The Seeds of Power. A dutiful princess marries at her father’s command, sacrificing her freedom, her body, even her life. Christal Hollin is determined never to wed. Instead she becomes a cultivator and gains rare skills that secure her independence—until her hard-earned expertise attracts a proposal she can’t refuse.
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Dynastic marriages can be deadly. Her unique knowledge keeps her safely unwed. Until her greatest strength becomes her fatal weakness.
Royal Princesses are born to be bartered, and Christal of Larrochar learned long ago that to marry was to risk her life. At twenty-eight she’s resolutely unwed, trusted assistant to the King’s Cultivator and an expert grower of rare plants.
Christal’s surety is elan, the mysterious golden bean-shaped nugget with miraculous healing properties. Neighboring Caldermor controls it. Christal’s papa covets it. And Christal has dedicated her life to unlocking its secrets. So when spoiled princeling Daire of Caldermor proposes marriage, there’s no doubt elan is at the root of his interest. Christal’s value is her knowledge, and suddenly she’s worth more married than unwed.
As Christal searches desperately for an escape neither Caldermor nor Larrochar will allow, she discovers that marriage will be the death of her—and the prince and his bodyguard too—unless she can claim her future by unearthing the secrets of the past.
Two princes. A desperate duel. A perilous legacy.
How can a man not know his brother? Prince Daire of Caldermor and his heir, Prince Warrick, were raised apart. Daire’s showy. Warrick’s stuffy. All they have in common is a shared secret duty—Daire creates elan, mysterious golden beans that assure their family wealth and power; Warrick bears witness. Then Daire discovers that elan-making ravages his body. Internally he’s hurt beyond remedy, but if he modifies the time-honored elan ritual he can save Warrick from suffering his fate.
Warrick knows transforming elan is a privilege. He doesn’t believe it’s dangerous. To prevent Daire from debasing their treasured heritage he claims the throne and battle is joined. The arena: an elan-making duel. The loser’s forfeit: exile.
Daire wants Warrick beside him, not banished, but he’ll need insight and guile to win the duel without losing his brother—or breaking the ancient Legacy that protects Caldermor.