The Books of the Great Alta: The One- Armed Queen
Jenna has only just told her daughter Scillia that she is not her natural- born daughter but the foster child of Jenna's friend Iluna, who died fighting in Jenna's name. Though she has known this for years, Scillia is angered by this, for it only gives weight to her brother Jemson's claim that, as a cripple, she is not fit to rule the Dales. Deep in Jemson's heart lies the belief that he, as the eldest of Jenna's natural- born children, should ascend to the throne after her death, and this idea is allowed to grow during the years he spends with a people who held the Dales under their thumb until Jenna (the Anna) and her consort rallied the Hames and fought them.
I first stumbled across this book in the bookstore years ago. I thought it looked good but did not buy it as it was in bad condition and the third book in a trilogy- a trilogy so old that it took me years to track down copies of the first book, Sister Light, Sister Dark, and the second book, White Jenna. When I did, though, I knew I had tracked down something special- the books were just plain perfect, and I was in awe.
This is an amazing series, and nothing I say can really capture just how wonderful the world building, the characters, and the underlying messages are.