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The Pyramid Waltz

(Katya & Starbride #1)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  784 ratings  ·  83 reviews
To most, Princess Katya Nar Umbriel is a rogue and a layabout; she parties, she hunts and she breaks women’s hearts. But when the festival lights go down and the palace slumbers, Katya chases traitors to the crown and protects the kingdom’s greatest secret: the royal Umbriels are part Fiend. When Katya thwarts an attempt to expose the king’s monstrous side, she uncovers a ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published September 17th 2012 by Bold Strokes Books (first published September 1st 2012)
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Pyramid is not hugely original as a fantasy novel - there are princesses, demons, and spies, all things that most fantasy readers are pretty familiar with by now - except for the fact that the story features two women who love each other romantically.

I have one word for this:


Good LORD, it is RIDICULOUSLY DIFFICULT to find fantasy with LGBT characters! By which I don't mean lgbt-fantasy, like Without Reservations and its ilk; I mean well-written, well-thought-out fantasy novels that just
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved it

I'm not what you would consider an avid lesfic fantasy reader. I usually go for the straight romance types but I wanted to give this a read and I'm really glad I did. It had everything, beautiful men and women, sword fights, demons, light romance, and a bit more. The fight scenes were well described and even though the book was slow at times, it did keep me captivated. I know the series is finished and I can't wait to read the next one.
Lexxi Kitty
It didn't end exactly the way I'd want it to, and the first couple paragraphs, while solid, didn't really pull me in. Otherwise, probably one of the best books I've read. Good solid action, solid world building, and one of the best displays of two strong independent people coming together in love and as equal partners. Neither submissive, neither dominant. Maybe something of that will/or did turn up in a later book, though I like the way it is at the moment.

Those looking for graphic description
Ross Wright
Sep 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of romance and fantasy action alike
This is the story of two charming young women with vastly different backgrounds and personalities falling in love while their whole world tries to crash down around them. The excitement of discovery and anticipation both within their relationship and the action-driven main plot give the whole story a sense of urgency and danger that will keep you from putting the book down.

The love scenes are tantalizing, yet tastefully written. This is lesbian romance your straight parents can read... if they'r
Bruce Baugh
Aug 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have a lot of praise for this book. Wright takes many fantasy cliches and refreshes them, producing a story that has lots of familiar pieces but lots of genuine surprises.

Katya is the second child of the king and queen of Farrady, a notorious rake and party animal. Starbride is a courtier from another kingdom come to make the connections that might give her people an edge, bookish and very uninterested in the fluff of court life. Complications ensue.

This is a setting where there simply isn't a
Graeme Ing
Mar 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This was a great read, not normally my cup of tea but the author did a super job pulling me into the political intrigue of the secret order protecting the secrets of the Crown, and especially the relationship between the leading characters. The way she wove the buildup of their love and the sexual tension was masterful.

Chapters alternated between their viewpoints which gave a heightened visibility into how each of them interpreted the others words and actions, as well as improving the tension.

Sam Hooker
Oct 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic book. From the first page, the reader is thrown into a fast-paced melange of romance, combat, magic and intrigue that does not break pace.

It's very accessible, in that the reader is provided with enough information to understand what's going on, but not so much that every detail is spelled out in agonizing detail (if you've ever read Stephen King, you'll know what I mean). It's witty and engaging, and the characters are dynamic and rough around the edges.

This book has somethi
K. Aten
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Action and intrigue worthy of any fantasy collection.

This was a really good book. Barbara Ann Wright created an interesting fantasy world with a magic that is uniquely her own. The Pyramid Waltz was about a royal family that carries more than just a claim to the throne within their blood. I liked that the love interest for Princess Katya, Starbride, was more than just your typical damsel in distress. Overall the book was entertaining and kept me engaged enough to pull me through at a decent pace
Matthew Borgard
Sep 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Princess and the Pyramid

I love Fantasy. I love Fantasy's ability to take us to another world, to explore familiar themes in an unfamiliar setting which would be too cumbersome or incredible to deal with in a realistic setting. And though you'll never get me to admit it in a court of law, I'm pretty much a hopeless romantic, and though Romance is not normally my genre, give me a good love story inside a Speculative Fiction trapping, and I'm set.

