Isabella Berdyna Zysk was born in Michigan, raised in California and Virginia, and is now retired and living in Florida.
Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
“Next to the fertile agricultural plains of Hildur, the tall mountains of Dumitra rose suddenly as if by magic in jagged snow-covered peaks.” Tasked with a secret mission by his sister, Queen Aldegunda of Hildur, Elisedd disguised himself as a pilgrim to investigate her suitors in Dumitra. On his journey, he meets Lady Felicity of Ruba, whose brother, the Duke of Ruba, is one of Aldegunda's potential consorts. His mission is going well until he discovers disturbing information regarding spies from another kingdom called Manyara. Can Elisedd prevent an ominous threat without jeopardizing the mission? Will anyone pays heed to a pilgrim's warning? The Queen’s Brother by Isabella Berdyna Zysk is a novella about the future of two kingdoms that rests on a union between their royals and nobles.
Engaging from start to finish, one of the joys of reading Zysk's The Queen’s Brother is the character-driven plot where conflicts or threats of wars served as a subdued background. It was a nice change of pace for a tale set in medieval times where violent conflicts are the norm. I enjoyed getting to know the protagonists and their budding relationships. Elisedd's journey was an intriguing experience, as this royal in disguise has to be careful not to jeopardize his personal mission. Secondary characters such as the caring Lord Harry, the queen’s senior counselor, and the informative and matchmaker enthusiast Lady Selma, are well fleshed out and easily add more depth to the story. All in all, this is a quick and enjoyable read from Zysk. I look forward to reading more of her work in this genre.