Young Rennick left the city-state of Glas one fine day as the orphaned, sole nephew of a childless king. Mere hours later, he returned as the sole heir to the throne. The throne was, however, encased in ice. Renn's only clues to the reclamation of his kingdom lie in a riddle, tacked to the face of the engulfing glacier by the angry sorcerer who cast this spell:

What does it take to turn glacier to glass,
And glass into shards, and shards into ash?
What does it take to turn glacier to Glas?

For the next twenty years the prince roams three lands, trying to discover how or even if Glas can be restored. His search finally brings him to the cottage of a wise old witch and then to the Kingdom of Galdesh. Finally, he appears to be on the right track.

Salvation there is beyond stream and sword—
Salvation through lady, salvation through whore,
Salvation through wings and through tongue and through tail,
Salvation that’s borne on two sets of scales.

So find ye a sir and find ye a lass
And lie down with each on silk or on grass.
Give of your passion and give of your soul,
Then take one to your heart to banish the cold.

Princess Seramar is a headstrong and randy little royal. Unlike her sister, though, she doesn't have a stable of studs. Sera doesn't believe it's right to "keep" people. Her attitude abruptly changes when she meets a stunning man in a nearby valley known as the Cauldron of Keridwen -- a vagabond who turns out to be the Prince of Glacier Glas.

Renn's quest soon becomes Sera's quest as their intimacy grows. But powerful enchantment cannot easily be broken. Their efforts to unravel the riddle and return to Glas ultimately involve Sera's male-prostitute lover, her vindictive sister, her sister's studs, a sympathetic misfit, a magical change of identities . . . and, of course, dragons.

Note: Although this novel can easily be read as a stand-alone, it takes place in the same world and has some of the same characters as Wing and Tongue and Cauldron of Keridwen, both of which are also available from Ellora's Cave.

* * * * *

Sera chided herself for being so affected by that stranger, that man who called himself Renn. Had she sacrificed all judgment at the altar of lust? He could be stupid or shallow or simmering with criminal intent. He could be a faithless rogue who’d abandoned a loving wife and children. He could even be fleeing the hangman’s noose. She knew nothing whatsoever about him.

As she climbed into the wagon, Sera continued to flay herself until she was sure her foolishness had fallen away into the dirt.

And then she saw him again, walking perilously near the wagon. He was with an older woman and man. They paused, conversing. Renn tossed his head back and laughed. The faint sound floated into Sera’s ears like a whispered confidence. How attractive he was just then, so handsome and happy and vibrant.

Dropping her head to her hands, she groaned in frustration over her weakness. Lifting her head, she groaned more deeply. He was still there, relaxed and casually elegant, luring the sun to play in his eyes, the wind to play in his hair.

Before Sera realized it, Chorbul was helping Trelkiny back into the wagon.

"What were you staring at?" her sister asked.

Sera nervously shifted her gaze. "Nothing. What are you talking about?"

If Trelkiny spotted Renn, especially after having seen how he’d captured her sister’s attention, she would insist on having him in her stable. There, he would be hers and hers alone. No other woman, relative or not, would be able to go near him.

But it was too late. Trelkiny easily discerned whom her sister had been ogling. "That man," she said, her arm and forefinger straightening like an arrow aimed at a target. "The tall one with chestnut hair." She gave Sera a quick glance, as if acknowledging her sister’s good taste. "Oh... he’s lovely. I’ve never seen him here before. Have you?"

Dumbly, Sera shook her head. Damn her eyes! Had they not been so drawn to Renn, he could have gone about his business without being noticed.

Trelkiny was suddenly in a state of high agitation. She snatched at one of the guards and managed to catch his saddle’s stirrup.

Sera was suddenly in a state of high awareness. She knew what she had to do. And the first step was to slap her sister’s hand away. "Bring that man to me," she snapped at the guard. "The comely one with the impressive frame."

Trelkiny, mouth open, looked completely thunderstruck. Then her lips stitched together and her eyes narrowed as she studied Sera’s face. "I hope you realize I may want to add him to my stable. I hope that’s why you ordered him brought to us."

"Actually, no." Sera smoothed her dress. "I think it’s time I started my own stable." She gave her sister an arch glance. "Don’t you agree?"

"What are you talking about? You don’t want a stable! You’ve said so a hundred times!"

