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Glass Kingdom (The Six Kingdoms, Book 4)

Glass Kingdom (The Six Kingdoms, Book 4)

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A hidden princess. A man with no family. A rebellion neither of them saw coming.

On the shores of Madra, tradition is law.
For Princess Helena, this means wearing masks to hide from common eyes.
For the people, it means bowing down to a king who cares little for them. 
Wanting to rid herself of the rules holding her back, Helena escapes into the city, unrecognizable without her mask. 
She only wants a taste of life outside her walls before returning to the only place she’s known, but she hadn’t counted on him.

Main Tropes

  • Fairytale Inspired
  • Hate To Love
  • Opposites Attract
  • Fade to Black
  • Betrayal
  • Hidden Magic


A hidden princess. A man with no family. A rebellion neither of them saw coming.

On the shores of Madra, tradition is law.
For Princess Helena, this means wearing masks to hide from common eyes.
For the people, it means bowing down to a king who cares little for them. 
Wanting to rid herself of the rules holding her back, Helena escapes into the city, unrecognizable without her mask. 
She only wants a taste of life outside her walls before returning to the only place she’s known, but she hadn’t counted on him. The boy who makes her forget about her brothers’ worries or her father’s wrath. 
What if Dell is the freedom she’s been searching for her entire life?
As she begins to believe it’s possible to be both princess and normal girl, the kingdom she loves is thrown into chaos, and her once-solid family shatters, proving they’d been made of glass all along.

Dive into the fourth installment of the Fantasy and Fairytales series where familiar faces find themselves across the sea, embroiled in another kingdom's battle. A tale of adventure, magic, and romance, Glass Kingdom surprises at every turn. 


One day, when trying to remember the first time she’d seen him, Helena would think of the energy sparking in the air around him. 

The unknown boy should have been no match for the broad man before him, yet the crowd cheered as if the fight would go on forever. 

Boxing was a revered sport on the coast of Madra. Not that her parents had ever allowed Helena to attend a match. 

But this wasn’t an organized fight. There was no arena surrounding them, only a circle of onlookers. Their noise had drawn the small-framed girl dressed in her brother’s clothing. 

Helena pulled the cap on her head down over her ears to further hide the ebony locks pinned underneath. 

There were two rules in Madran boxing. Never step out of bounds and never use the heel of your hand. Everything else was fair game. 

The boy with lively blue eyes ducked an oncoming punch, but didn’t move quickly enough and his opponent’s fist grazed the side of his head. He reeled back, stumbling before dropping to his knees. 

The bigger man moved to strike again, and the boy fell sideways only to receive a kick to the abdomen.

Helena’s stomach roiled. She wanted to scream, to tell them to stop, but a hand clenched around her arm. 

“Princess,” a low voice said in her ear. “Do not say a word.” 

Fear ripped into her until the man holding her pushed back his hood, revealing a head of blonde hair and a scowl only reserved for her. 

“Let me go, Edmund.”

“I will release you, but you aren’t to leave.” He lifted his hand, watching her for any sign she’d bolt. When she stayed, he turned his attention to the oversized man who continued to brutalize the smaller man. 

Edmund walked forward and pushed aside his cloak, revealing a sword. The attacker froze. 

“Orlo.” Edmund’s voice was calm, but Helena detected the ice in his words. “Challenging children to fights now?” 

Helena winced at the children remark. The boy looked no younger than her eighteen years. When Edmund first arrived at their shores, she’d been smitten with him. Then she got to know the oaf, and he became just another one of her brothers. 

Orlo grunted and wiped his bloody knuckles on his pants. “This ‘kid’ needs to learn respect.”

Edmund made a sound in the back of his throat. “You know as well as I that whatever Dell did won’t be anywhere near your punishment for fighting outside a proper match.” He jerked his head. “Go, and I won’t report this incident to the king… or the priesthood.”

Fear sparked in Orlo’s eyes at the mention of the order. No one in Madra wanted to face the white-cloaked lawmakers and their prison cells. Orlo didn’t hesitate to run once given the chance.

“How do you expect to keep this from father?” Helena asked. “They were in the middle of the city.” She threw a nervous look over her shoulder. “You know as well as I the priesthood has eyes everywhere.”

Edmund walked toward the boy who must have been Dell and bent down. “Your father and his dogs will hear of this alright. But you don’t understand this city, Len. There isn’t a single person who will turn Orlo or Dell over for questioning.” He placed two fingers against the boy’s neck. “Well, he’s alive, so there’s that at least.” Blowing the hair out of his face, he straightened and glanced around at the gathering crowd. “Don’t you have better things to do?” 

He shook his head as they scattered and then turned to Helena. “You and I will have words once Dell is tended to.” He hefted Dell onto his shoulder as if he weighed nothing. “Come.” 