One of the big problems with Fantasy, though, is
Jennifer Lavoie
I hope you have some time to read, because you're not going to want to put this one down.

I can only say that this book was incredible. The characters were complex and well-written. The dialogue was fantastic and often humorous. Each character brought something new to the book and was very distinct. Not a single one felt forced or unreal to me. By the end of the book I was so caught up in their world that I found myself wish I lived in it.

It's not just the main characters, Katya and Starbride, th
Stupid Fox
Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I picked up this book because I ran out of Dresden Files and Kingkiller Chronicles to read and had to find something else. I was in the mood for something with a lesbian pairing after a void of female couples in my reading lately and took the top recommendation on a lesbian fantasy group. WOW! I'm going to say it again WOW!

I was expecting a sappy fantasy with half a plot... I hoped the coupling would be fun. I hoped it wouldn't be nothing but a romance novel... but I wasn't expecting much.

4.4 stars

This was a really fun fantasy tale. Katya and Starbride are both fantastic characters and are intriguing to follow along with on this adventurous journey. The book is not bound by one genre alone as it's a mix of mystery, fantasy, romance, and fairy tale all set against the background of a royal family. Katya doesn't fit the usual princess mold since she's a warrior in secret in charge of guarding her family. Starbride is noble and wise and the two make a perfect pair. I was happy that
Oct 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I picked up the Pyramid Waltz even though I don't usually read fantasy romance, and I finished it before the week was over! I just couldn't put it down. Wright creates a fascinating world with magic pyramids, secret identities, and brilliant fashion. Her writing guides you through the story with enough detail to be interesting and enough plot to keep you turning the page. The romance between Katya and Starbride is sweet, and I love the fact that there are two complex female main characters in th ...more
The book was good enough that I went through huge chunks of it even though I was inadvertently spoiled about the big reveal. One could probably figure it out without being spoiled, though.

I love Starbride's determination to not look like she just being opportunistic with Katya but that she's with her because she really loves her. She won't let her people become dependent on others. How they resolved the trade dispute storyline was cool and I didn't see that coming.

Brom... Just I hate Brom for h
The main problem of this book was that (especially in the first half) it didn't really feel like a fantasy romance but more like it was jumping between being a (really good) fantasy-novel and being a (unfortunately only mediocre) romance. For some time Katya was off hunting traitors and saving the kingdom and then we suddenly got a chapter where the oldest and most annoying romance-tropes got dug out again and we got all the misunderstandings, slamming doors and making up again almost immediatel ...more
2.5 stars

There aren't a lot of lesfic fantasy novels, so this is one that you might want to take a look at if you're a fan of that subgenre (which I am). I was a bit disappointed by it, but that's after reading quite a few mainstream fantasy novels.

Katya, a bored princess who spend most of her time flirting with courtiers and heading out to hunt with her friends, is actually the leader of a secret order whose goal is to protect the royal family (and by default the kingdom) and their secrets from
Mar 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Katya es la princesa de Farraday, quien para todos es una joven aventurera, atrevida y con un gran sentido del humor que disfruta de las fiestas, la caza y la conquista de mujeres, pero lo que nadie sabe es que Katya es además la líder de la Orden de Vestra, un pequeño grupo secreto encargado de proteger la corona de aquellos que la amenazan.

Starbride, por otra parte, es la nueva cortesana, enviada por sus padres para conseguir una pareja influyente, pero cuyo único deseo es utilizar la gran bib
Sep 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lesbian
As a 1st book from this author The Pyramid Waltz is a pretty damn good start, but if you are really fond of hot sex scenes I tell you now to stay the hell away from that title
Yeah this is the kind of book when every time that the protagonist start to became physically affective the scene fade.
I am perfectly Ok with this kind of approach, also because sometimes I am annoyed by the tooooo many sexual scenes that slow down to much the pace of an action sequence (and I admit that sometimes i am so
Sep 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Being a reader of fantasy and a lesbian its great to have a fantasy book to read every now and then with a lesbain love story or even a female main character is a nice change from lots of the usual fantasy.

I enjoyed what I read about the magic system and what action there was but obviously being part romance it was kind of light and fluffy as well.

