Finished books 2-4 in the light fantasy series "Songs from the Seashell Archives" by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
. I picked these up @ 25% off during Read an EBook Week at Smashwords, and the recommended 1st in the series
, Song of Sorcery
, can currently be had at 60% off with this weekend's Fictionwise coupon
These were all pleasantly enjoyable mildly comedic light quest fantasies which followed successive generations of practical hearthwitch Maggie Brown's friends and family.
The Unicorn Creed
has Maggie trying to get rid of an unwanted crown (and the accompanying unwanted suitors) after having been made a princess by her brother-in-law while trying to find a balance between staying a unicorn maiden and her mother's dire warnings that a hearthwitch's magical powers are incompatible with virginity (or maybe she's just saying that so that Maggie will continue the family line).
features Maggie's niece who was given a terrible christening curse (boils, horrible pustulent boils… maybe) which is a liability for a Crown (Warrior) Princess (but potentially great for a merchant) and seeks to have it removed by tracking down the original caster who resold it to the ogress who resold it to her wicked uncle with the help of her cousin Carole, a gypsy prince, and a swan princess.
The Christening Quest
has Bronwyn's brother Prince Rupert and songwitch Carole on the trail of royal baby-nappers in order to give the child the all-important protective christening gifts (sans curse) if they can't retrieve the kid from her current situation.
It's a shame the series never went beyond these 4 books, since I wouldn't have minded a follow-up to the stuff revealed in CQ which hints that there's a future Great Destiny in store for one of the characters.
Medium-high recommend for all three, if you want to read light-hearted mildly comedic quest fantasy; although the 1st and 3rd books are really the best (TUC actually has a better plot than BB, but BB's is much more fun due to the nature of the curse making for increased entertainment value).
You can read Song of Sorcery
and Bronwyn's Bane
each standalone without reference to the other books, but The Unicorn Creed
and Christening Quest
each kind of directly follow up on stuff that happened in the books immediately previous, so while you could read them standalone because the stories are self-contained, you'd be spoilering yourself for some major stuff that happened earlier in the series.