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Golden Crown (The Six Kingdoms, Book 3)

Golden Crown (The Six Kingdoms, Book 3)

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A rebellious queen. A dying king. 

Etta once thought she wanted to kill Alexandre. Now, she will do anything to save him. 

She never wanted to be a queen, never thought of restoring her long-dead kingdom. Bela is in ruins, destroyed by years of abandonment and a recent battle, but still, it is the only safe place for her people. 

La Dame lurks on the border in Dracon, waiting for her revenge. 

In Gaule, magic folk are hunted and punished for their Belaen heritage. 

The magic folk crave peace. 

A trip into Gaule brings Etta face to face with the one person who can destroy her with one simple act: dying. 

Main Tropes

  • Fairytale Inspired
  • Lost Kingdom
  • Enemies to Lovers
  • Fade to Black
  • Forbidden Magic
  • Warring Queens


A rebellious queen. A dying king. 

Etta once thought she wanted to kill Alexandre. Now, she will do anything to save him. 

She never wanted to be a queen, never thought of restoring her long-dead kingdom. Bela is in ruins, destroyed by years of abandonment and a recent battle, but still, it is the only safe place for her people. 

La Dame lurks on the border in Dracon, waiting for her revenge. 

In Gaule, magic folk are hunted and punished for their Belaen heritage. 

The magic folk crave peace. 

A trip into Gaule brings Etta face to face with the one person who can destroy her with one simple act: dying. 

No longer tied to Alex by magic, his death should mean nothing to her. 

As she learns more about who she truly is and the legacy of her family, she’s forced to answer three questions. 

Can she save the king of Gaule? 

Can he be trusted if she does? 

And what will it mean for her people if she finds herself unable to let go of him again? 

Book 3 in the Fantasy and Fairytales series, Golden Crown will drag you into a story of adventure, sacrifice, and love. 


It may as well have been the edge of the world. The white cliffs stretching above the frothing sea, their razor-sharp edge dropping over open sky. 

The danger was in getting too close to where the earth dropped off. To where the dark depths gurgled. But there was a thrill in going where no sane person would go, in focusing on nothing but the steady balance that would keep you from tumbling into the deep. 

Etta walked that line, between sanity and crazed daring. She flung her arms out to her sides and hung her toes over the edge. 

Behind her stood the ruins of the palace of her ancestors. It still bore the memory of what they’d done. The scars were etched deep into the soul of Bela, never to be forgotten. 

But they were here. Her people had returned and they worked night and day to make the village everything they needed it to be. 

And she wanted to step off the edge. 

She didn’t want to die. That was the opposite of everything she longed for. It only held nothingness and she didn’t want nothingness.

She wanted everything. To feel everything. To rid herself of the chill that entered her soul the day she faced La Dame. 

Her legs wobbled beneath her, just enough to throw her off balance. She pitched forward, her feet knocking a shower of rocks over the edge. 

Should she be afraid? The question struck her as she failed once again to regain her footing and slipped farther forward. 

Her left foot hit open air, suspended for a moment of disbelief before the right foot joined it and she tumbled over. The water neared and her stomach dropped, but she didn’t scream. 

A rush of wind pushed underneath her, lifting her in an arc, and a sigh escaped her lips. As her back slammed onto the grassy cliff, stealing the air from her lungs, she lifted her eyes. 

“Edmund.” Brushing her pants, she got to her feet. 

His brow scrunched in worry. “That’s the third time I’ve kept you from falling. You shouldn’t be coming up here anymore.”

She brushed past him. “Then it’s a good thing you don’t make my decisions for me.”

He fell into step beside her. “You could’ve stopped yourself if you’d used your magic.”

She grunted.

“Have you used it since Matteo put that crown on your head?”

“Drop it, Edmund.”

He stopped walking. “I’m worried about you.”

“And I’m worried our people won’t have adequate supplies when winter comes.” Against her better judgment, she turned to face him. He’d been nagging her all week. 

He rubbed his knuckles against the stubble on his jaw. “We’ve had quite a few new arrivals and they’re all bringing carts of supplies from the villages in Gaule. That along with their magic and the ship that arrived from Cana should speed things along.”

