If Kyra doesn’t fall in love, she will die.
Blinded and cursed to freeze from the inside out, Queen Kyra knows that only falling in love might cure her. She doesn’t have time for that. As the last in her line, she must produce an heir to keep her kingdom from falling into chaos. But no human can touch her without risk of frostbite.
The solution? Marry a dragon.
Jodan’s fire melts the ice under her skin and soon the passion that burns between them goes beyond her need for an heir. It’s deeper than that. Addictive. But can a dragon fall in love with a human? More importantly, can Kyra fall in love with someone she’s never seen?
The Dragon and the Queen of Ice was previously published as part of the Fire Dragons of Grieghern series by Amber Jantine. It has been revised and edited from the earlier version.
Queen Kyra of Icragon ignored the whispers of her servants and courtiers as the doors of the great hall slammed shut behind her last suitor. The young man who had been her only hope to break her curse was leaving her bound in chains. Destined for a room in her dungeons.
Last summer, during a training exercise with her army, a magical shard of ice lodged in her eye, taking her sight. Its power continued to spread through her body. The freezing cold lived under her skin and when it reached her heart, it would kill her.
The palace physicians said she had a year. Two at the most.
Only falling in love might break the shard’s spell. But though she tried, she could not open her heart to any of the princes or nobles who courted her.
Thomas had come the closest. He seemed to be very gentle and kind and her maids told her he was also very handsome. She accepted his proposal and expected that what she felt for him would be enough.
Not to break the enchantment, but to do the next best thing: produce an heir.
When he tried to take her hand during the betrothal ceremony, her bare skin nearly gave him frostbite. Only the quick response of the palace physicians saved him from permanent damage. Knowing what now did of him, she almost regretted their competence.
But at the time, she worried it would mean the end of their engagement. Thomas told her they would work through it. That they would find a way to get around her limitations.
He never intended to keep his word about touching her. He didn’t intend to try.
Instead, he planned to wait out their marriage until her inevitable death, then take the throne for himself. Several noble families already pledged their allegiance to him.
Pure chance uncovered his conspiracy. They were scheduled to marry in two days, with his coronation following immediately afterward so he could rule as king by her side.
Denied his chance at power, his kind facade disappeared, and he’d shouted all manner of insults at her when the guards dragged him away. Most had not hurt at all, except for the one that had come the closest to the truth.
That no man in his right mind would want a wife he couldn’t touch.
Outside the palace, the winds howled. The rising of the winter storm was too sudden to be natural, and she realized what it meant. “The ice dragon is coming,” she said, tightening her grip upon her scepter. It now doubled as a cane to help her find her way around. “Prepare the throne room for his arrival.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
The thunder of many feet running about on the stone floors nearly matched the din of the storm outside. Everyone and everything moving around her. Without her. She tapped the end of her staff with every step she took, silently counting each one to match her movements with the map of the palace inside her head.
It had taken her a long time to learn to walk without her eyesight. Fortunately, her servants now cleared the floors of potential obstacles, like rugs that would not lie flat.
She made her way in good time and was just mounting the stairs to her throne when the outer doors to the chamber were thrown open. Kyra whirled and used the scepter to keep from falling as she dipped into a less than graceful bow. “Your Excellency. It has been a very long time since you graced us with your presence.”
A strong, icy wind blew into the room. Though it was likely close to freezing, she no longer experienced the cold in the way others did. She conjured up the image of the dragon in her mind. He had two shapes. One was a giant winged reptile with ice-blue eyes and silver-white scales. The other was of an older man with hair the same color as the scales.
Judging by the strength of the gust that preceded his entrance, she expected it to be the former. So the sound of his deep voice booming off the walls of the room rather than inside her head through what the dragons called ‘mind-speak,’ caught her off-guard. “Your Majesty. I understand you are in distress.”
“Not distress, Excellency.” Pride would not let her admit to that. “But very discouraged.”
“You could not find a human to wed.”
“No.” She wondered how the latest news reached him so quickly, but the dragons always seemed to know everything. “And it is not good news for my people, I fear.”
Her father and her twin brother died within two years of each other. She had been busy adjusting to her new duties when the shard struck her. Also, Kyra had not yet been of marriageable age. She only turned eighteen six months ago. One month before being cursed and two years after she ascended to the throne.
Her fears of following in her family’s fate might have played a part in her acceptance of Thomas. Something about him never seemed quite right, even though he appeared to be a perfect suitor on the surface. Being of high enough birth to have a minor claim to the throne in his own right, but not so great that he would have been a threat.
Or so she thought.
And she desperately needed to solidify her family line.
If Kyra died without an heir, several factions with almost equal claims would fight for the throne of Icragon and throw the kingdom into chaos.
With the way Thomas so easily gained support for his plot, they might not wait for her death. Her blindness considered another weakness to be taken advantage of.
“I may have a solution for you, Your Majesty.”
“My cousin, Lord Grieghern of the Fire Dragons of the South, has more sons than he knows what to do with them. One could be your husband if you wish. He would be immune to the ice running through your veins.”