Calabrinia Falling by Pilar de Ovalle
East of the great Western Ocean and west of the Desert of Death, Calabrinia, the ancient city, reposes beside the River Ca, amid fields of amaranth and apricots. Here, motherless Alina, youngest and most wilful of the nine hundred eighty-two royal princesses, finds herself in serious trouble. Her lover and co-conspirator, the youngest of the princes, has just been hanged for treason, leaving her pregnant with both child and heavy obligation. She must announce to the civilized world that the imperial godking is long since dead, and find allies to put her, the rightful heir, on the Dragon Throne.
Accompanied by her devoted mare and faithful hound, Alina's quest takes her to the far-flung corners of the empire, to the Horse Folk of the desert; the wise and enigmatic Hermit of the Painted Rocks; the fierce Barak-Shar of the mountain caves; two ancient and magical sisters in an ever-changing hut. She is guided and sometimes thwarted by an apparently young and green-eyed girl, who turns out to be something very else indeed.