Kitsuneko: A Companion Novella to The Realms Beyond the Rainbow by CS Johnson is a short fantasy novella that has everything you could want in a speculative fiction story.
According to the Amazon description,
“Trouble is brewing in the realms beyond the rainbow …Kitsuneko has always done her best to honor her duty. As a fox-cat changeling, she has been conscripted into slavery by King Dario and Queen Arianna to serve as the surrogate for Princess Cari, their daughter who was kidnapped seventeen years ago. But when Kiro, Cari’s younger brother and the heir to the kingdom, proclaims his love for her, Kitsuneko is torn between her duty to the kingdom and her desire for the virtuous prince. As Kiro’s kisses leave her breathless, Kitsuneko finds herself in mortal danger. For the peace that Toulacoeur enjoys, maintained through the blessing of Kleon, the Unicorn Guardian, is at risk, and to maintain their rule, the king and queen have arranged for Kiro to marry Ariella, a Warlord’s daughter from a tribe of Gryphon Riders. Can Kitsuneko and Kiro find a way to be together and keep the kingdom’s peace? Or is their love destined to only lead to destruction?”
This is a fun novella. Once again, CS Johnson’s genre-hopping has proved to be a home-run. This is a short, but engaging story that has the dynamic storytelling that you expect from Johnson. Definitely pick up a copy and enjoy it. If you could get a chance, get the audiobook edition that is recorded by YouTuber and author Faith Moore. She reads it with precision and grace.
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