Princess between Worlds (21 page)

BOOK: Princess between Worlds
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“And we'd like you to visit us,” Annie told them, handing a card back. “I wanted one of the Treecrest cards for you. I grew up there and my parents live there still. If I'd found some for Dorinocco, I'd give you one of those as well. Liam is going to be crowned king of Dorinocco when we get back.”

“How exciting!” said Millie. “Then you'll probably be very busy for some time to come.”

“I'm sure we will.” When Annie saw Millie's disappointed expression, she added, “But we'll never be too busy for friends.”

“The sign said that the postcards would work up here,” said Liam. “Are you ready, Annie?” He held out the card for Treecrest with one finger poised above it.

“Just a moment,” she told him before turning to Millie and Audun. “I want to say thank you. We might never have been able to go home again if you hadn't helped us.”

“You're very welcome!” said Millie. “It was fun!”

“Here,” Annie said, digging into her pocket. She took out the fur doll that the yeti Mara had given to her and handed it to Millie. “I want you to have this for your baby. A very nice yeti gave it to me.”

“What baby?” Millie asked, looking confused.

“The one you're going to have, of course,” said Annie. “You know I can hear magic, right? Apparently I can hear dragon magic, too, whether you're in your dragon or human form. I guess that's because dragons don't just have magic, you
are
magic, which is probably why your magic is so powerful. Anyway, when I first met you I noticed that dragon magic sounds like music. Yours has a simple countermelody running through it. I thought that was just your individual magic, but then I met all those other dragons at the stronghold and none of them had that. Your second melody seems to get stronger each day, so I figured it wasn't yours at all. It was your baby's. Congratulations!”

Millie and Audun didn't say anything. They had turned to each other in a daze, but even now delight was dawning in their eyes.

“I guess they didn't know,” Annie told Liam.

“We need to go,” he reminded her, and showed her the postcard again.

Annie was about to say good-bye to her new friends, but from the way they were gazing at each other, she doubted they would hear her. Smiling to herself, she reached for the postcard. A moment later, Annie and Liam vanished.

CHAPTER 17

“I saw lots of castles on those postcards, but I still think this is the most beautiful,” Annie said with a sigh. “Although your father's castle is lovely, too,” she hurried to add.

“It will be when we move in,” said Liam. “After we talk to your parents, I want to go to Dorinocco. It's about time I set the date for my coronation.”

“But what about—”

A puff of silver sparkles just a few feet from where they stood heralded Moonbeam's arrival. The little woods witch Holly was there, too, blinking and looking confused. “You're back!” Moonbeam cried, clapping her hands. “I was so worried, especially after I talked to Holly and heard how she got the postcards.”

“What are you talking about?” asked Liam.

“Remember how I told you that I would take care of Rotan? Well, I would have, but I couldn't find him
anywhere. I asked around and heard that the last time anyone had seen him, he was on his way to the Magic Marketplace. That made me curious, so I looked up Holly and asked her a few questions. Holly, tell them what you told me.”

The little woods witch looked even more confused. “Um, I told you that I liked your sparkles?”

“No, no! The thing about Rotan. You know, the wizard you met at the Magic Marketplace?”

“Oh, right! Like I said before, I went to the Magic Marketplace to buy you a gift. I was sure I'd find something that newlyweds could use, but when I got there nothing seemed quite right. I was telling a man selling bottomless tankards why I was buying a gift and who it was for, when this very nice gentleman suggested that I get you postcards. He said that lots of young couples like to go on a trip after their wedding, and I was sure he was right. The gentleman even helped me pick them out. When I told Moonbeam that, she was very upset, but she never did tell me what I did wrong. I didn't, did I? Do something wrong, I mean.”

Liam shook his head. “The only thing you did wrong was to trust a stranger, but no one can really fault you for that.”

“Then I can go now?” asked Holly. “Moonbeam said I had to stay until you came back, but some of my plants are ready for picking and I have to collect them at just the right time.”

“You may go,” said Annie. A moment later, Holly disappeared, leaving only drifting leaves and the scent of pine behind.

“So, did you run into Rotan?” asked Moonbeam. “What did he do?”

“Apparently he picked out cards that presented their own unique difficulties,” said Liam. “Then he visited each location to tell people lies about us. He certainly didn't make our tour any easier.”

“I'm just glad you're back safe and sound,” said Moonbeam. “I must go tell your parents. They've been so worried about you.”

“You know,” Annie said to Liam as Moonbeam hurried off, “looking back on it, our grand tour wasn't too terrible. I might actually have enjoyed parts of it if I hadn't been so worried that we might never get home.”

“I knew we would eventually,” Liam said.

Annie coughed, trying to choke down laughter. She was certain that Liam had been just as worried, but she doubted that he'd ever admit it now.

They had started toward the castle, hand in hand, when Annie remembered what they had been discussing when Moonbeam had arrived. “You were telling me that you're ready to be crowned,” she reminded Liam. “What about your mother and Clarence? Have you decided what you want to do about them?”

“I have,” said Liam. “Our trip inspired me. I think it's time both my mother and Clarence went to live
somewhere far away. Separately, of course. They always get into trouble when they're together.”

“In that case, I think our trip was very successful,” Annie said, giving Liam's hand a squeeze. “You've decided what you'll do with your mother and brother, we made some new friends, and we took care of Rotan so he won't bother us anymore.”

“There was one more thing,” said Liam. “I wanted to take you to places you had never visited before, places where you could see new and unusual things and meet different kinds of people. That's exactly what we ended up doing. As far as I'm concerned, we had the best grand tour ever!”

Also by E. D. Baker

THE TALES OF THE FROG PRINCESS:

The Frog Princess

Dragon's Breath

Once Upon a Curse

No Place for Magic

The Salamander Spell

The Dragon Princess

Dragon Kiss

A Prince among Frogs

Fairy Wings

Fairy Lies

TALES OF THE WIDE-AWAKE PRINCESS:

The Wide-Awake Princess

Unlocking the Spell

The Bravest Princess

Princess in Disguise

A Question of Magic

THE FAIRY-TALE MATCHMAKER:

The Fairy-Tale Matchmaker

The Perfect Match

Text copyright © 2016 by E. D. Baker

Map copyright © 2016 by Kimberly Bender

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

First published in the United States of America in April 2016

by Bloomsbury Children's Books

E-book edition published in April 2016

www.bloomsbury.com

Bloomsbury is a registered trademark of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, write to Permissions, Bloomsbury Children's Books, 1385 Broadway, New York, New York 10018

Bloomsbury books may be purchased for business or promotional use. For information on bulk purchases please contact Macmillan Corporate and Premium Sales Department at
[email protected]

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Baker, E. D.

Princess between worlds : a tale of the wide-awake princess / by E.D. Baker.

pages cm

Sequel to: Princess in disguise.

Summary: Just as Annie and Liam are busy making plans to travel the world, a witch shows up and gives them a collection of postcards from the Magic Marketplace. Each postcard gives Annie and Liam the opportunity to travel to exotic lands and far-flung kingdoms. What the witch doesn't give them are directions on how to safely return.

ISBN 978-1-61963-847-1 (hardcover) • ISBN 978-1-61963-848-8 (e-book)

[1. Fairy tales. 2. Princesses—Fiction. 3. Magic—Fiction. 4. Characters in literature—Fiction.] I. Title.

PZ8.B173Ps 2016   [Fic]—dc23   2015011955

Book design by Donna Mark

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BOOK: Princess between Worlds
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