Elizabeth K. Burton The Ugly Princess

ISBN 13: 9781612710488

The Ugly Princess

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9781612710488: The Ugly Princess

Christopher Evergild, like his father and his grandfathers before him, had trained all his life for one thing: to be the Royal Champion of Abernal and maintain the peace with the strength of his arm. Then the king dies at his wedding feast, and his heir is a woman exiled to a mountain keep as an infant—a woman reputed to be so hideous only trolls can bear to look at her. Plots to replace her sprout before the king’s corpse is cold, but Chris’s duty is clear. How is he to know doing the right thing will change his life forever?

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About the Author:

Elizabeth Burton has had four novels and three erotic romance ebook novellas published in the decade since she decided it was past time to pursue her long-postponed career as a storyteller. After working as a journalist and newspaper editor, she took advantage of a job hiatus to work on fiction, publishing the first novel, Dreams of Darkness, as an ebook in 2000. She also became a much-in-demand freelance book editor and reviewer, publishing the online review zine The Blue Iris Journal from 1999 to 2003. She was a finalist in the 1999 Writers of the Future, and is a member of the Fandom Association of Central Texas (FACT) where she is on the board of directors and serves as board secretary, and is co-chair for ArmadilloCon 32, Austin’s oldest literary SF/F convention. In 2003, she became a partner in Zumaya Publications as executive editor, and in 2009 purchased the company in partnership with her niece while trying--again--to find time to write. Her most recent novel, The Everdark Gate, was the winner of the 2008 Dream Realm Award for Fantasy in ebook format.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

The truth might never have come to light had the king not gotten drunk at his wedding banquet and choked to death on a pheasant bone.

The events leading up to and instrumental in the unfortunate moment began three months earlier, just after the summer solstice. The day commenced much like every other, with King Edrick roaring into the private dining hall already well into his first bottle of brandy. He engulfed his usual enormous breakfast, then strode off to his private council chamber to see if there were any pressing matters of state he needed to attend to.

I was in my small office near the kitchens attending to the monthly accounts when one of the downstairs maids dashed in to inform me a courier waited in the main reception hall. As such messengers were only employed for matters of the utmost urgency, I immediately went to greet him.

"I have a message for His Grace," the man announced before I had barely stepped into the room.

"I will take it," I said, quickly assessing the layer of dust on his uniform, thick enough to nearly obscure the patch on his shoulder and the shadows of fatigue under his eyes. He had ridden long and hard, and I saw no reason not to relieve him of his task and send him off for a meal.

"My orders are to give the message to His Grace."

"Corporal, do you know who I am?" I dislike resorting to a military tone but I dislike even more standing about arguing with people who should know not to.

"Yes, milord."

"Then you are aware I am privy to all the king’s business. Now, your message, if you please."

He wrestled with it for a brief moment but, in the end, he truly did have no choice. Thus, I was the first to learn that the Queen of Abernal was dead.

I expect self-introduction is in order before we go any further. My name is Bartrim Ruford, and I am the Seneschal of House Rediman, the twelfth member of my lineage to occupy the post. It, like all those of any importance in the king's household, is hereditary, guaranteeing the monarch dependable help and a fair number of people steady employment for generations. At least, that is the official explanation for the system. When said monarch is like Edrick, it tends to work somewhat less smoothly than its originators had intended.

His Gracious Majesty Edrick Rediman, the fourth of his name to reign in Abernal, was, shall I say, difficult to appreciate but fairly easy to please, provided one had considerable skill at diplomacy and an even greater willingness to compromise one's ethics. Fortunately, I had been blessed with a more than ample portion of the former and so was able to avoid many instances of the latter. I had assumed my position some five years prior to the events we will be discussing and had, so far, kept His Majesty's good will.

For two decades, an outpost stood at the foot of the Stone Mountains. It had one purpose—to apprise the king by the swiftest means available that his detested wife was dead. I now led the dusty courier to the council chamber, where we interrupted a discussion among His Grace and his three Ministers of Council of the comparative charms of two new ladies just arrived at court. I then hastened to find my wife.

