces something intangible—her own past, a history she does not know yet. How can you deflect attacks if you do not know their nature? How do you know your enemy if you can’t even see the shape of their shadow?
Will Karina find love in the Court Under the Sea? Will she be forced to run for her life?
Powerful characters and description verging on magic make this a gripping read. We are eager to follow Karina into the sequel. She is very much a character to root for, because she fights for the defenseless and puts others before herself.
Fans of romantic reads, strong female characters, and a healthy dose of suspense will enjoy The Court Under the Sea.
If you wish to read the sequel, it is currently being published on Kindle Vella, where episodes are being released periodically.
Don’t miss this adventure!