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Epic Fantasy combines with Young Adult romance in this stunning new adventure set in a richly developed medieval world.

When Emariya Warren learns enemy forces have captured her father, she’ll do anything to save him. Anything. Even marry a mysterious prince she knows nothing about in order to rally the strength to arrange a rescue. During her journey to Torian’s foreign castle, Emariya comes face to face with her mother’s killers–and a deadly secret.

Not only does Emariya possess a powerful but unexpected magical gift passed down through each of her families, the prince she’s promised to marry possesses a third, and an ominous prophecy has warned the three gifts must never be combined.

If she breaks her promise to marry Torian, she won’t be able to save her father and if she keeps it, she may bring a curse upon everything she holds dear. Determining which choice is best won’t be easy, but when she meets the gorgeous prince who may desire more than just her heart, she realizes she will have to fight just to have a choice at all.

Her heart wants him desperately. Her head begs her to run. If she doesn’t want to share her mother’s fate, she’ll have to find a way to untangle the truth from the lies in time to save herself.

Discover the heartbreaking betrayals, fascinating magic and fated love of Cornerstone.

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

4 out of 5 stars

I’m fairly certain this book was on my currently reading shelf for months. The fact is that I found it a tad slow and felt that the whole journey and traveling sequences took far too long and I was waiting for something to happen. Then I finally decided it was time to bite the bullet and just finish it already and I actually enjoyed it toward the end, so much so that I went and bought the rest of the trilogy (which I do not do lightly).

The plot:

There was actually a lot that went on through this book, I was just waiting, waiting, and waiting some more for Riya to actually meet this reportedly über-nasty prince. There were kidnappings, attacks, fights, rescues, and chases—meanwhile I was tapping my fingers, wanting to meet Prince Ahlen and see if he really was as bad as we were being led to believe. I probably should have put aside my impatience and forgotten about His Highness, but me and my idea of how the story should go got in the way.

The characters:

Riya means well, I’ll give her that. She’s willing to do whatever needs to be done for the sake of her people and was exceptionally courageous. She was a little sheltered and didn’t realize when she was being used, but became a tad wiser by the end and certainly grew over the course of the book.

Garith is the blacksmith’s son who has been in love with Riya since childhood, but has been tragically friend-zoned. He still faithfully protects her with his life and his loyalty was admirable, even if he could be misguided at times.

Jessa is Riya’s handmaiden and best friend. While a minor supporting character, she had a key part to play. I mostly thought of her as breathing baggage, but have to admit she showed pluck when it was needed.

Here is where I usually talk about the villain. But I can’t because, well, that would be breaking the book review blogger’s code of no spoilers, so I’ll just say if I hadn’t cheated and read the blurbs of the later books, I never would have seen it coming.

I really didn’t like the middle of this book, I’ll admit. But I adored the beginning and I adored the end and I dove into the sequels with a gusto and was not disappointed at all. I do recommend this series, but don’t wait for Prince Ahlen, because he doesn’t show his face until we get to the end.

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