As a fantasy reader I often enjoy very indepth plots and mysteries and moments where you go "holly s*t didn't see that coming" for me there wasn't eno
Jen w
Nov 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
his book in my eyes is a 5 all the way around. It does deserve the rainbow awards it won. Right from the beginning this book is a catcher. The details of things are so good that it made me feel like I was actually living in that day and age. I am a sucker for fantasy books but this one has to be a favorite. The writing is all around solid. It kept my attention from start to finish. I have to give it to Barbara, I love that it's set in the mid-evil days so to feel almost (that is how it felt to m ...more
Amber McCarty
Aug 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an amazing book. I'm a really big reader into the Lesbian Fantasy and it's very hard for me to find something that really catches my eye and keeps me in. I've only just recently started reading again and I'm not a fast reader at all and I like to take my time. This book was different, I honestly could not put it down and I cringed at the fact I was getting close to the end. The book started off pretty good. It was hard for me to understand a few things at first since there were no real ...more
Angela Brown
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Pyramid Waltz is a book I would recommend for anyone with an interest in throne intrigue, romance and enjoys well written fight scenes. I give it 5 stars though there is one moment - not going to spoil it - where Starbride kind of pissed me off a little bit. But as you can tell, I got over it :-)

Katya and Starbride are a couple to truly enjoy. Their courtship was tastefully handled and on a few occasions, I just wanted to shake them both together. But the pacing was perfect. Pitch perfect ac
Mar 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
this books starts off totally amazing. it's definitely something you don't see very often, a world where women dating women is 100% normal. It's amazing how the main character is a little slutty and loves the ladies and her mom and dad are like "good job dear!"
the fantasy part is also decent, it's no kingkiller but it does the trick. the sexual tension is great, but then everything kinda slows down about halfway through and then the ending feels like it's in the middle of a chapter.
I'm glad th
Elizabeth Mallory
Princess Katya pretends to be a rogue and seducer, but secretly she protects the crown prince (her brother) and their secret: keeping the great Fiend subdued century after century, the royal family takes some of his evil magic into themselves. Courtier Starbride is just trying to help her marginalized people, but when she becomes Katya's lover, she becomes the target of those who are trying to release the royal family's evil magic and send them on a murderous rampage.

This is one of the best fant
May 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Okay, this book was really good and interesting. The characters were, not only interesting, but funny too. Although, all of them felt strong, in the sense that they don't seem to fear much and face challenges. This story had a good amount of action scenes, but not as much romance as I would have expected. The main thing in this story is mystery, since it feels like a detective story in a fantasy world. There sure is suspense in the story, and I have fun reading it. Overall, it was a good story a ...more
Elizabeth Thomas
Oct 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. It's witty and intelligent, and very imaginative. The heroines are both smart, strong women, yet have very human vulnerabilities. Wright has a wonderful way with words--in one of my favorite parts, she describes a villain being sliced apart "like warm pie." (Of course, I wanted warm pie after that. A la mode. But I digress.)

Read this book. You will be entertained. You will be left, like me, waiting for the sequel!
Feb 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, the characters were wonderful and the plot was creative and exciting. My favorite thing about this author's writing though is that she doesn't give up all the information at once and lets you figure things out as you go along, it cuts out all the awkward "explain how everything works" bits.
Mar 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was very fast-paced. I liked the short chapters and the fantasy aspects of the book. The lesbian relationship was a little too "lesbians bring a u-haul to the first date" for me, but I am curious to read what happens in the next book.
oy vey ye stereotypical bodice ripper writing style.
Mar 27, 2018 rated it liked it
It’s a fun, light read. Nothing serious, nothing extraordinary but enjoyable.

Trying not to be a killjoy here but I did have issues with the royalty narrative (the people want to rebel only because they don’t know how necessary the royals are (bc the royals have been keeping their powers a secret)) and I didn’t like the loyal servant caste stuff at all. Maybe this stuff is addressed in the sequels.
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Barbara Ann Wright writes fantasy and science fiction novels and short stories when not adding to her enormous book collection or ranting on her blog. Her short fiction has appeared twice in Crossed Genres Magazine and once made Tangent Online's recommended reading list. Her first novel, The Pyramid Waltz, was one of's Reviewer's Choice books of 2012 and was a 2012 Foreword Review Book of ...more

Other books in the series

Katya & Starbride (4 books)
  • For Want of a Fiend
  • A Kingdom Lost
  • The Fiend Queen