She ran to keep up with Edmund’s long strides. He led her through the crowded city as if he’d lived there his entire life. In reality, he’d only been in Madra for the past two years, serving as the ambassador from Bela. There were rumors winding their way through the palace about Edmund and his relationship to the queen and king of Bela. Some said they were close, others spoke of imprisonments. Each story ended with Edmund requesting an assignment far from the kingdom he’d fought a war to save. 

Helena wasn’t complaining though. She had four brothers, but none understood her as much as Edmund. 

“Edmund,” she started. She needed to explain her presence in the city. It was forbidden by the laws and traditions of Madra for a princess to leave the walls of the palace unaccompanied and unmasked. 

“Not here.” He turned into a narrow alley running between two pale-brick buildings, leading to a busy street. 

Curious Madran eyes followed them, but Edmund was well known, and most feared to be in his presence. Those stories from the palace? They also spoke of his magic. Something Helena had never seen and had trouble believing existed.

Two years ago, Madran troops were sent to aid the Belaen queen in her war against La Dame. Persinette Basile took her kingdom back and those Madran troops who fought by her side came home with the most marvelous tales of magic. The minstrels, fascinated with their tall tales of magic and spells, turned the soldiers’ stories of the Belaen queen into epic songs. 

Even the mercenaries who’d fought with Dracon against the royal Madran forces had their share of tales for anyone brave enough to approach them.

Belaens. Draconians. They were all feared for what they could do. Madran mercenaries were feared for who they were. Righteous bastards with loyalty to no crown. They pledged allegiance to one thing: gold. Was this Dell one of them? One of those causing trouble in the streets of Madra?

The priesthood worked to expel all mercenaries from the city, but occasionally a few would appear in the taverns or among the seedier shops on the outskirts of the city. Helena scanned her surroundings as Edmund led her between those shops.

Edmund ducked into a doorway at the end of the square and ushered Helena in before closing the heavy wooden door, shutting out all sunlight. 

Small candles along one wall gave the only hint of light. If it weren’t for the tendrils of cinnamon floating through the air, Helena would have suspected he’d led her into a tomb. 

Edmund lifted a hand and the flames on the candles grew larger. 

“Did you do that?” Her eyes rounded, fear gripping her chest as she took a step back. 

Edmund ignored her. “Mari,” he called, charging toward an open door. “Mari, we need you and Corban.” 

A middle-aged woman with deep lines in her face appeared in the doorway, took one look at Dell, and pointed to a bed on the far wall. 

Edmund set him down as a young boy skipped into the room. He froze when he saw them. 

Mari’s warm eyes gazed at the child. “We need you, Corban.” 

Corban shook his head and glanced at Helena. 

Edmund stepped forward. “It’s okay. He’s a friend.”

It took Helena a moment to realize he meant her. She was still disguised in her brother’s clothes. These people couldn’t find out who she was no matter how much Edmund trusted them. 

She only nodded, deciding that speaking would give her away. 

Corban sighed. 

Mari ran a hand over the top of the boy’s head. “He’s worried. Magic might not be outlawed in Madra as it once was in Gaule, but the fear still exists within the city. If word got out… we don’t know what would happen to him.” 

Helena wanted to ask what Mari meant, but couldn’t find the right words. Edmund seemed to sense the question and mouthed ‘later’ before crouching in front of Corban. “How many times have I come to you, Corban?”

The boy shrugged.

Edmund smiled fondly. “A lot. You and I are bonded by magic. Mari too. In this city that’s very rare. You can trust me. I won’t lead you into danger.”

Corban nodded. “I trust you.”

Edmund smiled and straightened before gripping Corban’s shoulder and guiding him to the bed. 

Dell murmured something unintelligible as the young boy placed his palms against the unconscious man’s chest. 

Nothing happened.

Helena looked to Edmund, but he focused on Dell’s face.

As she glanced back to Dell, the bruises receded and Helena sucked in a breath. Dell’s cut lip stitched itself back together. Helena stumbled back until her butt hit the wall. 

Every scratch, every blemish faded away, leaving unmarked bronze skin. Crimson blood still streaked through his jaw length, sun-bleached hair. 

He was older than she’d thought him to be during the fight. Dell. 

She shook her head vigorously. “This isn’t possible.” 

Mari, who had yet to speak a word to Helena, watched her out of the corner of her eye. The princess pulled her cap down further under the scrutinizing gaze. She knew, didn’t she? 

Did she know?

Panic clawed at her throat. 

Edmund crossed toward her and dropped his voice. “We have a lot to talk about.” 

“Aw, Edmund.” A rich voice called from the bed. “Not going to stay to make sure Corban’s mojo is still working?”

Edmund rounded on him. “Five. The number of times I’ve had to bring you here in the last three months. Do you have a death wish, Dell?” 

