Royal weddings can be such a bother, especially when you can’t find a suitable Fred Astaire to dance with the hat rack. In Janelle Garrett’s The Hidden Queen, a farm girl learns she’s really royalty. Then, early in her reign, she must determine for the sake of her people the person with whom she’ll finally walk the aisle. But realpolitik keeps this story from being yet another typical romance, because our heroine’s decision could create enemies as well as needed allies. Once readers find serious drama with our heroine’s servants, threats to her authority from her close friend’s religious ideas, and the fact that her proposed groom isn’t even royalty, The Hidden Queen turns out to be a surprisingly smart story.
Best for: Young and college-age adults.
Discern: Some ethical and moral concerns are left unresolved, possibly to continue in later books.