The Hidden Queen

The Hidden Queen

by Alma Alexander

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The life Anghara knows has ended; everyone she loved is dead or doomed. And now she must flee far from her home or die at the hands of her half-brother Sif. A defenseless child is adrift in an unfamiliar world, pursued by the minions of a false king whose brutality knows no bounds. But Anghara has a great destiny that reaches beyond the borders of the troubled realm she must one day rule — and a miraculous gift to be awakened in secret and fortified in a distant desert land at once beautiful, mysterious, and perilous: an awesome and frightening power called Sight.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060765705
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/26/2005
Series: Changer of Days Series , #1
Pages: 400
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Alma Alexander is the author of several previous novels, including Worldweavers: Gift of the Unmage and Worldweavers: Spellspam. She was born in Yugoslavia, grew up in the United Kingdom and Africa, and now lives in the state of Washington.

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The Hidden Queen

By Alma Alexander

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Alma Alexander
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060765704

Chapter One

"One. Already -- and he was Anghara's."

Rima, Red Dynan's widowed queen, paced her chambers, lacing restless fingers in and out of one another in palpable frustration.

"How, my lady?"

"Poison, they think. The healers who tended him say he died in great pain. And now there are six in council. And I can be sure of only two." She looked up, her eyes haunted. "How long, March? How long before some poisoned sweet is handed to Anghara? I cannot be with her constantly, I cannot protect her all the time, not while I am trying to save her throne!"

March, the queen's man from long before her marriage, stirred from where he stood staring into the leaping flames on the great stone hearth. "It might not be too much longer," he said carefully. "There has been other news."

"What? When? Why wasn't I told?"

March smiled, an indulgent smile from an old retainer for a mistress he had known from her cradle. "You are the first to know, my lady. The messenger arrived less than an hour ago."

Rima crossed the room and stood before him. She had to look up at his face; she had always been physically frail, small-boned, almost bird-like. In moments of tenderness, Dynan used to call her his little sparrow. But there was that in her face right now, which would make many a man twice her size tread lightly. "The message?"

"They are coming.They are coming here, for Miranei, for the throne. Sif will never be content with less, not with the army behind him. We knew this would happen."

"Damn Kalas!" murmured Rima, looking away into the fire. "Now, when I needed him most, he lies dying. He would never have given Sif the army."

"They won the second battle," March pointed out. "Perhaps Fodrun knew what he was doing."

Rima made an impatient gesture. "Tath!" she said. "They have always been a thorn in our side. Our men were not that wanting. If only Fodrun hadn't lost heart. If only . . ."

They both knew if only what. If Dynan had lived . . . But if Dynan had lived, Sif would have still been waiting for his chance. Now at least he had declared himself, as openly as he could; his first act of defiance was to claim his father for himself, and for Clera, his mother. It was to Clera's manor that the messenger bearing the news of Dynan's death had gone, not to Miranei. Rima had known of it, probably as it had happened; she was Sighted, and gifted that way. She had known, perhaps, that she would never see Dynan again when she had girded his sword on him for this battle. But Sif had sent her no official messenger. What she could not have foreseen was just how fast things would fall apart at Miranei, after one of the squires had galloped from the battlefield at Ronval to gasp out the news of Dynan's death and Sif's bid for the kingdom.

Rima had always been very good at hiding her feelings. Her court face was a carefully cultivated mask, pleasant, pretty, interested, a little abstracted -- people said a lot in the presence of someone who seemed not to be listening half the time, and not fully comprehending what she heard even when she did pay attention. They had always thought her weak, the council lords and those who jostled for favors at Dynan's flanks. But here, in the presence of someone whom she trusted and who would not have been fooled for an instant with her court pretenses, Rima allowed her true feelings to percolate across her features. March, watching the play of emotion there, smiled, a little grimly. The court was about to learn how badly they had underestimated Dynan's "little sparrow."

"They have accepted Anghara as queen, in full council," Rima was saying softly.

"And when they see Dynan's own banners on the moors before Miranei?" said March.

Rima glanced up briefly, acknowledging the question as one she had pondered herself. "I must get them to seal their vows. In writing. Now, while I can still control the council. You say nobody knows of Sif's coming as yet?"

"Nobody, my lady."

"Good. Make sure the messenger is rewarded for his trouble -- I am sure he is another whose interests do not lie with Sif -- but don't let him speak to anyone until I have done with the council. Where is he now?"

"I told him to wait in my chambers, my lady."

They exchanged conspiratorial smiles. "Keep him there," Rima said, "for the time being. And tell the stewards to convene the council. Now, within the hour."

