"A Queen Rises" is the story of Marcela, who tries to be good despite the world around her, and doesn't quite manage it in the end.
"Marcela, her mother tells her, doesn’t know how good she has it. Of noble birth, wealthy, and all but guaranteed a life of luxury, Marcela has only to learn how a real lady behaves—but that proves to be more difficult than it sounds.
Chastised again and again, Marcela spends whole days locked in the cellar, going without food and shrouded in darkness. There, she dreams of the faraway lands of her father’s stories and wonders about her mother’s grim and mysterious past.
When the queen dies, all the noble families of the kingdom flock to attend a ball thrown to honor the king’s search for a new wife. There, Marcela finds herself seduced by a duchess’s daughter in-law and attracts the devoted attention of Princess Primrose, who Marcela rescues from the dark, fae woods beyond the manor and who now wants Marcela for a mother.
But those woods hide worse things than beasts. The faeries whisper in Marcela’s ears, and as she grows closer to the crown and further from her abusive mother, she discovers power beyond anything she’d ever dreamed of. And power, Marcela soon learns, will always corrupt."