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I can't remember the title of a fantasy fiction book I read but here's the basic plot:

A runaway princess who escapes her tyrant father is found and aided by the unknown lost heir to the kingdom's previous ruling dynasty (this lost prince doesn't know that he's descended from a line of rulers). Throughout the story, the two avoid her father's grasp and escape to the hero's home where his father eventually reveals his royal lineage. The two lovebirds are subtly aided at the Tyrant's headquarter's by one of the king's advisors who happens to be an accidental eunuch (fully functional guy who was inadvertently castrated during a hunting trip resulting in him become a eunuch). Eventually, the prince and princess overcome her father and form a new ruling family comprising the previous dynasty and new one with the birth of their son who they name after the guy's famous ancestor.

The author uses unusal titles for the ruling aristocracy such as "ethnarch, majordomo, dynast, tetrach".

The prince's backstory is that years ago, the ruling heir to the throne visited one of his nobles and met the daughter. They fell in love and secretly married with the prince writing a letter and leaving his sigil ring as proof that the two were married. However, on his return home, he was killed and the noble's daughter bore a child not knowing of the prince's fate. The current prince is a descendant of this child but his father (ethnarch of ........ manor)kept the secret of his ancient lineage for fear that the current ruler would try to eliminate him.

If anyone's familiar with this story line, please reply with the title of the book. It's been years since I read the book and I'm going crazy trying to figure out who the author is and the title of the book.

To answer the questions Below:

I can't recall the date the book was published but remember reading it between 2002-2004 as a new book.

Correction: ethnarch was used as a title but not too sure of dynast or tetrarch being used. What made this book stand out to me was the use of these biblical titles for a storyline that had nothing to do with religion or Judaic/Middle Eastern teachings.

I'm positive it wasn't an Arabian story. It might have been adapted from a similar themed plot though. The book cover had the image of a man riding a mythological steed (no wings) with a large prominant castle in the immediate background. I know this describes half of The fantasy books out there but I can't recall any other details.

Another trivial part of the storyline I remember is that the "princess" repays some cow or sheep farmers with higher quality livestock stock without them knowing she was their benefactor at the end of the novel since she lost their original stock somehow at the beginning of the book.

  • are you sure one of those titles ends arch and the other rach? – Kate Gregory Nov 8 '11 at 22:38
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Finally found an answer to my question! Thank you to those who suggested possible titles. The book is titled, The Stone and the Maiden by Dennis Jones, published in 1999. The sequel, entitled The Mask and the Sorceress, was published in 2002.

I was wrong about the year of the first book but spot on about the author's use of Ethnarch and Dynast as titles. It's your standard epic fantasy fiction novel but well written. I definitely recommend it for those who love the traditional fantasy genre.

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Your description sounds a lot like most of the short stories in Arabian Nights.

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    Are you talking about the original Arabian Nights or a particular version? Some collections leave out the more interesting stories (like "The Historic Fart," for one). – Tango Nov 9 '11 at 2:46
  • @Tango That sounds like an interesting story... – Rand al'Thor Nov 25 '15 at 11:50
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    @randal'thor: Yeah, the few stories anyone hears, these days, from The Arabian Nights tend to be quite sanitized. In the original book, even before Scheherazade starts telling her stories, there's several orgies. – Tango Nov 25 '15 at 16:41

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