Dell’s vibrant eyes darkened. “Those weren’t all my fault and you know it.” 

“Darn it, Dell.” Edmund pulled at the ends of his hair. “If you die…”

Helena didn’t know what they were talking about, but curiosity had her moving closer. 

“I’m not going to die,” Dell said simply.

“The illegal fights. Stealing. Do you even have a head on those shoulders?”

An angry flush rose in the young man’s face as if he was about to explode. Helena grabbed Edmund’s arm. “Edmund, leave him be.” 

Dell’s anger snapped away in an instant as his eyes fixed on Helena, seeing her for the first time. “Who do we have here?” He sat up to peer closer. “You don’t think you’re fooling anyone in that getup, do you, miss?”

Helena ripped the hat from her head. Her dark curls spilled out, and she turned to Edmund. “Am I that obvious?”

Edmund bit the inside of his cheek to keep from smiling. “Only to scoundrels and deceivers themselves, my dear.” His eyes flicked to each person in the room. “Mari, Corban, I am once again in your debt. I’ll pay for this idiot’s care. Don’t let him return home for a few days. The news of the fight will have spread and we must prevent questions should the king hear.”

He turned to Dell with a scowl. “The next time I see you in an illegal boxing match, I’m leaving you in the bloody dirt. Fool. Orlo should have gutted you.”

Dell flashed a smile that spoke of no cares. “But then who would you yell at every day?”

Edmund grunted.

“You’d miss this pretty face. Go on, Edmund. Admit it. You care about me.”

Edmund’s stern facade cracked, and a laugh slipped through. “Okay, Dell. We’re leaving.”

“Have fun!” He waggled his eyebrows.

They stepped into the front room and Edmund pointed to her hat. “Don’t listen to Dell. Put that back on. It’s better no one knows you’re a woman and puts any of the pieces together.”

“Did he think we were—”


She turned. “Shouldn’t we tell him that’s not—”

“Helena.” His stern voice stopped her. “Dell will not speak of anything that happened here. It doesn’t matter what he thinks. But you and I need to have a discussion.” 

As soon as he pulled her onto the street, all sound ceased. A cart passed by, but the wheels made no rumble. Helena turned around to stare wide-eyed at Edmund. 

He sighed. “You already know I’m Belaen. Every person with Belaen blood carries magic. Mine is the ability to shift the winds. I’m pushing them away from us. We cannot hear anything. At the same time, I’m pushing a stream of air toward us to trap our own words.”

Helena was so lost in her thoughts of magic and the man she thought she’d known, she didn’t see the rock in the road. Edmund’s hand guided her around it before she fell, bringing her back to their current reality and what she knew was coming. 

Edmund’s voice was low when he spoke again. “Tell me what you were thinking.”

She shrugged. She knew the answer, but he wouldn’t understand. How could he? 


He only called her princess in formal situations, letting her know he wasn’t asking as her friend, but as a member of the royal council. 

“Helena,” he tried again. “You know the laws.” 

She did. And she hated them. Tears pricked the corner of her eyes. 

“If your father found out, they could take you from the line of succession,” he went on. “If the priests found out… Your birthday ball would be canceled.”

They both knew the priesthood would do something far worse to her. 

To some, the ball seemed silly. Who cared about a party when freedom was on the line? But that ball was supposed to be where her father made his final decision in who her husband would be. 

“I wanted to see my kingdom.” The words were small, but she felt every one. She was second in line to the throne. She would one day run the merchant guild. 

But she was a princess of Madra, meant to be hidden away like a precious jewel. The law of Madra said few had the privilege to look upon a princess’ face until her wedding day. She wasn’t allowed outside the palace. When she attended balls and ceremonies, she wore a mask to cover all but her mouth. 

It was a terrible law, but a sacred one in the eyes of the priests. The common man’s eyes defiled a princess just by gazing upon her. Those were the words of the priesthood.

Edmund only knew her face because his position as ambassador allowed him that privilege. 

He rubbed the back of his neck. “I don’t know how to do this, Helena. I grew up in Gaule where men like me who prefer men over women were put to death. Here in Madra, we live openly. Yet in Gaule, a woman has every freedom. They are now ruled by a queen. My best friend is the queen of Bela. But we aren’t in either of those countries. I want you to have those same freedoms, but I don’t want you to lose everything… I don’t want to lose you.” 

He wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “I lost everything once. A king I loved imprisoned me for my deception. I don’t want that for you.” He squeezed her tighter to his side as they walked. “Please, wear the mask. Stay in the palace. You’ve done it for eighteen years. It’s only a few weeks until the ball.”

She didn’t argue, but she made no promises either. She’d finally gotten a taste of freedom and that memory wasn’t going anywhere.

They would reveal her face soon enough, but then all of Madra would know her on sight. She had precious little time left to explore her kingdom as one of its loyal subjects. 

