The Eldritch Heart, by Matthew S. Cox
New. $14.99 here; $16.99 on Amazon.
Princess Oona Talomir enjoys the little things that come with her station: a handmaiden, her lavish bedchamber, and scores of fancy dresses - the duty to win a decades’ long war, not so much. Oh, did I mention assassins? Seers foretold the conflict would end by her hand. From the moment she drew her first breath, the neighboring kingdom has been trying to kill her so she could not grow powerful enough to destroy them.
The king, fearing for his daughter’s life, has kept her confined to the castle grounds for most of her sixteen years. With the tide of war turning against them, the burden of her crown becomes too much to bear, yet one thing lifts her spirits amid the gloom. Her servant girl, Kitlyn. Alas, in a kingdom obsessed with the god of purity, she is terrified to confess her forbidden love. When her father makes a demand she cannot abide - marry a prince to forge a military alliance - Oona panics. He is handsome and honorable, but he’s not Kitlyn. Unable to admit why she cannot obey, Oona does the only thing she can think of, and runs away. Alone and unprepared in the wilderness, she prays the gods will let Kitlyn find her - before the assassins do.