Ash Princess meets Song of the Current in Mara Rutherford’s debut YA fantasy Crown of Coral and Pearl, which follows a young woman from a village on the sea who must impersonate her twin on land to save everyone she loves from a tyrannical prince.
Impetuous and outspoken, seventeen-year-old Nor is used to living in her identical twin sister's shadow. As the most beautiful girl in Lakana, Zadie is destined to marry the prince of Ilara, heir to all the ocean realms. Though free from her mother’s strict constraints, Nor still feels trapped. Just once, she longs to see Ilara's glittering towers and encounter its dashing prince...
But when Zadie is injured, Nor is chosen to replace her. And she soon finds Prince Ceren is as forbidding and cold as llara, a realm carved into a mountain and devoid of light. Ceren’s plans would strip Lakana of its most precious resources — a decree Nor will risk anything to stop. And through Ceren’s half brother, Talin, she pursues an even darker mystery rooted in the failing royal bloodline, a murdered queen — and Ilara's sinister secret history.
Now Nor must negotiate the treacherous protocols and insidious deceptions of a dazzling court where lies reign and obsession rules. And discovering her own formidable strength may be the one move that costs her everything: the crown, Lakana and Zadie.
Mara Rutherford began her writing career as a journalist but quickly discovered she far preferred fantasy to reality. Originally from California, Mara has since lived all over the world with her marine-turned-diplomat husband. A triplet born on Leap Day, Mara holds a master's degree in cultural studies from the University of London. When she's not writing or chasing after her two sons, she can usually be found pushing the boundaries of her comfort zone, whether at a traditional Russian banya or an Incan archaeological site. Mara is a former Pitch Wars mentee and three-time mentor.