A too-young queen. An empire on the brink. And the alluring, dark prophet who could save her... or destroy everything.
Russalka is a proud empire, frozen and vast, protected for centuries by a royal family who works miracles from the saints. But rebellion stirs in the streets, and its war-hungry neighbors threaten to invade. The young princess Katza has been tormented by visions of her bloodied hands destroying Russalka—a clear message from the saints that she must never rule. So when tragedy places her next in line to the throne, Katza fears their warnings are on the verge of coming true.
Then she meets Ravin, a mysterious young prophet with visions of his own: visions of Katza as a regal empress with unimaginable power. All she has to do seize upon the holy magic of her bloodline. But the more Ravin whispers in her ear, the more Katza begins to wonder whether he has her best interests at heart. With a revolution boiling over and war looming at the border, the greatest threat to Russalka may be Katza herself.
About the Author
Lindsay Smith's love of Russian culture has taken her to Moscow, St. Petersburg, and a reindeer festival in the middle of Siberia. She writes on foreign affairs and lives in Washington, D.C. Sekret is her first novel.
Table of Contents
Also by Lindsay Smith
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Web of Frost will immerse you in a world of mysticism and folklore. With its elegant prose, and vivid imagery, it feels like a dream. For those who love enchanting stories full of Russian folklore and stunning twists, you will not be disappointed. I was absolutely stunned at how much I enjoyed this one. Lindsay Smith enchanted me right from the start. I could see everything in my mind so clearly as if I was watching a movie set in a fantasy world. Web of Frost introduced me to an incredible world cloaked in folklore and magic. I never felt lost or confused. The world was highly developed and I loved the flow of the story and the way the saints were incorporated in to the every day life of the characters. I loved the fact that Katza was not the typical strong willed ya character. She was actually quite gullible, and weak at times. But, she fit the story and emanated grief at having suffered loss while her kingdom was on the bring of falling from a rebellion. She also had powerful moments of fierceness when using her gifts. Ravin was dark and mysterious. It was no surprise as to the role he played in tempting Katza's heart. He was a tempestuous influence on Katza and he added intrigue to the story. This story felt like a Russian folk tale. It had a mildly slow pace, but was fascinating as far as its development and depth. With the amount of world building Lindsay did, I was quite surprised to learn that the saints were, in fact, fiction. The mythology and folklore entwined in the tale felt genuine and captivated my mind and my heart. This one had me so entranced that I have already decided to pre-order book two the minute it is announced!
Katza is very young. She’s in her late teens. Completely unprepared to lead her kingdom of Russalka. Her father has left her completely in the dark about the kingdom, the web of intrigue around court life, the unhappiness of her subjects and her magical abilities. So once she gains some power, of course she mucks it all up. Royally. I’m not down on an anti-hero per se, but Katza was a little hard to take. She was obviously being manipulated by someone with ulterior motives (no spoilers so I won’t say who but it is very obvious). The magic she is using is also starting to influence her thoughts and feelings to a scary degree. She is becoming a danger to her own people. She needed to either snap the hell out of it or someone needed to put her down … yeah I said it … that’s how I felt, and that is a bad place for your heroine to be in. The writing itself was not bad. The setting was interesting, but not inspiring. I know Russia is the trend right now, so the book was published with good timing. There were a few odd jumps forward that felt a little jarring. I was also left slightly confused by the end about the effects of the magical system. I’m not entirely sure if she was having the bad effects because of using the magic, or was it because of the outside influence? I’m not really sure. I know this is part of a series, but I’m not sufficiently interested in the character to come back again for a part two in order to find out the answers to my questions. Unfortunately, it is a no for me. Disclaimer: I received this book free from Netgalley.