SynopsisMarla is a ward of the Queen, and has been ever since her parents died. Her closest friend is Logan, the son of her mother's bodyguard, who helps her sneak around the castle.
Then one day, the Queen tells her that she is to be engaged to an older nobleman, and that she will marry him two years from the day they are engaged. She only remembers meeting him once, three or four years earlier. She remembers him as ugly, greasy, and rude. So her best friend helps her create a plan to disguise themselves and flee the city.
Right before they leave, Marla's Nanny shows her an ancient book of history which refers to her family as the royal family. She's always suspected that the Queen had a hand in her parents' death, and now she is sure. It convinces her that she needs to run away even more.
Her and Logan leave together in a tiny boat and somewhere along the way get separated. Marla wakes up on the shore with no idea where she is, and two completely unfamiliar people standing over her. They take her back to their village, and she discovers a whole new world: the world of outcasts, people who were banished and who survived the trials of the forest. People not spoke about in the history she learned.
She lives among those people for two years. The number is constantly increasing. The Queen is going mad.
And then one day, Logan finds Marla. He's lived in another village of outcasts across the water. The two villages knew about each other, but rarely travelled across the river. He has come to find her, and to stir her to take her throne back.
With the help of all kinds of people, Logan and Marla campaign to get the kingdom back. Somewhere along the way, Marla realizes she's in love with Logan. He's always been in lover with her. Both nearly die and suffer scars inside and out, but at this point I imagine that they succeed.
ExcerptShe ran into something big and hard, but not as hard as a wall. She fell backwards and her hood fell away from her face. She held the hat tightly on her head and looked up. She hadn't, as she'd first feared, run into a wall. Instead she'd run into the dockmaster, an old man with spotted skin and a hook for a left hand. The grin he offered her was equally spotty.
"What are you doing out so late my dear?"
"I-I'm on my way home."
"You're dressed up as a boy. Why did you dress up as a boy?" He leaned down towards her. "Do you have something to hide?"
She pulled herself away from his rank breath. "No sir. The clothes are just more comfortable is all."
Logan ran up behind her, his hood still tightly around his head. "I'm sorry sir, it's my little sister. She wanted to see what a bar was like, sir, so I thought I would dress her up like a boy and show her. After all, it's not proper for a girl to be in a bar, right sir? But she had to see one at least once, or she'd be missing out."
"You're a lucky girl," the dockmaster said, bending even further towards Marla. "To have such a considerate brother." He grinned again and straightened up. He turned to Logan. "And you're a lucky boy, because I'm not going to turn you in to the guards tonight."
"Why... why would you turn me in to the guards? I haven't done anything wrong."
"False identity. If I got confused, or if you lied to me about who you were. I'm dockmaster, I get to know all about everybody what comes through here."
"Of course. I didn't realize we could get in trouble for it. I'm sorry sir." Logan grabbed Marla by the left elbow and pulled her upright.
"I certainly hope so. Don't let it happen again."
"We won't, sir."
"Of course not, sir," Marla threw in.
"Good. Now get out of my sight."
"Yes sir," Marla and Logan said together. They walked away, arm in arm, as quickly as they could without seeming too afraid.