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The evil king is dead, the war is over, and Meliara -- barefoot countess and reluctant heroine -- has been swept up into a different kind of battle in the dance halls and drawing rooms of the royal palace. Physical warfare is easy compared to the genteel skirmishes of the royal court. Here, Mel's friends and enemies look alike: Instead of swords, they wave fans; instead of armor, they wear beautiful gowns and sinister smiles. If she is to survive, Mel will have to learn a whole new way of fighting -- with wits and words and secret alliances.

245 pages, Hardcover

First published April 15, 1998

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About the author

Sherwood Smith

148 books37.5k followers
I am a writer,( Patreon here) but I'm on Goodreads to talk about books, as I've been a passionate reader as long as I've been a writer--since early childhood.

I'm not going to rate books--there are too many variables. I'd rather talk about the reading experience. My 'reviews' of my books are confined to the writing process.

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