Title: The Tyrant King (The Peasant Queen 2)
Author: Cherie Chesley
Tour Host: Lady Amber's Tours
Krystal's peaceful life as queen of Fayterra is shattered when a stranger arrives with a connection to Jareth that threatens to change everything. Soon her loved ones are threatened, her people are under attack, and Krystal must face a devastating loss. As the future becomes bleaker and the mystery continues to unravel, Krystal's enemies will learn just how far she will go to defend the people she loves.
Currently blissful working mother of 5. Married to a fantastic, amazing, supportive man. I love to read, I love to write and I love taking pictures (though my skill is debatable lol).
Excerpts: (Your Choice)
The Peasant Queen:
Krystal had no luck with the window in her room. It had either rusted or been sealed shut. Nor could she find anything in the room that could be used as a weapon. If she wanted out of this chamber, she’d have to rely on her wits.
Her lovely gown quickly became a hindrance as did the infrequent arrival of castle servants. The blonde maid returned with a tray of fine food that Krystal found she could not stomach. The blonde left again and returned awhile later with fresh water to drink and a full pitcher for her basin. Finally Krystal moved to the bed to wait for things to settle down.
The day must have caught up with her, for the next thing she knew, someone was shaking her awake. “Princess Krystal,” said the voice. “The king requests your presence in his study.”
For a brief moment, Krystal thought she must be dreaming. It sounded so strange. She sat up and looked into the eyes of the dark haired maid. “What does he want?”
“It is not my place to question,” the maid said. “I have been sent to bring you to him.”
Krystal looked at the candle the maid held. “How late is it?”
She moved to light the room. “It’s just after sunset. I am to have you in his study by the time he finishes dinner.”
She sat up. “Can’t you just tell him I’m not up for another round of shouting?”
The maid stared at her in astonishment. “You truly raised your voice to him?”
Krystal shrugged, trying to seem unconcerned. The maid’s reaction embarrassed her. “I lost my temper. I don’t think it’s any secret to your king that I don’t care for his company.”
“He is not my king.” The maid put her hand over her mouth, looking horrified. “I did not mean to say that. Please forgive me.”
“I didn’t hear anything,” said Krystal and the maid rewarded her with a smile.
“What is your name?”
“I am Miraya, Highness.”
Krystal rolled her eyes. “Please don’t call me that. I don’t know what King Gregory hopes to accomplish by naming me a princess.”
“It’s difficult to know what scheme is in his head,” agreed Miraya. “Though one thing is certain. It is clear though that he has a specific plan in mind for you.”
“That’s hardly reassuring.”
Miraya brought Krystal her dinner tray. “Please eat. It will help you feel better.”
“I don’t see how food can help,” said Krystal.
The maid smiled thinly. “I wish I could do more, but in this kingdom, King Gregory’s word is law. Most Fayterrans support him. They prefer a seasoned warrior to an untried boy.”
“What do you mean?”
“I thought you knew,” Miraya said. “Prince Jareth is the rightful heir to the throne of Fayterra. King Gregory stole it from him.”
“Isn’t Jareth his nephew? Why would he do such a thing?”
“His reasons are his own. Please, Princess. I must ask you to eat. He will be expecting you soon.” Miraya moved about the room, straightening as she went.
Krystal ate and watched her. “Why do you stay here? Why not leave?”
“I wish I could,” she said. “The king prefers to keep me here. He’s made sure I’ll stay.”
“I wish I could tell you, but even talking about it brings risk.” She put down the pillow she’d been fluffing. “I can tell you this. It entertains King Gregory to cause suffering. He enjoyed tormenting Prince Jareth, and now I am his target.”
Krystal put down her roll. “And now perhaps I am as well.” She stood up. “Let’s get this over with. The anticipation is driving me mad.”
The Wild Queen:
“Look at that.” Aiden motioned needlessly. She’d already caught Lucien’s eye.
They’d broken through the trees near King Robert’s castle. Below them a single rider raced across the green field. They watched as she pulled the drawstring of her bow and fired into the thick grass, catching a rabbit in the chest. She slowed her horse and slid off its back in one fluid motion, and bent to pick up her prize. A second rider came up behind her and she tossed it to him.
She shouldered her bow and regained the saddle, but before she could turn the horse away, she stopped and looked in their direction. Lucien couldn’t see how she sensed their presence. They sat on the rise overlooking the valley, and were still shaded by the forest behind them.
He felt her gaze pierce him to the core, but she didn’t linger. She shared something with her companion, who also glanced their way, and then they both shot off in the direction of the castle.
Lucien suddenly became aware of the men behind him, waiting patiently for their king to give the order to proceed. He looked at Aiden. “Let’s go. I’m suddenly weary to reach our destination.”
“Yes, Sire.” Aiden smiled at him.
They met a large group of Norvallen soldiers outside the village. The leader stopped in front of Lucien. “I am Corvall, Norvallen Master of Arms.”
“I am Lucien Gildresleve, King of Demarde,” he said. “King Robert is expecting me.”
Corvall frowned. “Not for another five days.”
Lucien smiled thinly. “We made good time.”
This explanation evidently didn’t appease the soldier. He grunted and said, “Very well. We will escort you to the castle.”
Aiden moved alongside Lucien as they followed Corvall. “He seems friendly.”
“Don’t antagonize him,” Lucien said. “We’re on a diplomatic mission, remember?”
“I remember we were invited,” said Aiden. “We don’t treat guests like this.”
“We’re not constantly attacked.”
Aiden slid his hand to his sword. “Perhaps he needs a lesson in manners.”
Lucien spoke softly. “I forbid you to brain the Master of Arms.”
“Then perhaps I’ll just take him behind the stables and nicely request he treat my king with more deference,” Aiden said just as softly.
The Tyrant King:
Krystal took the letter from Calum and watched as he and Jareth took their leave. Her stomach became a mess of butterflies as she looked down at Andrew’s handwriting. She had to wonder why he’d written her a letter, since she and Jareth had only left the farm a matter of weeks before.
She slid her finger under the seal and unfolded the parchment, noting how her hands shook as she did so. Something didn’t feel right. It was almost as if she’d gone back to that day when she’d opened another letter to learn her mother had died.
But it couldn’t be bad news again—at least, not like that.
It pains me to relay this news to you, but yesterday Kayne was killed in a hunting accident. I know this message will take weeks to reach you, and you will likely be in the middle of Jareth’s sister’s wedding, so I don’t expect you to travel for the funeral. We will hold a quiet service for him, much like we did for Mother.
Please know that the rest of the family is well.
Krystal read the words over and over until her eyes became too blurred with tears to make them out. Kayne, the youngest of her four brothers and only two years older than Krystal. He couldn’t be dead.
All through her childhood Krystal and Kayne had clashed wills. Before her abduction from the family farm she’d been certain he didn’t even care about her—only to learn from Andrew that Kayne had also wanted to search for her.
Now she’d never have the opportunity to repair their relationship.
She wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. Jareth. She had to tell him. Needed to feel his comforting arms around her.
Where had he gone? The throne room, she remembered. Calum said they had a new visitor. Still clutching the letter in her hand, she left the bedchamber.
Krystal passed several people in the halls, people who had come for Alana’s wedding, but she did not have it in her to greet any of them. A tiny voice in her head told her she was being rude, but she couldn’t make it matter.
The doors of the throne room stood open. Krystal beamed in relief as she recognized Jareth’s broad shoulders. Calum stood next to Jareth, what she could see of his face an impenetrable mask. She entered the room and moved toward her husband.
Then Krystal saw the person speaking to Jareth and she froze. Andrew’s letter slid from her hand onto the floor.