The One-Armed Queen by Jane Yolen
The One-Armed QueenScillia is the oldest child of Queen Jenna and King Carum. By right, she is the next ruler of the Dales. But she is a foundling, adopted by Jenna. At thirteen, she is angry with her mother for not being her birth mother. She sets out to find her true self.
Jemson, the second child, feels he should be king when their parents are dead. As part of a peace treaty, he is sent to their enemy to live while in his teens. The Dales, in turn, receive a Garunen prince in Jemson’s place. When Jemson returns, his resolve to be king is even greater.
Corinne, the youngest, knows his sister will be a better queen than his brother would ever be as a king. Yet when Jemson takes over the castle, he stays, hoping he can be of assistance to his sister. He could not foresee what Jemson would do to retain the crown.
This is a fantasy novel, intertwined with myths, legends, songs, rhymes, and the real story. Scilla was one-armed at birth, which was probably why she was a foundling. She knows she does not have the temperament of her mother but still she is to be queen. This novel is Scilla discovering herself as well as the fight to save the Dales from the rule of her brother Jemson.
This book is a sequel to The Books of Great Alta, the stories of White Jenna, her twin Skada, Carum, and the war to save the Dales. I’m sure this is an excellent follow up, but I have not read the first group. This one stands alone because it starts about 13 years after the first group ends. I’m sure the story would be enriched if I had known and read the others first. Either way, the reader will not be sorry.