As soon as word got out that Bela once again belonged to the Belaens, some of the old allies from across the sea came knocking. Cana arrived first. A kingless land ruled by clans, the histories called them Bela’s number one trading partner. Back when the Belaen docks bustled with activity. The Madrans followed them, the king of Madra wanted to cement an alliance, fearing they’d turn their magic on him.

Edmund wouldn’t quit with the frown so she grabbed his arm. “Edmund, I’m–”

“Fine,” he finished for her. “I’ve heard it before.”

“I was going to say I’m not the one who matters.”

His lips curved up just the slightest bit and he shook his head. “You sound like a queen I guess. I shouldn’t be surprised. I’ve spent so much of my life around a prince.”

He gripped both her shoulders and ducked his head to look into her eyes. “But you’re wrong. You matter. You always have.”

Her shoulders sagged and he pulled her against his solid chest, dropping a kiss on the top of her head. 

“I’m glad you stayed.” After they saved Alexandre Durand and battled La Dame, she’d been sure Edmund’s loyalty to the prince of Gaule would override any love for his ancestral home. Tyson’s had. Her own brother. But Alex’s brother too. She tried to keep Alex from her thoughts, but it wasn’t easy when everything in their lives seemed forever entwined. 

When Edmund made his choice to stay with her, she’d never been more grateful for anything. 

A laugh rumbled through his chest. “Why, Persinette Basile, that might be the first compliment you’ve ever given me.”

She pulled away. “It wasn’t a compliment, merely a statement of fact.”

He grinned. “Of course, my queen.”

“Don’t call me that.”

“Why not? It’s what you are.”

“Only because of the magic that flows through my veins and the name I bear. The crown is an illusion. I can’t lead these people.” She gestured to the people walking to and from the village. 

He dropped his arm across her shoulders as Matteo spotted them and hurried over. 

“You guys hungry?” Matteo asked. 


As Etta followed her cousin to the cook fires, people bowed. Some uttered ‘Your Majesty.’ Trust shone in their eyes. They’d seen her fight their greatest enemy and drive her away. They’d watched as she came into the power of the Basiles.

Those who’d arrived since the fight were told the stories every night, making her into the hero of their dreams. 

Etta didn’t feel like a hero. 

She was crushed. Broken. Empty. 

The curse she’d lived her entire life vowing to break turned out to be the only thing holding her together. It was the cruelest sort of irony. 

And she was scared of herself. The power she’d unleashed. It sat under her skin, like a thousand tiny ants, begging to be released. She held it back, afraid that if she went down that road, if she experienced the immensity of it as she had before, she wouldn’t be able to come back. But in holding its fiery hatred in, she lost all other emotions.

She didn’t want to let the magic control her. 

Her people had been sharing supplies, using a few cook fires at the edge of the village to prepare their meals. After accepting a bowl of grain mush and salted fish, she made her way into the woods.

Little feet ran after her and as soon as she heard him, she turned. “Henry, you shouldn’t wander off from your mom.”

Henry and Analise had been among the magic folk being held in town by La Dame. She’d created an illusion of a grand palace. The only thing that hadn’t been an illusion was the small village and Etta now knew it was because her people had been forced to build it. They’d been prisoners, unable to leave, instead, being forced to arrive at the palace for a ball each night. 

When La Dame left, her magic had faded from the land, leaving behind a broken landscape.

“Where are you going?” Henry asked. His magic cloaked them in silence. It was as easy for him as breathing. 

Envy choked her words and she turned away. “Head on back. I’ll return before you go to sleep.”

He hesitated for a moment but then obeyed her as he always did. Relief bloomed within her when the edges of his power no longer tried to draw hers forth.

But she couldn’t, wouldn’t use it. Not since… she rubbed a hand across her face and sat on the soft pine pillow of the forest floor, leaning her back against a tree. 

Grass struggled to poke up through the pine needles, begging for her help. Wanting her to make them grow. Life was the first power she knew. Flowers. Grasses. Trees. 

It was the only power that felt like hers, but it had been tainted. The ancient Basile power now coursed through her veins, mixing and confusing what was there before. 

She heard him before he spoke, but kept her eyes focused on the bowl of mush in her lap as if willing it to become a feast. But even that would’ve been tasteless to her. 

“People are beginning to wonder about you,” Edmund said. “You come out here every night to eat alone.”

