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I don't remember a lot about the plot -- the cover was yellow and featured an illustrated brunette heroine in medieval or earlier clothing.

I think that it's a matriarchy and that the king has either been sent away or has disappeared. I think there was some sort of prophesy that he could not father the heir to the throne, so it was necessary for him to leave.

Also, I think it starts with some sort of annual festival where a handsome foreigner appears and the princess heroine makes eyes at him until her mother claims him as her consort in one of those year-and-a-day things.

Then, after the queen has delivered an heir, the princess and the now ex-consort are sent on a quest of some sort, maybe to search for the missing king????

I remember thinking at the time that I read it that it was really different from anything I'd read before, but I don't think I'd had enough knowledge of other cultures like the ancient Celtics and their less restrictive views on sex and marriage or matriarchal societies to appreciate what I was reading. Now that I'm older, more well-read, and far more open-minded, I'd like to reread it...if only I could remember it...

  • It doesn't ring any bells, but then the description is rather general. If you could remember any details like character, tribe or place names that might help. – John Rennie Oct 3 '13 at 14:32
  • I keep thinking that heroine has an Rh-name like Rhian or Rhiannon or Rhea or something similar. – jenny lynne Oct 3 '13 at 23:15
3

Maybe 'Starsilk' by Sydney Van Syoc. It's book 3 of a trilogy, the others are 'Darkchild' and 'Bluesong'. The heroine's name is Reyna.

  • Yes! You found it! Though how you got that from my description. :) I had no idea it was part of a series. I've ordered a used copy of a collection of all three. Thank you so much!!!!!! – jenny lynne Oct 6 '13 at 13:53

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