Authors Note: I hope you guys enjoy this prologue. I think that most of my chapters will be at least this length, but probably longer. Please review if you have any particular feelings on the story!


I hope I don't drop the crown, Dove thought wryly as she stood, waiting for the gong hit that was her cue to enter the Throne Hall. That would be ever so embarrassing, and what would Aunt Nuritin say?

She took a deep breath of the bayberry-scented air and took her first steps becoming the gods-sanctioned Queen of the newly renamed Kyprish Isles. Winna and Aunt Nuritin had helped her to decide what type of incense to use, and they had elected on bayberry in hopes of bringing harmony, peace and prosperity for her time as queen. She managed to walk along with the music that her friend Baron Engan had recommended for the ceremony, and it truly felt right that her rule be begun with this peaceful percussive ensemble as opposed to the romping orchestral piece that Imajane and Rubinyan had been planning, and frankly, it was also much less expensive.

Queen-to-be Dovasary Haiming Temaida Balitang smoothed her silver satin sarong and took a deep breath as Captain Taybur Sibigat of the Queen's Guard knelt on the steps of the dais, holding the crown –her crown- above his head. The crown that had been crafted from ancient raka descriptions was the most beautiful thing that Dove had ever seen. It was a gold headdress with a spray of copper sprigs at the back, dangling gold drops, and copper drops hung from the forehead plate, complementing the copper tone of her skin and framing her observant dark eyes and catlike features.

Her hands trembled as she raised the crown for the audience that included commoners as well as nobles for the first time since the first Rittevon king had been crowned. Dove caught the eyes of her stepmother, half-sister, and her great aunt who both smiled at her, and she could see their faith and pride in her. Baron Engan, her old friend stood with Dove's old tutor, Duke Nomru, and both of them watched her with smiles on their faces. She could not see Aly, but she knew that the royal spymaster would be there somewhere. She locked eyes with Fesgao, her old servant and one of the leaders of the rebellion, and he gave her a nod of respect. I can do this, she thought, I can do this for them. Slowly, she raised this beautiful crown and rested it on her head, in the tradition of the old Kyprin queens from whom Dove was descended.

As soon as she lowered the crown onto her head, a thunder of applause and cheers rang out, and out of the corner of her eye, Dove saw the miniature kudarung flying down from the beams where they had settled for the ceremony. Dove let out a breath and thought a prayer to Kyprioth, the patron god of the Kyprish Isles. Two kudarung swooped around Dove in a circle, a show that made many of the nobles gasp – never had the kudarung fly freely for a crowned Rittevon, not as they did now for Queen Dovasary Balitang. Many of the people in the room had thoughts that were running along the same lines: This was the dawn of a new era for the Kyprish Isles.