Once Upon Two Kingdoms is a young adult romantic fantasy by Anna del C. Dye. The rulers of two neighboring countries, made an agreement that their children would marry when they came of age which was considered customary practice. Royal children were expected to serve their country rather than marrying for love. Prince Patrick of Trebolett and Princess Elizabeth of Bella Vista are both infuriated when their parents finally tell them of the arrangement. Neither of them relishes the idea of marrying a stranger, and they both leave their parents in a huff. Patrick rides into the woods that he loves so well, and Princess Elizabeth takes off on her horse and gets lost. She wanders until a distant campfire's light acts as a beacon. There she meets a charming young man who offers her food and lodging for the evening, and he also shows her the stars.
Anna del C. Dye's romantic fantasy, Once Upon Two Kingdoms, is a marvelous comedy of errors. Patrick and Elizabeth's romance is the stuff that dreams are made of. Their first nights in the woods are beautifully described and very moving. Dye creates a magical mood as the two share the wonders of the forest at night, complete with a canopy of stars. This book is also an inspired coming of age tale as the two young royals are thrust into mature roles suddenly and unexpectedly. The author tells her story in a wry and slightly humorous tone that fits the plot perfectly. Her writing is smooth and easy, and the story just reaches out and grabs the reader. Once Upon Two Kingdoms delivers the magic and promise that is all too often missing in epic fantasy, and it does so brilliantly. It's most highly recommended.