Danella and I knew the king would want to celebrate the news he had just received and hastened to prepare a small feast for His Grace and a few select friends. He had waited twenty years to hear that his estranged wife had finally been killed in some skirmish or other so he could replace her and get a male heir. Well, a legitimate male heir, anyway. He had produced plenty of the other kind, not being any more inclined to celibacy than he was to restraint in dining. The news that the longed-for day of liberty had, at last, arrived provoked instantaneous results. Envoys departed before the following noon to all the neighboring monarchs with nubile daughters, and a week later Edrick was betrothed to the lovely Yolanthe of Nadwich. Despite our surprise at the alacrity with which the queen-to-be was selected, Danella and I immediately began preparations for the nuptials; and I dispatched invitations to all the relevant lords, ladies and royals. As the weeks prior to the arrival of the lady and her parents passed, the palace actually had a rather more light-hearted, festive air than I could recall having enjoyed for many years.

I, of course, made all the necessary arrangements to welcome the future lady of the house, just as my late father had done for her predecessor. Not surprisingly, the said preparations included gently persuading my sovereign to temper some of his more abrupt mannerisms.

"Are you calling me a boor, Ruford?" he snarled when I suggested having the princess taken immediately to his chambers on arrival so he could "try her out" was somewhat less than romantic.

"Heaven forbid, Your Grace. You are, as everyone knows, the consummate gentleman. However, the lady Yolanthe is fresh from the convent and likely shy for that reason."

"Then best she get over her girlish megrims now. The sooner she’s in whelp, the better."

"Well, of course, there is the matter of her father, who is rumored to be an overly pious man much enamored of the concept of premarital chastity."

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Book Description Zumaya Publications LLC, United States, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Print. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Christopher Evergild, like his father and his grandfathers before him, had trained all his life for one thing: to be the Royal Champion of Abernal and maintain the peace with the strength of his arm. Then the king dies at his wedding feast, and his heir is a woman exiled to a mountain keep as an infant-a woman reputed to be so hideous only trolls can bear to look at her. Plots to replace her sprout before the king s corpse is cold, but Chris s duty is clear. How was the Royal Champion of Abernal to know that making sure the Ugly Princess gets her crown will take away the reason for his existence and change his life forever?. Bookseller Inventory # APC9781612710488

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Book Description Zumaya Publications LLC, United States, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Print. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Christopher Evergild, like his father and his grandfathers before him, had trained all his life for one thing: to be the Royal Champion of Abernal and maintain the peace with the strength of his arm. Then the king dies at his wedding feast, and his heir is a woman exiled to a mountain keep as an infant-a woman reputed to be so hideous only trolls can bear to look at her. Plots to replace her sprout before the king s corpse is cold, but Chris s duty is clear. How was the Royal Champion of Abernal to know that making sure the Ugly Princess gets her crown will take away the reason for his existence and change his life forever?. Bookseller Inventory # APC9781612710488

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Book Description Zumaya Otherworlds. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 236 pages. Dimensions: 8.0in. x 5.0in. x 0.6in.Christopher Evergild, like his father and his grandfathers before him, had trained all his life for one thing: to be the Royal Champion of Abernal and maintain the peace with the strength of his arm. Then the king dies at his wedding feast, and his heir is a woman exiled to a mountain keep as an infanta woman reputed to be so hideous only trolls can bear to look at her. Plots to replace her sprout before the kings corpse is cold, but Chriss duty is clear. How is he to know doing the right thing will change his life forever This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9781612710488

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Book Description Zumaya Publications LLC, United States, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Print. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Christopher Evergild, like his father and his grandfathers before him, had trained all his life for one thing: to be the Royal Champion of Abernal and maintain the peace with the strength of his arm. Then the king dies at his wedding feast, and his heir is a woman exiled to a mountain keep as an infant-a woman reputed to be so hideous only trolls can bear to look at her. Plots to replace her sprout before the king s corpse is cold, but Chris s duty is clear. How was the Royal Champion of Abernal to know that making sure the Ugly Princess gets her crown will take away the reason for his existence and change his life forever?. Bookseller Inventory # LIE9781612710488

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