NIGHTS OF NAEL
Neena’s sudden ascension to the Natal throne makes her plans for the future impossible. Not only does she have to give up her dreams, she faces pressure to participate in an annual ritual, Nael, that will give her a child and cement diplomatic ties. But motherhood, the highest station in Natal culture, terrifies her. Now, all Neena can hope for is that she will end the Nael season with only the responsibilities she began it with.
As she gets to know the three men chosen for the ceremony- a charming prince, a gruff warrior, and an earnest but mysterious holy man- she begins to realize that her plan to remain diplomatic but distant from them may not be as easy as she thought, nor will leading her kingdom amid harsh challenges be simple. Her mentor and advisor suddenly dies, leaving her young rule without guidance. Neena and her friends work to keep the palace running smoothly as they work out the deepening pattern of small crises before a bigger one develops. Betrayal and secrets come to light, and suddenly Neena finds that motherhood is no longer her biggest concern.