Music drifted through the air from the way he’d come. She hadn’t known many Belaens throughout her life, but she’d learned they loved their music. Dancing. Laughter. Joy. 

Edmund followed her gaze to the path behind him.

She shook her head. “They celebrate, even after everything they’d been through. They’ve been persecuted for generations. Now they have nothing.” 

“They have Bela. We all do. A country to call our own. One where we need not hide.” He sat down beside her and nudged her shoulder. “And they have a queen.”

“Right,” she scoffed. “Queen.”

“I seem to recall a coronation.”

“Edmund, the crown is no more real than La Dame’s illusions.”

“They chose you.”

“No, they didn’t. They chose my blood. Edmund, I’m not a leader. None of them even know me. They shouldn’t follow me.”

“I know you.” He bumped her shoulder again, leaning close. “And I will follow you right up to the gates of Dracon if it comes to it.”

She pushed a breath past her lips. “I hate you.”

“No, you don’t.”

“I try so hard not to feel sorry for myself and you come along and make me feel like an idiot.”

“You are an idiot.”

“Gee, thanks.” She stuffed her spoon into her mouth to hide her smile. 

Edmund sighed and leaned forward against his knees. “Can I say something  without you punching me?”

“That sounds ominous.”

“I think you miss him.”

“Tyson? Yeah, of course I miss him.”

Edmund made an annoyed sound in the back of his throat. “You know very well that’s not who I mean.”

“I thought it must be, because anyone else would just be absurd.”

“What’s so absurd about it?”

She bit off a bite of fish and chewed to avoid his question. When the curse had first been broken, all her magic felt for Alexandre Durand was a hatred so intense it could’ve burned the sun. But that hadn’t been her. Her magic was born to be at odds with him. What if she’d been born for something else? Could hatred and love for the same person exist inside her together?

Each day, memories of their time together ran on repeat through her mind. 

“He’s my enemy,” she finally said. 

“Only because of your ancestors and his. The enmity need not be yours.”

“Edmund, do you forget everything he did to me? To you?”

“He had no choice.”

“There is always a choice.”

Edmund’s back shuddered as he released a shaky breath and Etta kicked herself for her words. She might be conflicted about Alex, but Edmund wasn’t and it was killing him to be so far from him.

She rubbed his arm. “Hey, I’m sorry.”

He turned his head to look at her, the side of it resting on his knees. “He went home to war. I’ve always been at his side. For everything. I should be with him.”

“Do you regret staying?” She held her breath, not knowing if she could handle the answer. 

“No.” He grabbed her hand. “Not at all. I’m just worried. If something happens to him…” 

He didn’t need to finish because she understood. It may have been because of the curse, but she still remembered what it felt like to love a king. To love Alex. Edmund had been in love with him since he was just a teenager and he would probably love him for the rest of his life. 

“I’m supposed to protect him,” Edmund breathed. 

A familiar urge rose up in Etta. To protect. The need to bathe her sword in blood for no other reason than to guard the life of a royal. She’d been raised to be the protector, her father never imagining she’d get to live any other life. Was that why he named her Persinette? As the only rebellion he’d ever get against La Dame? The Draconian translation for Rapunzel was a sad excuse for a fight but maybe it was all he’d had.

Maybe she wouldn’t know another life. Even now as her old charge fought for the soul of his kingdom, she had to guard her own land. 

Maybe wearing the crown was no different from bearing a sword. 

Before, she’d been charged with keeping safe the life of one man. Now she had an entire people behind her blade. 

And Edmund was right, although she’d never tell him that. She missed Alex. When she’d acted as his protector, she hadn’t also been asked to lead. Could she do both? 

“He’s going to be okay,” she finally said. 

“You think?” His sad eyes brightened. 

Etta got to her feet and held her free hand down to him. “We need to believe it because Gaule is no longer our worry. The time has come for Bela to rise and soon, we’ll have to go to battle ourselves.”

A grin stretched across his face. “That sounded very queenly.”

She narrowed her eyes. “Don’t make me retrieve my sword.”

“Oh, please do. I’d love to show you a thing or two about dueling.” 

“Ha, you teach me? Right.”

They dropped their dishes back at the cook fire and Etta headed off to find Henry, a smile still firmly in place.

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