"I’ve changed my m --" Eyes widening, Sera bolted to her feet and stood straight as a spear. "Release him!" She jumped from the wagon.

Three of the guards had ridden over to Renn and gotten off their horses. They wrestled with him, trying to drag him over to the wagon. He looked stunned and infuriated as he struggled against them.

"Take your hands off him!" Sera pushed at the guards, snatched at their arms.

Reluctantly, they backed away.

"Kindly tell me what’s going on," Renn said tightly, obviously trying to rein in his anger.

He shrugged his shirt back into place, but not before Sera caught a most tantalizing glimpse of his bare chest.

"I’m claiming you," she said.

Incredulous, he craned his neck in her direction. "You’re what?"

"Don’t use that tone with the princess," one of the guards snapped. He stepped forward.

Sera stopped him, then fired a warning look at the three of them. "Stay out of this. All of you." She turned to Renn. "If you will, sir, please come with me for a moment and I’ll try to explain."

He eyed her suspiciously. "Come with you where?"

Flustered, she made a sweeping arc with one arm. "Just over here or there or anywhere we can speak in private."

After casting a sullen glance at the cadre of guards, he said, "Fine. Let’s go."

Sera led him to bench beneath a small arbor. She sat down and motioned for Renn to do the same. Taking a deep breath, she tried to concentrate on her honorable purpose and not let herself be further moved by the man’s looks and his spirited defiance. Both could easily excite her into adopting more selfish motives.

"I had to lay claim to you," she said, "because my sister was about to. Believe me, you would not have wanted that. So I stopped her by speaking up before she could."

"You keep slaves in Galdesh?" Renn looked and sounded appalled. It was obvious his ire had again begun to rise.

"In a manner of speaking. But please, just listen until I’m finished." Again, Sera tried mentally to gird herself. The man was so unbearably alluring it was difficult not to claim and keep him. "Members of the Galdeshian royal family are allowed to take commoners whom they find . . . attractive."

Ignoring her request that he remain silent, Renn again interrupted. "Take? Literally?"


"Against their will?"

"If need be, but that’s not usually the case. Most people think it an honor to be chosen."

Renn chuffed in disbelief. "I am definitely not one of those people."

"I can see that," Sera said, trying not to smile.

"Why must these ‘chosen ones’ be attractive?"

"This will make more sense," Sera said impatiently, "if you just hear me out."

"I doubt that. But continue."

Oh he was impertinent! But it somehow made him all the more appealing. "We’re allowed to keep stables until we marry. Well, actually, the men can even do it even after they’re married, but females cannot."

"Stables of . . . people?" Renn asked uncertainly.

"Yes. For the purpose of . . . of --" Sera looked at her lap, where her hands anxiously gripped one another. Damn it all, she’d never before lost her tongue to embarrassment!

"Sexual pleasure?" Renn offered.

His tone made Sera look up. The nature of his gaze had changed. Before, it had seemed as hard and tightly closed as a castle gate. Now, it was quite the opposite.

"Yes," she said abruptly. "As soon as my sister saw you, she wanted to add you to her collection of studs. I couldn’t let her lay claim to you."

"Why?" Renn’s eyes shimmered. He looked both curious and somewhat amused. A smile tripped along his lips.

"Because she would have utterly deprived you of your freedom. You would’ve been kept well, but you would’ve been kept nonetheless. Like a pampered prisoner. What’s more, Trelkiny doesn’t even visit her men. She has no interest in their prowess, because she has no interest in, in . . . matters of the flesh."

Renn burst into laughter.

Feeling flushed, Sera stared at him.

"That was truly a diplomat’s baggage of words," he said. "I believe you meant she doesn’t like to fuck."

Now Sera’s face flamed. What was worse, his bluntness sent a shiver through her. Right down to the cleft between her thighs.

"Do you?" Renn asked quietly.

* * * * *
Copyright (c) 2008 K. Z. Snow
Now available from Ellora's Cave

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Cathy said...

I really like KZ's stories and am so glad she is continuing in this series.

K. Z. Snow said...

Thank you SO much Cathy! I hope you like Prince of Glacier Glas. It's by far the most story-rich tale in the saga, as well as profoundly sensual and romantic.

Kammie said...

I like the sound of this story. Great dialog! Adding it to my wish list.

snow guards said...

Use multivimin capsule then you cover weakness mostly man and women when he reached at 40 plus then feel tired and his feeling is very weak mostly forget talk.