Series: The Twelve Kingdoms #3
Genres: Epic, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical
Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation on May 26th 2015
Reviewed by: GinnyAlso in this series: The Mark of the Tala
Purchase Links: Amazon ✦ Barnes & Noble
Book Links: Goodreads
Three daughters were born to High King Uorsin, in place of the son he wanted. The youngest, lovely and sweet. The middle, pretty and subtle, with an air of magic. And the eldest, the Heir. A girl grudgingly honed to leadership, not beauty, to bear the sword and honor of the king.
Ursula's loyalty is as ingrained as her straight warrior's spine. She protects the peace of the Twelve Kingdoms with sweat and blood, her sisters from threats far and near. And she protects her father to prove her worth. But she never imagined her loyalty would become an open question on palace grounds. That her father would receive her with a foreign witch at one side and a hireling captain at the other--that soldiers would look on her as a woman, not as a warrior.
She also never expected to decide the destiny of her sisters, of her people, of the Twelve Kingdoms and the Thirteenth. Not with her father still on the throne and war in the air. But the choice is before her. And the Heir must lead...
I began reading Jeffe Kennedy’s work a little over two years ago… and it’s been a really wonderful journey to take with her through her contemporary, erotic novellas into this full-fledged fantasy romance series.
When I began this series with “The Mark of the Tala” back in June of 2015, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Sure, she’d written some fantastical shorter novels before, but this seemed different somehow. I wasn’t wrong.
Jeffe Kennedy has joined the ranks of other amazing fantasy writers in creating her own world with its own rules and creatures; it gives you a full escape from reality and you’re swiftly whisked away into the Twelve Kingdoms and the drama and magic that unfolds.
In this third, and final book of the series, you finally get to see things from Ursula’s perspective. Ursula reminds me a little of Brienne of Tarth, from “Game of Thrones”, though the cover art would suggest a slightly more feminine-looking woman. But I digress —
Ursula is the eldest child, the big sister and the heir to the High Throne, much to her father’s dismay. Her father is a man’s-man, close-minded and small. And the depths of his deception surprised even me. But Ursula has been raised to be the son her father never had — a warrior with a code of honor. She’s always been good at handling her father, and taking the barbs he throws her way with the grace that would make any lady proud — she’s a beautiful contradiction. She’s always attempted to make her father proud until the end of book two when she finally fully defies him and goes her own way to help her sisters.
Enter in Harlan, who is taken with her immediately — a mercenary hired by her father as extra protection for himself, due to his own personal paranoia. Their love story is a beautiful one, and definitely one of the better ones I’ve read in a while. I like the symbiotic relationship they have and how he’ll allow her to be herself, but also demands that she let him see behind the mask that she shows the world. He breaks her down in the best of ways and together they triumph.
This series has left me with a serious book hangover. Do not read this as a standalone novel — buy all three and enjoy the marvelous world that Jeffe Kennedy has created for us all… afterwards, put your own review up and show some love. I am incredibly happy that I was given the chance to review this, and to come full circle after reviewing the first book. You can be damn sure that I’ll be buying the hard copies of books 2 & 3.