Kings and rulers -- fiction

Salt Is Sweeter than Gold by Andrew Peters

Salt Is Sweeter than Gold by Andrew Peters

In Andrew Peters’ Salt Is Sweeter than Gold, an old king has three daughters, but only one will inherit his kingdom. Who should it be? When it’s time to decide, the king holds a grand ceremony and asks in front of huge crowd a simple question: how much do you love me?  The first answer pleases him very much: “I love you more than all the jewels that encrust your fingers and all the gold that lies hidden in the vaults of this castle!”  The second daughter also gives a charming answer: “I love you more than all the land that spreads like an ocean beyond this castle!” But when the youngest, who did truly love him, says simply, “Father, I love you more than salt,” the king is so insulted he banishes her immediately and tells her she is no longer his….  until the day that salt becomes more precious than gold.

The Iron Ring by Lloyd Alexander

The Iron Ring by Lloyd Alexander

The young king Tamar was awakened in darkness by the sound of elephants in his courtyard. Their jeweled tusks and golden banners proclaimed them the property of a great maharajah. In short order, a dark figure strode into the palace and demanded an immediate audience.

Tamar sighed heavily.
As his tutor reminded him, the principles of Dharma--the code of honor, conscience, and the obligation to do what is royally virtuous, meant that he could not refuse an audience to another king, no matter the lateness of the hour. Indeed, in the long-ago world of ancient India recreated in Lloyd Alexander's The Iron Ring, a king's honor is his most important possession.

The mysterious visitor, King Jaya, ruled the distant land of Mahapura where, he grandly informed his host, all was much better than in Tamar's own kingdom of Sundari. Musicians, dancers, food, all were better in Mahapura, King Jaya purred. The only distraction he sought from Tamar was a simple game of aksha. Pure luck would determine the rolls of the dice.

In all hospitality, Tamar could not refuse, although the stakes Jaya proposed would have fed the court for a month. Die-roll after die-roll, Tamar won. Then the king of Mahapura yawned and made a final wager: "Life against life."
This time the dice seemed to jump from Tamar's fingers of their own accord.
"King of Sundari," Jaya said, "you have lost."

King Jack and the Dragon

By Peter Bently & Helen Oxenbury

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Jack, Zack, and Caspar build a castle fort, then spend a day fighting dragons and beasts, but at day's end giants carry away first Sir Zack, then Caspar, and King Jack is left to face night creatures alone.

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The White Rose Murders

By Michael Clynes

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In 1517 the English armies have defeated and killed James IV of Scotland at Flodden and James's widow-queen, Margaret, sister to Henry VIII, has fled to England, leaving her crown under a Council of Regency. Roger Shallot is drawn into a web of mystery and murder by his close friendship with Benjamin Daunbey, the nephew of Cardinal Wolsey, first minister of Henry VIII. Benjamin and Roger are ordered into Margaret's household to resolve certain mysteries as well as to bring about her restoration to Scotland. They begin by questioning Selkirk, a half-mad physician imprisoned in the Tower. He is subsequently found poisoned in a locked chamber guarded by soldiers. The only clue is a poem of riddles. However, the poem contains the seeds for other gruesome murders. The faceless assassin always leaves a white rose, the mark of Les Blancs Sangliers, a secret society plotting the overthrow of the Tudor monarchy.

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The Queen's Man

By Sharon Kay Penman

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Eleanor of Aquitaine sits on England's throne. At seventy, she has outlived the husband with whom she had once scandalized the world. But has she also outlived her favorite, her first-born son? Richard Lionheart, England's king, has been missing these last months. It is rumored that he is dead. Many think his youngest brother plots to steal the crown. Only Eleanor's fierce will can keep John from acting on his greed. Only a letter, spattered with the blood of a dying man murdered on the Winchester road, can tell her if Richard still lives.

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