There was nothing Princess Inai loved more than a good book. The problem was that there was nowhere quiet enough for her to read.
The library had been the obvious choice, of course, but there were always servants wandering in and out, fetching a book for Mother, or for Father, or for one of her siblings. And if they weren’t fetching books, they were dusting the books, which usually set her off in a fit of coughing.
She tried reading in her room. After all, it was her room, her private space to do whatever she liked. But no, her maids walked in and out, straightening things, fussing with things, putting things away… it drove her mad. Even when she told them to stay out, they could never leave her alone for more than an hour. And an hour just wasn’t enough for her to finish reading the long epics that she really loved!
Nowhere else suited her. The kitchens was obviously out, as was the dining room. The gardens were too cold, and sometimes too wet (and smelled of dog). The ballroom was too drafty even if you ignored the Charmed Chandelier who kept interrupting with stupid observations. The princess stomped her way into the drawing room, hoping that she would find peace to read at last.
Princess Inai stretched out on the couch and opened her book. It was too exposed. The drawing room was quiet, but she could feel people watching her, even if they were silent when they passed by. Someone had lit a fire, and the little inglenook looked warm and inviting. Maybe there—maybe she could hide there and no one would find her. She closed the book on her index finger, marking her place, and headed toward the cozy corner. The warmth of the fire enveloped her.
The inglenook was small, yet large enough for her to stretch out her legs. She settled on the cushioned seat and leaned her back on the wall, wriggling a little to get comfortable, and then yelped. There was a dizzying moment. When the world settled again, she found that she was still hidden in that tiny space beside the fireplace, but the place had gotten a lot bigger. Infinitely bigger. She gasped in surprise.
Stretched out beside her on her left was what seemed to be a hidden library, filled with all the books that could sate her. Thick tomes full of words. Thousands of them. She turned her head to the right to find that everything there was perfectly normal. She could see the wall where it jutted out beside the fireplace, acting as a pillar to block everyone’s view of her private little nook. It was perfect.
She slid into the magical space on the left, running fingers down the spines of the books, promising herself that she would read them all. One day, she would finish every single book in this infinite inglenook. But for now, she was going to finish—finally finish—reading The Island Deception. Before she settled down again, her eye caught something new. A little kettle sat whistling merrily, indicating that the water had finished boiling. Beside it was a teapot, a dainty teacup, and a wooden box. She opened the box to find rows and rows of tea bags.
In amazement, she made herself a pot of tea, took the pot and teacup back to her seat, and wriggled until she found a comfortable position. Then she opened her book again, took a sip of tea, and settled down to read.
Head over to Yuin-Y's for today's illustration.
Hey, so Dan's book, The Island Deception launches today and since it also begins with an I, here's a review!
The Island Deception by Dan Koboldt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As everyone knows and agrees, second books suck. It's all about moving plots and pawns, getting into position for the final battle, the final showdown. Like The Two Towers, The Island Deception is no different: You're moving, but you're not getting there. Yet.
Quinn finally gets his big break in Vegas, but immediately after, he's thrown back into Alissia, because who can keep him away from real magic, really, after he's been throwing himself whole-heartedly after the scam?
And the mission is going to hell in a handbasket. Quinn is keeping mum about Enclave secrets just as Kiara is keeping hers hidden behind security clearance levels, even from Logan. The recovery mission is pushed up without warning, not giving Mendez a chance to recuperate from the last one.
There's a bit of romance--is this just a fling? Is he trying to use her? Or is he actually serious?--amidst plans and strategising, foils and counterfoils. The team is up against an adversary who seems to be able to read their minds, if only because he was the one who told them how to think in the first place. The plots and cross-plots are getting more intricate. Should I root for Quinn? Or is he doing the wrong thing? Should I root for Veena--but no, I'm sure Holt's up to no good, even if he says he knows better.
And then you get to that bit where you go aww yes, this is it and you hit the realisation (again, all too often nowadays), that no, there's only 10 minutes left and this is just going to...
It's all good. I just need to wait for The World Awakening (or whatever the title turns to) next year.
Good job, Koboldt. I both love and hate you now.
Note: I received an ARC for review via Edelweiss
View all my reviews
Interested? Check it out on Amazon.
Book one, Rogue Retrieval, is available too. (Read my review here.)
Dan has graciously offered a couple of ebooks to readers of this blog! We'll be picking two winners via rafflecopter to win their choice of Rogue Retrieval or Island Deception. Rafflecopter's up for the week! :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway