When the King comes home... miracles will occur, the rivers will run with wine, all wishes will be granted. The kingdom of Aravis believes its beloved King Julian, dead 200 years, will return in the hour of its greatest need--and surely that hour is now. The current king is ancient, witless, and dying without an heir, the sinister Prince Bishop controls both church and state, and rebellion is brewing in the provinces.
Hail Rosmer has no interest in politics or legends. The daughter of a rural wool merchant, Hail wishes only to be a great artist. And her wish is granted, it seems, when she is sent to the city of Aravis to apprentice with Madame Carriera and study the works of King Julian's artist, the infamous Maspero. But Hail's fate is forever changed--as changed as the fate of Aravis itself--when she sees a man who looks exactly like King Julian. Marvels and wonders there will be--and events far darker and more dangerous than were ever imagined in legend.
When the King Comes Home is a smart, sly, unpredictable, and fascinating fantasy that lives up to the high standards of Caroline Stevermer's critically acclaimed previous novels, A College of Magics and River Rats. --Cynthia Ward