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Deception's Pawn    by Esther Friesner order for
Deception's Pawn
by Esther Friesner
Order:  USA  Can
Random House, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

In this sequel to Deception's Princess, the adventurous Irish Princess Maeve has left her home in Connacht. She feels being away from her father, King Eochu, will allow her the independence she craves.

Maeve is the fourth of three longtime fosterlings in the home of a highborn family, headed by Lord Artegal and Lady Lussaire. As is the custom, the fosterlings will be educated as ladies. Although the first morning brings playful pranks, Mauve soon finds some of the other maidens-in-training can be cruel and underhanded.

Although her heart belongs to Ordon, the druid-in-training readers met in the first novel, Maeve's attentions are being sought by Kian, her host's son, and by Concobar, the son of her father's rival. She bonds with Kian who teaches her to sword fight and use a slingshot, not exactly training for a maiden, but Maeve finds it more satisfying.

In this series set in first century Ireland, Maeve is a strong heroine who makes her own life decisions, no matter where they lead. Although Deception's Pawn stands alone, loose ends from Deception's Princess are still being cleared up so I'd advise reading these books in order. The two volumes are part of Esther Friesner's Princesses of Myth stories, which include tales from other parts of the world.

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