They reached Edmund’s home. “Where’d you leave your horse?” he asked.

“I walked.”

He raised a brow. “You just walked out of the palace?”

“When you’re going for stealth, you don’t steal a horse and thunder out the gates.”

He laughed. “Guess not. How’d you get out?” 

She pressed her lips together, not wanting to reveal one of Madra’s biggest secrets to the Belaen. She trusted Edmund, but… 

Did she have a choice?

“The catacombs under the place lead to a network of tunnels throughout the city.” 

Edmund’s eyes widened, and he ran a hand through his hair. “Well, I wasn’t expecting that. Secret tunnels under Madra? I thought that was just a myth.”

She shrugged. “I don’t think my father even knows they exist. Stev and I found them when we were kids.”

Edmund laughed. “I’ll bet your dad would love to know the heir to the Madran throne grew up playing in the catacombs.”

She shrugged, a small smile playing on her lips. “My brothers and I have never exactly played by the rules.”

“Do the rest of them know about the tunnels?” 

“I showed Kassander once. The others… no.”

She glanced toward the ground, wanting this line of questioning to end. Her brothers were not a subject she enjoyed talking about. 

Each child born to the royal family had a purpose placed on them the day they first opened their eyes. Stev was to be the next ruler of Madra. Helena would lead the Merchant guild—the most powerful entity behind the king and the priesthood. Kassander was born to be a priest. Quinn and Cole were bastards but in an unusual move, the king recognized them so even they had roles within the kingdom. They were not placed into the line of succession, but were given posts in military command. 

Helena turned to Edmund. “Thanks for getting me this far, but I’m okay getting back on my own.”

He shook his head. “Stev would kill me if I didn’t accompany you.” 

She narrowed her eyes, realization setting in. “Of course.” She walked back toward the street. “Big brother sent you to find me.” 

“He saw you leave.” There was meaning in his words that took her a few moments to understand.

She slowed her steps. “He let me go?”

“He wanted you to have your freedom, even if it meant defying tradition. I’ve been following you since you reached the columns at the end of the square. I only stepped in when I saw Dell fighting.”

“Unbelievable.” She shook her head. “Stev is…” Her brother was always surprising her. He never spoke to her as if he cared, but then he did things like this. 

They made it to the far side of the palace where a grate sat above a hole in the ground. It lay hidden beneath a wooden platform. If anyone found it, they’d assume it was only a part of the vast sewer system consisting of shallow clay pipes. An innovation of her grandmother’s. Helena bent and lifted the wooden boards to reveal the metal bars. She pulled a rusted key from the string around her neck and bent to turn it in the iron lock. Edmund pulled the bars free. 

“Replace this once I’m through,” Helena instructed. 

Edmund gaped. “I don’t like the thought of you going down into that.” He stared into the dark.

She shrugged and sat on the edge of the hole, swinging her legs in and dropping onto the ladder. 

As she cleared the entrance, Edmund put the iron bars back in place and stared down at her. 

“Thanks, Edmund.”

He nodded and watched her descend. 

The musty smell of the tunnel enveloped Helena as she jumped from the ladder into the ankle-deep water. Kassander’s boots would be soaked, but her ten-year-old brother’s clothes were the only ones that fit. 

Running through the darkened tunnels, she skimmed her hand along the wall to guide her steps. She didn’t know how long she walked before a door appeared, light seeping out from underneath. 

She bent over, trying to catch her breath. Everything would be okay. Home was right in front of her. Her first ever trip outside the palace hadn’t destroyed her life. She glanced back over her shoulder as adrenaline pumped through her. Being out among the people thrilled her. It gave her something she’d been missing most of her life. A sense of connection with the kingdom her family ruled.

She had to get out there again. 

As she set her hand on the door, she pushed just as she’d been taught. A soft click sounded and light flooded the tunnel. 

She tumbled into the bedroom that had gone unused since their grandmother was alive. The picture slid back into place to conceal the door. She laughed to herself. 

A cough interrupted her celebration, and she twisted on her heel to find Stev leaning against the wall with his arms crossed over his chest. 

He didn’t say a word as he pointed to the table at his side. Her soft mask with ivory lace lay flat against the marble. 

She walked forward and picked it up. As she set it against her skin and tied the ribbons at the back of her head, she couldn’t help but feel as if the prison Edmund spoke of was now hers. 

Satisfied, Stev nodded and left without a word. 

It was only then Helena noticed Kassander sitting on the bed, his excitement making his limbs jump.

“Hey buddy,” she said. “You can’t tell anyone about this, okay?”

“I know. Stev already told me.” His bright eyes fixed onto her face. “I like it better when you’re not wearing the mask.”

She sighed and wrapped both arms around her brother, pulling him into her lap. Resting her chin on his head, she spoke into his soft chestnut curls. “Me too, kid.”

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