March made her a slight bow and turned to leave. Her voice stopped him even as he reached for the door. "March."

"My lady?"

"Which of Anghara's ladies do you think we can trust?"

March considered this. A little too long; Rima's mouth thinned. Had it really come to this? That she couldn't find one of her daughter's ladies who would be loyal to the future Queen of Roisinan? But March met her eyes steadily enough. "I would think Lady Catlin, or Lady Nessa. I would keep Lady Deira as far from any secret plan as I could."

Rima smiled despite herself. Deira was an elderly gossip, to whom one could entrust any rumor one wanted spread around Miranei and the surrounding countryside within the space of a single day. The warning was well-placed. There was an equal warning in March's words, though, in the two names he had omitted to mention. Those who might sell Anghara, if they had the chance. Rima considered the two ladies March had named for a brief moment, while he waited patiently by the door for further instructions. "Catlin," she decided finally. "Send Lady Catlin to me. And make sure Anghara is attended by Lady Nessa at all times, when Catlin or I are not with her."


Excerpted from The Hidden Queen by Alma Alexander Copyright © 2006 by Alma Alexander. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Hidden Queen 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First read these years ago and have re-read them several times. Love them everytime. Basic story is princess has to die for brother to inherit, brother thinks princess dies but is really hidden away, princess comes back after lots of trials amd lessons learned, princess kicks butt. Of course, lots of lovely detail and character development in between. Good enough to re-buy on nook since paperbacks are so dog eared.
coffeesucker on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very refreshing read - recommended highly!
inserttitlehere on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ok, this one is better than its sequel. much better. A great story that never gets old. Well written and captivating. It's not my favorite book as i've read better, but definitely something to pick up if you are looking for a quick read. Not as long as a review as I would've liked, but there you go. Recommended!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ElizabethT More than 1 year ago
This is a good book that introduces a young princess of 9 years old being crowned and sent into hiding so her older illegitimate half brother wont kill her before he takes the crown he has always coveted. Just as she thinks things are settling life throws obstacles in her way and she is sent on the run again and again. This is the first book of Two, so you wont reach the end but it is a very intriguing story.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I came upon this book while scanning the collection of my city's local Barnes & Noble store. As I was perusing, my eyes held on to title 'The Hidden Queen'. 'This seems interesting,' I say. Once I read the synopsis, I was hooked. I bought the book and read it non-stop the whole day. The Prologue just captured me and sent on such a rapturious rollercoaster ride. Whatever Anghara felt, I felt. Whatever Anghara saw, I saw. You know how it goes. Anyways... I think it is my duty to report how 'spell-binding' this book is. I can't wait to read 'Changer of Days'!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book after reading ¿The secrets of the Jin-shei¿ and once again was completely enthralled. I loved the story from beginning to end and recommend this to any age group. This book is an excellent read for any age group, open the book and step into a world so rich in texture and life that you can taste and feel each character. My only wish, that this autor create more works such as these for us to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book. The prologue, which you really do have to read, was slow and hard to understand at first. The actual story was a much better pace and very easy to understand. It was really great. The end definitly leaves you wanting more.
harstan More than 1 year ago
At the Battle near the Ronval River, the king of Roisinan, Red Dynan is killed and the general leading the troops is injured and near death. Command falls to Fodrun who feels unequal to being a leader for men to follow so he tells Sif, Dynan¿s baseborn son that if he will take command, he will help him in his quest to gain the crown from the rightful heir, nine year old Anghara. After a ceremony proclaiming her queen, Anghara leaves the castle with the Royal Seal and a document proclaiming her queen by the council................... The capital city falls to Sif and he becomes king declaring Anghara dead with her mother during the battle to take the castle. Anghara is sent to her mother¿s kin where she is taught to use her sight (psionic powers) but an incident forces her to flee to Castle Bressne, a traing school for the sighted. A betrayal alerts Sif to where Anghara is hiding and he destroys the school but not before his half-sister escapes. Sif initiates a pogrom against all the Sighted while Anghara flees from her homeland to the desert kingdom of Kheldrum. There she hopes to learn enough to take back the crown.............. Fans of Jennifer Fallon, Sara Douglass and Elizabeth Hayden will find THE HIDDEN QUEEN an extraordinary fantasy. During the course of the tale, the audience sees Anghara grow from a royal child to a mature woman ready to battle her half-brother who is wantonly hurting innocent men, women and children killed just because they are sighted. This is an action-packed novel that is rich in characterization and death-defying adventures.................... Harriet Klausner