Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima

Flamecaster (Shattered Realms, #1)Disclaimer: Did not read the original series. Plot still made sense.
The cover if very, very beautiful. Every time I put the book down for being boring, the cover called to me again. Bonus for reading and reading (and reading and reading): dragons at the end!

The Prince: Ash is a healer, wants to learn healing. Queen Mom wants him to study princing.
The Special Snowflake: Jenna has a raised mark on the back of her neck, no idea what it means.

In alternate chapters, Ash and Jenna trek from trope to trope.
Warning: A Plethora Of Capitalized Words!

Ash sees his (prince-consort) father murdered and can’t save him, so it is obviously All His Fault [tm]. Instead of telling Queen Mom about it, he dyes his hair and runs away to school as the Prince Incognito [tm]. He spends summer breaks trekking enemy lines, healing horses and killing people. Yay petty vengeance, useless to the actual Cause.

Jenna is a miner, mom dead, little girl Orphan under her care. The Evil King ™ has kept a war going for 25 years because Ash’s Queen Mom wouldn’t marry him. (Thereby proving that she had the Right Idea.) King kills Sweet Little Orphan Girl and also Jenna’s semi-boyfriend, so Jenna Becomes A Rebel. In aid of this, Jenna Disguises Herself As a Boy. Bonus, she disguises herself as several different boys through the book.

I skipped pages here and there for both characters. They were so, so boring. Eventually, Prince Incognito is outed, Jenna figures out that she in fact has a Marvelous Ability, and a Dragon Child is transported over seas – in a wooden boat, with a tiled room so that dragon-flame won’t sink the ship. The dragon is to bribe Evil King, but he DOESN’T NOT WANT THE DRAGON , he wants more troops to continue is Forever War Against The Woman Who Spurned Him.

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